The 2023 Competitive Advantage: Leveraging Top Talent and Diversity
Gaining a competitive edge in today’s consistently changing world requires employing the best candidates. However, attracting exceptional candidates can be challenging.
In this article, we will explore how your organization can outperform others by leveraging the power of top candidates and diversity. Let’s discuss representation in the work today, the advantages of diversity, and how you can acquire the best candidates while considering diversity.
Diversity and Women in Today’s Workplace
In 2022, McKinsey and LeanIn.Org collaborated in a study collecting information on biases and barriers from 333 organizations employing over 12 million people. They surveyed over 40,000 employees and interviewed a diversity of women including LGBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, and women of color.
The research found that for every 100 men who are promoted from entry-level positions to managerial roles, only 87 women are promoted. Meanwhile, only 82 women of color are promoted. This means that men significantly outnumber women at the manager level. To add to the problem, women leaders are leaving their companies at a very high rate of 10.5 percent.¹
Related Reading: Want to Empower Women at Work? Here’s Where to Start
Advantages of Diversity and Inclusivity to Your Business
Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of diversity in companies. So, what are the advantages your business can gain from it? Here are some of them.
Increased Creativity and Innovation
A diverse team brings together people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. This diversity of ideas and thoughts can improve creativity and innovation within your business. When people with different perspectives collaborate, they are exposed to new ways of thinking. This leads to more innovative solutions and better decision-making processes.
Improved Business Performance
According to McKinsey’s research Why Diversity Matters, there is a linear relationship between ethnic and racial diversity and better performance financially. For every 10 percent increase in ethnic and racial diversity in a company’s senior-executive team, their earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 0.8 percent.²
This is because highly uncertain and competitive environments require people to be creative thinkers. Diverse collaborators were found better equipped to deliver results.
They bring fresh insights, different problem-solving approaches, and a deeper understanding of diverse markets and customer needs. This adaptability and market understanding contribute to improved business performance.
Related Reading: How an Inclusive Workplace Enables Companies to Succeed
Improved Employee Happiness and Morale
A diverse and inclusive workforce fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance among its members. When people feel valued for their unique backgrounds and perspectives, they’re more likely to be motivated, engaged, and committed to their work.
Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion create an environment where employees feel respected and supported. This positive company culture enhances job satisfaction, leading to improved employee morale.
Attracting and Retaining Top Candidates
Committing to efforts in diversity in inclusion can make your company more attractive to candidates. In today’s job market, many applicants are looking for businesses that embrace diversity and offer equal opportunities.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, approximately three out of ten workers find it very or extremely important to work at a company with a mix of employees from different races, ethnicities, ages, and sexual orientations.³
By promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), you can widen your candidate pool, attract highly skilled job seekers, and retain valuable employees who value an inclusive workplace.
Acquiring Diverse Top Candidates
Hiring diversely should be done actively and with intent. Here are the things you can do to attract top candidates.
Look for Diverse Candidate Sources
You can ensure that your candidate pool is filled with diverse individuals by sourcing candidates from different places. Avoid relying solely on the same websites repeatedly when seeking candidates. Focusing on familiar sources may result in a talent pool lacking diversity.
You can explore and engage with diverse candidates where they typically gather, such as social media platforms and offline groups for underrepresented individuals in specific fields. For example, if you’re looking for female tech experts, explore online and offline groups that cater to women in technology.
Establish a Clear, Objective Hiring Criteria
It’s important to create job postings that clearly state the responsibilities, expected outcomes, and required skills for each role.
Your hiring criteria should be objective, transparent, and established ahead of time to avoid adjusting positions during the recruitment process to fit specific applicants.
Use Neutral Language in Job Ads
Review your job promotional materials for unconscious bias. You may be unintentionally using coded language which can discourage certain applicants from applying. You can remedy this by using gender-neutral language and avoiding terms that may perpetuate stereotypes can make job ads more inclusive.
Auditing past job descriptions can also help you make adjustments and speak to a broader range of applicants. This can help you make adjustments to the language you use and speak to a broader range of applicants. You may notice that the words you use may be more geared toward a specific experience level or demographic.
Automate Resume Screening
Utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and other automation tools in your hiring process to minimize bias. These systems focus on relevant qualifications while blocking specific traits like gender, race, or age.
Through this, you can eliminate the possibility of judging applicants with information that’s irrelevant to their work experience and skills.
Form a Heterogenous Hiring Team
Having a heterogenous hiring team can help you counteract the biases that may be present in a homogenous one. Actively include people from different backgrounds of at least three at each step of your interview process so that you can gain more unique perspectives about each candidate.
Diverse perspectives can provide unique insights and prevent unconscious biases from influencing the decision-making process.
Create Achievable Diversity Targets
Before setting diversity targets, assess your current organizational composition and hiring processes. Start your process by developing metrics to track diversity at each stage of the hiring process, from the pipeline to the final composition of your workforce. This will cover the pipeline up to your final organizational composition.
For example, take note of how many people with disabilities you’ve interviewed and hired. By measuring your progress and identifying shortcomings, you can focus your efforts on areas that require improvement, ultimately working towards your diversity goals.
Seek Help from a Staffing Firm
Collaborating with a staffing firm can help advance diversity within your company. This is because staffing firms have extensive networks and databases that allow them to tap into diverse talent pools.
They have expertise in sourcing, screening, and matching candidates to specific roles, saving your company time and effort in the hiring process. Research and choose a staffing firm with a proven track record in promoting diversity and inclusion.
Related Reading: 4 Inclusive Hiring Techniques to Know in 2023
Hire Diversely to Achieve Better Business Results
Starting with leadership roles, incorporating diverse employees can help you attract a more diverse candidate pool, giving your business a competitive edge in your industry.
Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion have a higher likelihood of attracting top talent, fostering innovation, and achieving better business results.
GAIN A COMPETITIVE EDGE ON-DEMAND GROUP
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Patterning with us allows you to tap into a diverse workforce and establish authentic partnerships with potential candidates. Get in touch with us to start building strong connections!
1 “Women in the Workplace 2022.” McKinsey & Company, 18 Oct. 2022, www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace.
2 Hunt, Dame Vivian, et al. “Why Diversity Matters.” McKinsey & Company, 1 Jan. 2015, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/why-diversity-matters. Accessed 19 July 2023.
3 Minkin, Rachel. “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace.” Pew Research Center, 17 May 2023, www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2023/05/17/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-the-workplace/. Accessed 19 July 2023.