For those in the know, employing a diverse workforce means better performance. When different genders, cultures, generations, orientations, and belief systems combine in a workplace, the organisation immediately becomes more dynamic, creative, and versatile.
In a rapidly changing and heavily globalised world, diverse companies are outperforming those with mono-cultural or heavily gender-skewed organisations. Difference in employees equals difference in thinking and behaviour, which can give companies the edge they need to succeed.
However, many employers still don’t realise the business benefits of having a diverse workforce, which means they are missing out.
As a recruiter, you can ‘sell’ diversity to your client by explaining the benefits of having a diverse team, backed up by some hard stats and case studies to highlight how maximising difference in their organisation can deliver real results.
These examples, taken from the global McKinsey ‘Why Diversity Matters’ report may be helpful to use in discussion with your client:
1. Companies with a good mix of female and male employees are 15% more likely to outperform their competitors.
2. Companies with an ethnically diverse background are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors.
3. Companies with the worst diversity for gender and ethnicity are lagging significantly behind the average in financial performance.
Once you’ve highlighted the advantages to the client, the next step is finding the diverse talent you need by developing a recruiting campaign tailored to attracting diverse candidates.
Begin with the job spec.
Try looking at the client’s job spec with new eyes. Do you think it would appeal to the target market? Consider where you might make it more targeted.
For example, women tend to be more responsive to job adverts that talk about the meaningful impact the role will have, make it clear that applicants don’t need every single skill to apply or mention flexible working hours for those with children.
Be extremely aware of language.
Also, take notice of the language you use. We all have our own set of cultural and gender markers in the language we unconsciously use, so be aware of how very assertive, masculine, or flowery language in a job spec might attract or deter your audience.
Keep an eye on any unconsciously biased wording about age or disability too, such as ‘We’re a young, dynamic, work-hard-play-hard company who love to have drinks on Friday nights’. Such language immediately makes many older, more introverted, or non-drinking candidates (such as all Muslims) feel they won’t fit in and decide not to apply.
Show that diversity matters to the client.
You may also wish to mention any anti-discrimination policies in place, so candidates immediately know it’s something the company takes seriously, and don’t be shy to advertise that you’re already a diverse organisation.
For example, sharing stats on how many women in leadership or different ethnic backgrounds you have in the team work well to show that your diversity initiatives aren’t just talk.
Advise the client to offer different religious or cultural holidays.
Is the client willing to grant different public holidays to different employees? If so, this should be made clear in the job spec.
The advantages of this is twofold: the employees will be grateful, and there’ll always be someone in the office getting on with work while the rest of the team have time off. For companies with international clients operating in different cultures or time-zones, this can be a tremendous business advantage.
Be crystal clear about leave entitlements.
On the topic of holidays, the job spec must make the leave entitlements clear, even if they are the standard four weeks offered under UK law.
This is because the client may be hiring people from other cultures where may be used to something different, such as in the US, where there is no set vacation time at all.
For people born in another country, favourable leave allocations also mean they’ll be able to travel back to see their families and friends. Business, therefore, shouldn’t underestimate the power of leave entitlements in driving candidate decision-making.
Analyse the client’s image.
For example, does the company website have images of non-white employees or are there women appearing in positons of leadership?
This non-verbal messaging can powerfully attract or deter candidates, as they feel that ‘people like them’ are valued and can succeed in the organisation. Advise your client on what they can do to create a more diverse image, whether on their website or social media channels, as well as in the interview panel.
Consider different talent pools.
When you convince your client to consider a different type of candidate than their norm, you have the opportunity to impress them with a brand new crop of talent. However, do you know where to find them?
Consider new avenues such as recruiting internationally, different colleges, job boards and job fairs, or offering internships.
Hopefully, this article has got you thinking. Next step is to schedule a chat with your clients to see how you can improve diversity in their recruitment process!
Until next time