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By Carl Baxter

Managing Partner

Posted on: 6 August 2020

Diversity and inclusion: why it matters to talent acquisition and your bottom line

The top quarter of businesses in terms of gender diversity outperform competitors by 15%. If we replace gender diversity with ethnic diversity then that jumps to 35%. True diversity and inclusion in the workplace is beneficial in many ways, but the easiest way to quantify it is by looking at the bottom line. We can’t argue with it – diversity and inclusion is good business sense.

However, it’s one thing to know this, and another to facilitate it within an organisation. Strategically it hinges on recruitment practices, if you want to make notable improvements. But it particularly rests on executive search. By ensuring diversity at the executive level, and creating an inclusive culture from the top down, an organisation stands to embrace the benefits more fully.

What does diversity and inclusion in the workplace mean

Diversity in the workplace is about ensuring a spectrum of individuals within the organisation that fairly represent the mixture of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of the society in which it operates. It therefore encompasses a number of different elements including:

  • Race and ethnicity
  • Sex and gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Disability
  • Socioeconomic status

Many of these characteristics are also protected characteristics, meaning that they cannot be used as a means of discriminating, under UK law.

However, diversity alone doesn’t tell the full story. Inclusion is how different groups are included within the organisation, not just ensuring they aren’t discriminated against. For example, inclusivity will ensure that you don’t only have a socially representative number of women in the workplace, but you have structures and processes in place to ensure that women can contribute on an equal footing and access equal opportunities.

How does a diverse and inclusive workplace benefit the business?

When an organisation harnesses diversity and inclusion, they benefit from a greater range of skills and aptitudes. The sum of the whole becomes even greater than it would normally be. All contribute to a stronger bottom line.

Some benefits include:

·       Innovative and creative thought processes

With teams comprised of individuals from similar backgrounds, there are limits to their innovative and creative abilities. Diverse teams are typically better at identifying and developing new ideas. It is through creativity and innovation that organisations grow.

·       Larger talent pools

Welcoming diversity opens up more potential for your talent search. It isn’t limited by closed options, but instead widens your options with a larger number of high quality candidates.

·       Retention

A fascinating Harvard Business Review article explores how inclusivity massively impacts staff retention. Diversity alone here isn’t enough. However, when inclusivity is given genuine importance in an organisation, then employees feel respected, motivated and engaged. At the executive level this is particularly valuable. Valued talent is loyal talent, and will be aligned with the business, ensuring they stay longer.

·       Lower talent search costs

With reduced turnover of staff, you save on search and recruitment fees. Nurturing your diverse talent, and ensuring an inclusive workforce, prevents unnecessary recruitment costs.

·       Improved reputation

Customers and clients increasingly expect the businesses they interact with to mirror their own values. Diversity is increasingly being expected in all walks of life. Therefore, to grow and maintain your reputation, you need to take diversity seriously.

How to create a diverse and inclusive workplace?

It’s easy to understand the importance of a diverse and inclusive workplace. It’s another matter to achieve it in practice. It’s impossible to give blanket advice for all organisations, in all situations. However, there are some good general practices.

Predominantly your strategic approach should start at the talent search stage. Using an agency, such as Stanton Keller, you can avoid unconscious bias which may exist within your organisation. Helping you to navigate the pitfalls of unconscious bias, you can embrace the recruitment process focusing deeply on skills and attributes, rather than simply recruiting ‘like for like’ and thus eliminating the benefits of diversity.

We can’t assert strongly enough that this is even more important in executive search. Ensuring diversity is given attention at the highest level of the organisation will ensure a diverse leadership team. In turn, this will ensure a diverse culture grows in the organisation.

Diversity in your talent search

We take diversity seriously when it comes to your executive search, fully understanding the implications it has for your organisational success. We look at diversity in your organisation, but also in your industry, in order to identify how a strategic approach will put you ahead of competitors and always secure you the best talent.

To ensure diversity in your talent search please call us on +44 (0) 203 893 3050.

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To find out more about how Stanton Keller have assisted global corporations with Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Mapping, Talent Pipelining and Executive Search then speak to an expert on +44 (0) 203 983 3050 or email search@stantonkeller.com.