If you look around your workplace - whether that is an office, a school, a restaurant, a bar or a shop, you’ll probably see a mix of people. That’s because the value of a diverse workforce is widely acknowledged across many work forces and sectors. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report, diversity is the number one trend shaping the future of hiring and recruitment. The survey of nearly 9000 talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers found that in today’s society, diversity is directly linked to company culture and financial performance. The global recruiting trends report showed that:
- 78% of companies prioritise diversity to improve culture
- 62% of companies prioritise diversity to boost financial performance
- 49% of companies prioritise diversity to better represent its customers.
But what does diversity mean?
For many years, diversity in recruitment meant how well your company embodies a range of different people. However - today diversity goes even further and there are three elements involved within it. These three elements are:
- Diversity Representation
It is important that companies not only represent a diverse community but that they also ensure the individuals within that workplace feel like they are both included and belong within that community. Even at the most diverse of companies, employees are likely to disengage and leave if they do not feel included and accepted within that company’s culture. LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report found that more companies than ever are focusing on all three elements of diversity to ensure new hires stick with that company. The report found:
- 51% of companies are very focused on diversity
- 52% of companies are very focused on inclusion
- 57% of companies are very focused on belonging.
Where is diversity focused?
From the global recruiting trends report, it is clear that gender and race are the red-hot topics within diversity:
- 71% of companies focus on gender
- 49% of companies focus on race and ethnicity
- 48% of companies focus on age
- 43% of companies focus on educational differences
- 32% of companies focus on disabilities
- 19% of companies focus on religion
Why aren’t more companies diverse?
Very few companies have actually cracked the code on diversity. LinkedIn’s data found that many companies wish that they could be more diverse but they struggle to find diverse candidates for some job roles. The study found that the biggest barriers to improving diversity are as follows:
- 38% of companies believe the biggest barrier is finding diverse candidates to interview
- 27% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is retaining diverse employees
- 14% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is getting diverse candidates past interview stage
- 8% of companies believe that the biggest barrier is getting diverse candidates to accept the offer
- 14% of companies believe it is none of these.
How do companies support diversity?
So the report shows that diversity is important and that more companies should embody it into the way their company is run. The question this leads to is how? How can companies ensure that they are supporting diversity within the company? The LinkedIn global recruiting trends report found that:
- 67% of companies foster an environment that respects differing opinions
- 52% of companies encourage people to be themselves at work
- 47% of companies have leaders acknowledge importance of diversity
- 45% of companies embed diversity in company mission and values
- 44% of companies emphasise diversity of leadership team.
How do companies show candidates they value diversity?
Once you have an inclusive culture, recruiting diverse talent is much easier. The global recruiting trends report found that companies show candidates that they value diversity by:
- 52% of companies use diverse employees in web and print materials
- 35% of companies present diverse interview panels
- 30% of companies talk about employee resource groups
- 28% of companies recruit at schools with diverse student bodies.
So what can we do?
Unfortunately, no easy answer to the global lack of diversity exists which is why inequality is still so alive in 2018. However, the positive trend of companies starting to address this matter does seem to be building momentum to help balance this issue. Putting this on the agenda at your company and highlighting the positive values of other companies that are striving to achieve diversity is a great way to start and move things forward in the right direction.
The best advice is not to have a diversity strategy – but to embody it into your company culture and mind-set. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to live in a world where there are overt rules and regulations in order to have an inclusive, equal workspace and we believe that company culture is a huge part of the solution. Of course, if a company doesn't have this ideal culture in place, a diversity strategy would be a good place to start to foster the correct company culture. Companies need to ensure that your company uses inclusive language, empowers employees to tell their stories and promote inclusion. Think about unconscious bias in your workplace and deliver clear messages to all members of staff about the importance of diversity.
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