Diverse workforces offer an enormous range of benefits, for both employees and the organisation itself. Having employees from different backgrounds and life experiences helps businesses to serve a broader customer base, as well as have more creative ideas.
Diversity also plays a big role in company culture, and whether employees feel at home when they join the company.
When it comes to recruitment, employers need to do more than just pay lip service to diversity and inclusion. A huge 76% of jobseekers told researchers from Glassdoor and CNBS that having a diverse workforce is crucial when deciding whether to accept a company’s job offer. One in three wouldn’t even bother applying for a role at an organisation lacking real commitment to a diverse hiring strategy.
Taking a closer look at your recruitment processes
Building a diverse and inclusive workforce can be challenging, and change doesn’t happen overnight.
One of the main difficulties is knowing where to start. Company culture, policy, board level representation, pay gaps and training are all areas in need of your attention, but it all really starts with recruitment.
According to a survey by XpertHR, nearly half (45%) of organisations have concerns that their current recruitment processes don’t make a positive contribution to their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy. XpertHR’s Michael Carty explained to Personnel Today why this might be the case:
“Businesses are facing ever higher levels of scrutiny over the actions they take to improve diversity and inclusion, with employees and potential employees bringing increased attention to whether or not these actions – including recruitment practices – are meaningful and bring about genuine positive change.
“While actions to boost diversity and inclusion are widespread, our research suggests that more needs to be done to make these actions truly effective.”
But in more encouraging news, the majority (95%) of companies are taking steps to improve D&I at the earliest stages of recruitment.
How to change your approach
If your organisation is committed to improving diversity within the workforce, here are some key things to start thinking about:
- Hire workers that challenge the norm. It’s tempting to hire employees who can easily slip into the existing company culture, but then there’s the danger of ending up with a homogenous workplace. Instead, actively seek people who can bring something unique, to add to and expand the boundaries of your existing culture.
- Set diversity targets. It may seem like a box-ticking exercise, but setting measurable targets is the only way to make a solid commitment to diverse hiring. Just make sure you focus on inclusion at the same time, so that the new people you hire will stay.
- Create new policies for all employees. This specific, inclusive policies for disabled employees, staff with mental health issues, parents and workers with particular religious beliefs – to name just a few examples. Speak to your teams about issues they face in the workplace, and do your research to ensure you’re following the best and most up-to-date practices.
Last but not least, communicate your D&I strategy to recruitment agencies. Choose the right agency and you’ll be able to take advantage of their expertise in talent attraction, to reach out to and engage more diverse communities.
Aqumen Recruitment is dedicated to helping organisations make positive and meaningful improvement to diversity and inclusion, across industries such as manufacturing and distribution.
Let’s make a real change – get in touch to start your search for amazing talent from all walks of life.