Diversity brings more perspectives to your business. 

A diverse organisation ensures that its staff is made up of a range of people.  In an ideal situation, the organisation should be aiming to be as globalised as the world outside of the office doors by hiring people who represent different races, genders, socioeconomic statuses, sexual orientations, religions, ethnicities or national origins, and mental or physical abilities.  That sounds great on paper, but what are the benefits of creating a diverse workforce and how does it translate to hiring policies?

Racial Diversity in Scotland

Often diversity is seen in terms of just multiculturalism, but it is important for businesses to think outside of the ‘ethnic’ model of diversity.  After all, Scotland is not statistically a very ethnically diverse country, with the percentage of the population identifying as white sitting at 96%[1]

A truly diverse organisation needs to integrate differences in age, sexual orientation, language, education, and more.  The fastest growing demographic in the UK workforce is women over the age of 50[2] - how is this demographic represented in your workforce?

What are the Benefits of a Diverse Workforce for a Business?

Financial Benefits

The first statistic often cited when looking at diversity is the financial benefits.  According to a study by McKinsey[3], companies in the top quartile of gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns that are above their national industry median. Companies in the top quartile of racial/ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median. 

Greater innovation

Beyond these economic benefits, a diverse workforce has been proven to boost employee engagement and performance.  In a workplace, as in our wider society, diversity will often result in a broader spectrum of ideas, creativity, and skillsets – all of which is highly beneficial in any growing business.

Source: Science Daily

More engaged employees

When people’s differences are recognised, embraced, and even celebrated within an organisation, people are more likely to be confident in their own abilities, and when people are in a position to better understand each other's different points of view, collaboration is improved, and conflict is reduced. 

Improved talent and customer acquisition and retention

Being a diverse business with a forward-thinking culture will also help with talent acquisition and retention as DEIB is now regarded as a top priority for new graduates when they are considering who to work for.  It will also improve your understanding of your customers by having people who share their experiences on your team.

Source: Glassdoor

How does this translate to hiring?

It is easy to get overwhelmed when it comes time to create a diversity recruitment strategy.  Dismantling existing entrenched hiring policies, especially in larger organisations, can seem impossible, even when everyone involved is completely sold on the benefits of diverse hiring.  The key is to focus on small steps, and you will achieve the bigger goals in time.

The first step, as with any project, is the audit.  You need to assess your current hiring practices to make certain that special care is being taken to ensure hiring is based on merit, and biases related to a candidate’s age, race, or sexual orientation are reduced.  Remember, diversity hiring is NOT workplace diversity for the sake of it but guaranteeing that at all stages of the recruitment process are designed to promote rather than hinder diversity.  That includes everything from candidate sourcing to pre-hire assessments, to contracts, and even onboarding.

While you carry out your audits, and work on creating a wider, more complete recruitment policy, there are small steps you can take right now to help improve your diversity recruitment. 

Improve your job postings by:

  1. Removing ‘masculine’ words from your job posting (try this tool to check your current ad).
  2. Ensuring there are no benefits related to religion in the description (e.g. extra ‘Christmas holidays’ might not be appealing to a Muslim candidate!).
  3. Promoting your diversity friendly characteristics, e.g. flexible working, no ‘forced’ holidays.

At your screening stage you can:

  1. Check your screening criteria for diversity hindrances – if you are known to prefer candidates from certain schools, universities, or even previous companies, you could be decreasing the diversity of your candidate pool.
  2. Try ‘blind hiring’ tools which anonymise applications to help reduce any unconscious bias in your screening process.

Small steps like this are just the beginning, but you need to start somewhere.  If you are seeking to create a diverse hiring policy – get in touch with our HR team for guidance today.

Diversity does not end at Hiring

Remember, workplace diversity doesn't just extend to hiring diverse individuals, it is about appreciating differences between individuals, and in context with the workplace, ensuring that each of these varying attributes and characteristics are valued, and that the participation of these employees is equal.

Take a look at our articles on Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging to find out more.

[1] https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/glasgow-population

[2] https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/menopause-people-professionals-top-tips_tcm18-55428.pdf

[3] https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/business%20functions/organization/our%20insights/why%20diversity%20matters/diversity%20matters.ashx