If you're looking to build a strong employer brand and assemble a workforce that will drive your organization to new levels of profitability and success, you need to focus on diversity and inclusion.

Research has shown that having a broad and equal representation of genders, ages, ethnicities, nationalities and professional backgrounds in your business can make you more innovative, financially successful and attractive to talented jobseekers.

If you're keen to move forward in your diversity journey but you're not sure how to take the next steps, we can offer the insights and expertise you need to optimize your hiring and engage with a wide range of candidates.

why you need a diverse workforce

Why is diversity so important? Dedicated research and reports have highlighted a number of reasons, encompassing everything from business fundamentals like profitability, to your ability to attract and retain the next generation of talent.

driving results through innovation

Innovation can play a crucial role in your business performance and results. If you're able to come up with fresh ideas and new perspectives, you'll be better-placed to overcome common challenges and spot opportunities that might otherwise be missed. Research has shown that diversity - particularly at leadership level - boosts innovation.

In a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study involving more than 1,700 companies in eight countries, organizations that had above-average diversity at management level reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than that of firms with less-diverse management teams. Innovation revenue was measured on the basis of income generated from new products and services launched in the three years leading up to the survey.

BCG pointed out that people from different backgrounds can look at the same problem and come up with completely different solutions. When you have a diverse workforce, you're more adaptable and likely to generate solutions that work.

McKinsey has provided similar insights into how eclectic teams fuel better business performance in a series of studies, the latest of which was published in May 2020. It showed that companies with the most gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than those that lagged behind in this area. Organizations in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed those in the bottom quartile by 36% in profitability.

attracting and retaining talent

Business success or failure depends on many factors, but one of the most important is your people. If you have a talented workforce that's dedicated to helping the company succeed, you can feel confident that you're in the best possible position to overcome obstacles and identify avenues for future growth. But acquiring the talent you need will become increasingly difficult if you're not committed to diversity.

Four out of five workers (80%) have said inclusion is a key factor for them when they're choosing an employer, according to research by Deloitte, while 72% would consider leaving an organization for a more inclusive one.

This is a particularly significant issue for younger generations who represent the future of work. More than four out of five Gen Z candidates (83%) surveyed by Monster said a company's commitment to diversity is an important consideration when they're evaluating potential employers.

staying relevant and competitive

Modern employers need to recognize that workforce diversity is no longer a 'nice to have', or an indistinct goal to be achieved at some point in the future, but something that needs to be a top priority right now.

Engaging with this issue and working to drive progress on this front is essential if you want to build a compelling employer brand and show that you're in tune with the needs and interests of modern workers. This is particularly important if you want to avoid feeling the effects of worsening skills shortages.

Furthermore, failing to act could put you at risk of falling behind your competitors in the market for top talent. BCG's research revealed that 75% of respondents felt diversity was gaining momentum in their organizations, with quicker progress reported in emerging markets such as China, Brazil and India. Similarly, in PwC's Global Diversity and Inclusion Survey, 76% of people said this was a stated value or a priority area for their employer.

Some of the world's most successful businesses have shown what can be achieved by making a commitment to this issue. Accenture, for example, has featured on DiversityInc's list of the top 50 companies for diversity for 14 consecutive years, ranking fifth in 2020. The professional services firm says its dedication to its people and to "accelerating equality for all" enables it to "attract, develop, inspire and reward top talent".

Hotel chain Marriott International, which featured first on the latest DiversityInc list, says embracing differences is "essential" to its success. It's currently involved in initiatives including cross-cultural workshops, the Women's Leadership Development Initiative and training for female executives on corporate boards.

diversity in recruitment: how we can help

If you have workforce diversity goals that you're ready to start working towards, but you're not sure how to take the next step, we can help by optimizing your recruitment.

data on what workers want

To appeal to the broadest possible range of applicants, you need to know what modern jobseekers are looking for in a prospective employer. 

For more than 20 years, we have been conducting research into the things that really matter to employees. This information can help you build a relevant and compelling employer brand, which is essential if you want to attract and retain diverse talent.

Our latest Employer Brand Research report, for example, showed that work atmosphere is more important to Gen Z applicants than it is to millennials and Gen X, who are more likely to prioritize work-life balance and long-term job security. This sort of information could help you take a more targeted approach to recruiting workers from a range of age groups.

The findings also highlighted key differences in what employees want based on gender. Just over half (51%) of women said they saw the opportunity to buy company shares as an attractive benefit, for example, compared to six out of ten men (61%). 

fresh perspectives on your recruitment process

If you want to hire diverse talent, it makes sense to have a wide range of voices and backgrounds on your recruitment team.

This will help you to build a more inclusive hiring process, based on the insights and experience of experts who can approach the task from a number of different angles. Furthermore, having our consultants on your HR team will offer the benefit of a fresh, unbiased view of your recruitment methods, which will help you make the right changes to engage with a broader range of applicants.

Audra Jenkins, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Randstad US, advises: "Make sure you have a diverse team that's looking for diverse perspectives. That also helps the organization be more relatable to diverse talent."

targeted recruitment

Another recommendation from our chief diversity and inclusion officer is to adopt a "hunting and gathering" mindset when you want to source and engage with a wide array of talent, rather than simply "posting and praying" that diverse candidates will come to you.

We can give you access to data and HR technologies that will help you identify the best places to look for people who will improve your organization. Recruiting from our network of vetted, proven talent can also give you peace of mind that anyone you hire has the skills and experience required to do the job to a high standard.

Our dedication to promoting diversity in the modern workforce has been highlighted by various local initiatives and partnerships we have formed with non-governmental organizations, regional governments and associations that help us to find diverse talent. Examples include Without Borders, a program launched by Randstad Italy that aims to employ migrants and refugees, and our collaboration with Get Skilled Access in Australia, which focuses on breaking down barriers to employment for people with disabilities.

To learn more about how our experience and knowledge of this issue can help you put diversity at the forefront of your recruitment strategy, start a conversation with us today.

You can also download our recruitment process guide, which takes a detailed look at our 'human forward' approach to hiring.