Diversity has become something of a watchword in our society, with an increasing recognition amongst nations that embracing and recognising what was once perceived to be “different” is the perfect way to enrich our communities.
This is also true in the workplace, with more and more employers realising that expecting uniformity from all of their workers is a one-dimensional approach.
It is illegal to discriminate in the workplace on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, nationality and age, and recruiters are coming to the realisation that by extending their reach into talent pools and talent attraction platforms like JobsTheWord, they are more likely to have a happy and productive workforce. It is not about positive discrimination; it is about diversification and picking the best talent and right people from a broader spectrum of society.
There are a number of proven advantages of operating with a diverse workforce.
Employing a one-size-fits-all workforce means that you will receive just that approach to work; everyone will take a similar view and the outcomes will likely be the same. A range of employees from different backgrounds, with different life experiences, will bring so much more to your workplace. They will teach each other new perspectives, offer alternative views and shed fresh light on old problems.
A Bigger Talent Pool
Get yourself a reputation as a diverse organisation and you will soon notice the calibre of your candidates starts to improve. Many top professionals deliberately seek out companies that promote a diverse workforce, which means you will soon start to attract other high-quality applicants, who may previously have not even been on your radar.
If you are planning to go global, you will benefit massively from having workers who speak different languages and understand other cultures and not just your domestic one. This can be hugely important when you are dealing with sensitive issues, as some cultures have very specific professional traditions, which they will expect to be followed.
Nobody wants to think their employees are litigious, but workplace lawsuits are becoming increasingly common. However, if an employee is taking action over perceived discrimination, this is only applicable if they are being singled out due to being ‘different’ to their colleagues. By keeping your workforce varied and diverse, you will be avoiding the potential for such issues. When employees are rewarded or reprimanded purely for their skills or shortcomings, there is much less room for them to feel it is due to discrimination.
A Great Reputation
Above all, your image as an employer will improve greatly if you are seen to be taking on a diverse workforce. This will have a knock-on effect with your potential clients too. Many forward-thinking companies only want to work with similar organisations. If your clients see you are employing people from all backgrounds and cultures, with no gender or age discrimination, they are more likely to welcome you as a supplier. Your employees’ morale is more likely to be high too, as they enjoy all the associated benefits of working for a broad-minded employer. This will give you a much lower staff turnover.
So it is apparent that there is much to be gained and nothing to be lost from extending your recruitment process into a wider market and letting your business take advantage of the extensive range of diverse talent available.
CIPD defines managing diversity as:
valuing everyone as an individual – valuing people as employees, customers and clients.