The Data on Diverse Candidates

This year Atlassian, Boston Consulting Group and Harvard Business Review made a point to identify diversity as a conversation worth having. Diversity and inclusion are still being studied for their effects in the modern workplace. More research continues to become available pointing towards a positive relationship between diversity in offices, higher margins, and happier employees.

  • Do organizations that embrace diversity really perform better?
  • If so, how do you manage an inclusive recruitment process?

Making Sense of the Data

If you haven't yet adopted inclusive recruitment practices, you may simply not be aware of some of its highly underpublicized benefits. Harvard Business Review and Boston Consulting Group took a step back to gain insight into how diversity impacted 1,700 financial outcomes across their institutions. The study addressed the importance of inclusivity in all areas and across all types of diversity as a route to increased innovation revenues. The article published about the study, How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance, reveals that rather than a solitary channel for finding diverse candidates to help achieve these outcomes, the top performing companies rely on a variety of channels.

This strongly suggests that diversity represents a tangible missed opportunity and significant potential upside for most companies.

Competition for talent and the awareness of cultural inclusivity has raised the stakes in staffing and recruiting. Best practice companies are finding more creative ways to embrace different types of workplace diversity. Ideal office culture simply means an environment where people feel comfortable and want to spend the majority of their week. Practically speaking, the first thing any company should think about is how work gets done in the office.Atlassian’s 2018 State of Diversity Report points to several factors considered by both viewpoints; diverse candidates and potential employers. Employers that want to check their unconscious bias can do so by shortlisting staffing firms that have participated and passed a workforce inclusion training or workshop. Cultural and gender-diverse companies are unlocking profit potential, often by third-party firms. One of the ways companies can take the first step towards inclusive recruitment is by making a clear commitment to diversity in hiring.

Plan for Next Season

Making sure all of your staff have the ability to adapt to a diverse workforce will also make the culture more supportive as you grow. Bringing new talent into toxic offices can be ineffectual, or worse. Much of this can be resolved with employee engagement and setting expectations for yourself and your employees (especially new hires). Take a forward-thinking approach to hire and always be looking for talented candidates, while doing your best not to have to hire in haste.

When it comes time for succession planning, be sure to include the new employees.This means going beyond diversity at the entry-level and encourages management training and inclusion in social leadership functions. There is little point in having a ‘diverse’ workforce which is bottom heavy in terms of these groups.

Planning for 2020

Who you hire tomorrow should reflect where you want to be in a year. Agencies using inclusive hiring best practices will likely improve financial performance and create a happier, more engaged culture. While some organizations may find this without searching elsewhere, others want a more adaptable experience for both parties when compared to the firehose of anonymous, unvetted candidates and resumes from job boards. And we typically learn by what we’ve been exposed to, not knowing there is another way. The benefits of designing a culturally diverse work team are clear, but the means to that end may require significant focus, attention, and education. The good news is those companies who make a conscious effort to be inclusive will lead the way in profits, productivity and workplace satisfaction.

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