As a business leader, one of your main goals should be fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace. Putting DEIA first shows that you respect people from different walks of life and encourage individuality. This is essential, especially in today’s hiring market. Before accepting a job offer, many employees look at a company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. If you want to hire the best talent, you must encourage DEIA.
Improving your company’s DEIA can also help you attract more customers. Rather than sticking to one demographic, you can broaden your marketing campaigns to reflect your DEIA values. More customers equal higher revenue. But that doesn’t mean your focus should only be on the money. Your focus should be on using DEIA to promote a diverse workplace.
Even though DEIA offers several benefits, many companies still don’t make it a priority. Whether that’s because they don’t know how or find it too daunting, it seems a focus on DEIA isn’t as prevalent as hoped. Thankfully, there are ways you can improve your company’s DEIA efforts, and here are three of them:
1. Rethink the Hiring Process
It’s important that leaders work to diversify their teams. Clearly, the best place to start is during the hiring process. One source of diverse hires that many businesses overlook is international employees, perhaps because they fear global hiring will be too complicated. But the explosive growth in remote work makes this a real possibility for companies of all sizes. And fortunately, the process can be greatly facilitated by engaging an employer of record.
An EOR is an entity that employs an individual on behalf of another company. For example, let’s say your business is in the U.S., but you want to diversify your candidate pool by hiring someone from Nigeria. An EOR with a presence in Nigeria can hire employees locally to work for your U.S.-based company. Not only will an EOR hire employees for you, but it will also take care of administrative functions and payroll processing.
In the example above, the EOR would be the official employer and handle international employer requirements, such as taxes, benefits, etc. This takes the pressure, and potential liability, off of your plate and helps you onboard the perfect candidate.
Working with an EOR is ideal for companies looking to diversify their workplace. It enables you to hire people from different countries who can bring different perspectives, skills, and knowledge to help your business succeed.
2. Create Employee Resource Groups
You may be wondering, “What’s an employee resource group?” Think of it as a club for people with similar interests and beliefs. There are employee resource groups for women, people with disabilities, people of color, and so on. ERGs are important because they promote inclusion and diversity and can also have an external impact on a company’s success.
ERGs have existed since the 1960s, when they were created during the Civil Rights Movement to assist unrepresented employees. Today, ERGs foster inclusion by bringing like-minded individuals together to connect, share, and inspire. These groups also offer professional development opportunities, like conferences and educational activities. ERGs aim to create a more inclusive work environment by ensuring everyone has the tools and skills to advance.
In addition to helping current employees, ERGs help companies attract diverse talent. Whether that’s by advertising their events or having an active presence online, they demonstrate a company’s commitment to DEIA. And as mentioned above, candidates look at a company’s DEIA practices before making a decision to accept a job offer.
As a business leader, there are several ways you can encourage your employees to create ERGs. Consider appointing someone to manage the ERGs, such as a human resources or operations team member. This person won’t be the leader of every ERG; they’ll just offer support. Then have a meeting or send out an email explaining the purpose of ERGs to your employees. This lets you gauge interest and gets people excited about participating in an ERG.
3. Use Data
Data is a powerful tool that can help you create a roadmap for your DEIA efforts. Before doing anything, take a look at the data. For instance, determine the current demographics of your workforce. Do you employ more men than women? And don’t just focus on race and gender; assess the average age of your employees, education, and even experience.
Once you know where your company stands, you can plan for the future. For example, let’s say you discover your company has a much higher percentage of men than women. Why is this? Maybe your website only showcases males, or your job postings use language like “ninja” and “industry domination” that women find off-putting. Many companies aren’t aware that they’re attracting the same type of candidates. That’s why thinking outside the box and leading with DEIA is essential.
Instead of always featuring men, consider highlighting your female workers. Share social media posts celebrating women-focused holidays, like International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. These small things can make a huge difference in whether someone applies for a job with your company. Not to mention, these acknowledgements will make your female employees feel more valued and understood.
According to a LinkedIn Gender Insights Report, women are 16% less likely to apply for a job after viewing it than men. That means you’ll need to go a few extra steps to make them feel comfortable. Having a company presence that clearly celebrates women can go a long way in getting them to apply.
Prioritizing diversity and inclusion means hiring people from different walks of life who can contribute ideas to help your business thrive. In addition, improving DEIA efforts creates a workplace where people feel connected and valued and thus are more likely to stay long-term. Leading with DEIA may be the best thing you can do for your business.