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How Committed is Your Business to Diversity?

As our modern society continues to evolve - freedom of movement, retiring baby boomers and continuing efforts to break the glass ceiling mean that the previously white male dominated workforce is forever evolving. These changes have resulted in the rhetoric around diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and by extension in the recruitment process, gaining substantially more momentum in recent years.

Incorporating a comprehensive diversity and inclusion programme into your business serves three vitally important purposes. Not only does it fulfil an ethical obligation and serve to ensure that the widest talent pools are available to hiring managers - it is also proven to result in financial performance superior to that of companies who do not enjoy the benefits of a diverse workplace. It is for these reasons that a rapidly increasing number of major hiring organisations are implementing, and requiring all of their suppliers to comply with, ambitious diversity and inclusion programmes.

Ethically, we know that discounting potential hires due to any of the characteristics identified in the United Kingdom’s Equality Act 2015 is not the way to conduct business. While this is an easy statement to make, ensuring that this doesn’t occur in practice takes commitment, accountability and the ongoing support of senior management. Recruiting diversely is just the first step in the process – ensuring that candidates who incorporate one or more of these characteristics feel supported and are successfully integrated into the workforce is also of vital importance.

McKinsey released a study in 2015 demonstrating that companies who were more diverse across gender, race and ethics are more likely to enjoy financial returns well above their national industry median. They are better able to attract top talent and can more successfully orient themselves towards the needs of their clients. The suggestion is that those companies who maintain and champion a diverse workforce offer an additional selling point and as such are being rewarded with an increase in market share percentage over time.

Specifically in the United Kingdom, the results of this study are overwhelmingly in favour of diversity – with companies championing gender diversity within their senior management teams enjoying a 3.5% increase in EBITDA for every 10% increase in female presence.

This level of commitment to diversity and inclusion is becoming increasingly evident, with many large, multi-national corporations (whom I am sure make up a decent portion of many an agency’s client base) featuring in the United Kingdom’s D&I Top 50 list. These include EY, AT&T, PWC, Johnson & Johnson and KPMG to name a few.

Recruitment agencies are in a position to reap the benefits of these results two-fold, both in their internal workforce and their commitment to diversity when presenting candidates to their clients. Agencies are now commonly called upon to assist clients in achieving this balance and in some instances this is now a requirement for doing business – for all of the reasons mentioned above. The question is now – will they answer the call?

So, your business is diverse but are you inclusive? The next blog covering that exact topic will be coming soon.

If you wish to discuss the benefits of diversity and inclusion from a hiring perspective our consultants are able to help. Please contact us on +44 (0)20 3808 3111.