It is a job-seeker’s market right now. There are more jobs available than there are quality candidates, so anything employers can do to set themselves up for hiring success will be worth the time and effort.
Fortunately, for companies who are working toward a goal of increased workplace diversity, there are more opportunities than ever to achieve it. Not only are more women working and seeking higher positions than ever, minority groups are empowered to establish their voice in the workplace. In fact, having a diverse workforce is more imperative to the long-term viability of companies than ever before. Here are seven ways in which that fact plays out.
Bigger share of the market
A diverse workforce – one that includes women, ethnic and racial minorities, and gay or transgendered employees – offers a lot more insight into the minds of consumers than a homogeneous worker set. The unique perspectives that employees of varying backgrounds and experiences bring to the table can only assist in the effort to reach customers of all interests, nationalities, and circumstances. Indeed, there is no better way to understand the needs and desires of the whole population than having representatives from each group on the payroll. These insights can help companies capture a larger chunk of the consumer market.
More qualified workforce
As stated above, there are fewer quality job candidates available in the employment market at this time. Employers may struggle to build a healthy applicant pool. However, by looking outside their traditional resources in the search for diverse candidates, employers stand a better chance at finding high-quality applicants from all sorts of backgrounds. Casting the widest net possible to gather the candidates from all walks of life will not only lead to an easier hiring process, it also will create a more qualified workforce after the hiring is complete.
Better for recruiting efforts
On a related note, job seekers who can actually see that a company is striving to hire women, minorities, and other underrepresented workers are more likely to apply themselves. This is particularly true of the millennial generation, who are known to value diversity in the places they choose to work. Companies that already have created a diverse workplace environment can tout that fact in future recruiting efforts and enjoy a more enthusiastic applicant pool as a result. They can also network with current workers, encouraging them to send qualified candidates to the human resources department when an opening is available.
Lower employment turnover
Minority employees who feel uncomfortable on the job because there are no other people like them in the office or because they feel they are being marginalized are not likely to stick around long. High turnover rates are often costly because of the many resources that must be devoted to filling open positions. These expenses, in turn, cut into the company’s profits. Recruiting a diverse workforce will increase the likelihood that workers will be content in their workplace and be focused on long-term employment.
The old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” fits particularly well when it comes to innovation. If all of the workers on the payroll share a similar background, there is little chance they are in tune with the specific nuances of minority groups. This can make innovation difficult. However, when employees with different life experiences get together to discuss new ideas, they bring their own unique perspectives to the process. They can see a need or desire that no one else had considered. Diverse workers bring fresh ideas, and that’s crucial for disrupting any industry.
Show the mark of modernity
Job seekers and consumers are increasingly interested in patronizing businesses that appreciate the importance of workplace diversity. They like to go into a store and see faces of many colors represented among the staff. Businesses leading the way in this effort show that they are moving forward and embracing the melting pot that built the United States. In fact, the Center for American Progress predicts that by 2050, the country will have no ethnic or racial minority. Companies that want to stamp themselves as current and inclusive are wise to hire a workforce that represents many groups.
Grow the economy
Finally, women and minority groups are driving economic growth in the United States. Women of all racial and ethnic groups hold 47 percent of jobs today. They are in the best position to strengthen and grow the economy in the long term. Yet, as diversity expert Luke Visconti has found, women are most often on the receiving end of discriminatory hiring practices. Companies that are slow to add women and minorities to their staff may fall behind on profits and growth.
Counting workforce diversity as a top company goal is just good business. It can boost the bottom line as well as attract quality applicants in the future. Any business that does not embrace the practice will likely get left behind by those that do.
For more on workplace diversity makes good business sense, see Why Diversity Should Be More Than Just A Company Initiative.