Diversity is a hot topic and it affects all sectors, including staffing. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) Diversity List includes 137 diversity-owned staffing companies, such as the African-American-owned A Helping Hand staffing agency.
What is diversity?
Diversity means a wide range of differences within your workforce. The term includes a difference in skin color, faith, sex, and sexuality, as well as disability, mental health, and neurodiversity.
Along with diversity, you have inclusion, and being an inclusive employer is essential these days. Excluding anyone on the basis of differences such as race or disability is a violation of anti-discrimination rules and may very well alienate employees, customers or potential customers. It’s also bad for business and will give you bad press.
Why is the lack of diversity a problem?
Having a white male workforce is problematic because it is exclusive and does not represent all of humanity. People from different backgrounds or with different beliefs or abilities bring a wealth of experience and new ideas to the table.
If your workforce is too straight, too white, and too masculine, you risk coming across as discriminatory and unfair. In today’s political climate, any form of discrimination is viewed quite severely, and you could end up facing negative press attention. Some people will actively boycott exclusionary businesses, and misrepresenting the diversity of the human race looks bad for your business.
A lack of diversity can also be a problem for the day-to-day running of your business as you miss out on the different perspectives and life experiences of several large groups. People of diverse faiths and sexualities bring a lot to the table, and people with disabilities are often more likely to continue to advance their careers in the same company. People with disabilities also tend to stay longer with the same employer.
How does diversity benefit the bottom line?
A McKinsey study shows that a diverse workforce is great for business, top-quarter racial and gender diverse companies perform up to 35% better. A diverse workforce more closely reflects the diversity of your customer base and opens doors to other markets.
I spoke with the senior diversity consultant and CEO of Greer Consulting, Jason Greer last week via Facebook Messenger to get his take on how diversity affects purchasing decisions and business results.
“Recognizing diversity in the workplace isn’t just about ‘ticking the boxes’ but it’s a method of strengthening your competitive advantage. Consider this, there are great companies in a variety of markets that only market to certain demographic groups without realizing all the money they are leaving on the proverbial table because customers want to do business with organizations that speak their language; enhance their respective cultures and make a demonstrable effort to meet their needs. This is America. People want to spend money, but savvy shoppers only want to spend money with companies that are going the right way when it comes to putting diversity first. said Greer.
If you are unsure of the diversity of your workforce, consider performing an internal diversity audit. You can protect the privacy of your employees and make the survey anonymous so your staff feel safe enough to answer honestly. You can also try taking a quick peek around your office and see how many white or male faces there are. However, relying entirely on this is a bad idea, as many aspects of diversity cannot be easily spotted, such as neurodiversity and disability.
Many young employees and the next generation of employees who sit in classrooms today value diversity and have been trained to embrace it. Thousands of young people identify as part of the LGBTQIA + spectrum, and thousands more are neurodiverse or live with a disability. Alienating all the potential talent within these communities can only be bad for your staffing business.
People with disabilities, or those who identify as neurodiverse, are often innovative problem solvers by nature, which can be helpful to your business.
What can we do about diversity in the staffing industry?
The best way to improve diversity in the staffing and recruiting industry is to offer positions exclusively to members of diverse groups or to advertise jobs in more diverse locations. For example, you can offer a job to a member of an ethnic minority or to an LGBTQIA + employee. On the other hand, you can market your vacancies to these groups specifically to attract more applicants.
Another great way to improve diversity in your workplace is to add and apply anti-discrimination policies. It is not enough to create the strategy; you will have to stick to it if and when someone makes a complaint. This is extremely beneficial, as it creates an inclusive and welcoming workplace for a wide variety of people, and your staff can feel safe and comfortable at work. You will see increased productivity and staff who will stay in your business longer.
Diversity in the staffing and recruiting industry doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Managing diversity and inclusive policies can help energize your business, increase staff productivity, and encourage new talent with great ideas. Your staff will work for you longer and grow their careers with you instead of moving to a competitor. Diversity is not something you need to fear or worry about; in fact, it can be an asset to your business.
“A diverse and inclusive environment is no longer optional; It’s imperative. In addition, it is much more convincing and profitable than a homogeneous model. Expert in the recruitment industry and AkkenCloud CEO, Giridhar Akkineni.
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