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Diversity at work: Big benefits with recruitment

Diversity at work. Best-practice organisations strive for diversity and inclusion, and for many sound reasons.

face2face celebrates diversity internally and is across this important topic so we can support employers to think carefully about diversity as an essential component of all recruitment. Understanding and respecting diversity also enables us to support candidates in their search for meaningful employment.

We’re a committed member of the Diversity Council of Australia, which works across 11 diversity dimensions, including: age; gender; culture and religion; race; mental health; disability and accessibility LBGTIQ+; and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This independent, not-for-profit peak body leads diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It has over 1,300 members.

This expert article touches on important reasons employers should embed diversity and inclusion into their recruitment activities.

What is diversity at work?

Diversity in the workplace means employing people from a wide range of backgrounds.

What is diversity in recruiting?

Hiring with diversity and inclusion in mind means hiring based on merit and equal opportunity. It’s hiring without bias towards a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and multiple other personal characteristics that don’t relate to an individual’s ability to perform in their job.

It means hiring the best person for the job based on their education, knowledge, experience and soft and hard capabilities. It means providing equal opportunities for all candidates. Last, but not least, it means recruiting without conscious or unconscious bias. This includes in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and at all levels and in all industries.

What are the benefits of diversity and recruitment?

Selecting staff in line with a sound diversity strategy enables your organisation to:

  • tap into the best talent for the position
  • enrich your organisation by positioning it to incorporate diverse views and perspectives and therefore think more strategically, laterally and creatively
  • gain a competitive advantage on multiple levels, including by attracting new clients and better serving existing clients
  • increase profits across a range of metrics and improve your overall financial sustainability
  • improve staff health and wellbeing, with respect for all employees and no fear of discrimination and harassment.

Diversity and inclusion can make your organisation more innovative, productive and profitable. It has also been known to improve staff engagement and retention.

Develop a workplace diversity recruitment approach

Don’t just talk about diversity in your workplace. Act on it.

Diversity and recruitment are most successful when a formal policy, strategy and action plan are in place. This must cover your goals, how you’ll measure success and what metrics you need to work with.

Be proactive, not reactive. Engaging employees based on diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be an afterthought. Rather it should be methodical and systematic.

This involves explicitly building a brand that showcases diversity and inclusion; one that appeals to diverse candidates, including:

  • in your position advertisements (conducting an initial audit will help) so you speak to a broader range of candidates with more inclusive language
  • on your website (written content and visual content), which most potential employees look at before deciding to apply for jobs.

Also remember that embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is a journey. Start by assessing your level of maturity and build from there.

Use a professional recruitment company

Talk to a professional recruiter about innovative ways to cover diversity and inclusion when looking for employees. Expert recruiters work with diversity and inclusion daily. The best ones:

  • understand the importance of diversity and inclusion
  • have extensive databases with diversity and inclusion metrics tagged for easy referencing
  • are experts at weaving inclusive language into position advertisements
  • can advise on factors you need to consider and screen for
  • support you in developing interview questions that cover diversity and inclusion
  • can advise on using blind resumes when vetting candidate applications
  • have extensive networks of talent across a wide range of backgrounds

Final tips

  • Join the Diversity Council of Australia to stay on top of this key topic.
  • Develop a diversity policy, then monitor and measure its implementation.
  • Train staff on the laws surrounding disadvantaging employees and job seekers because of attributes such as race, colour, gender, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, social class and even political opinion.
  • Celebrate diversity internally, including with religious holidays and community events.

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