Why Your Company Needs a Diverse Workforce

A retrenchment exercise is one of the hardest things for employers and employees to go through. How can a company ensure that it is done responsibly and empathetically? Read on.

Data from LinkedIN showed that compared to pre-Covid, local job seekers in industries that were badly hit have become much more likely to apply to jobs outside of their current industry. The report also noted that this trend is likely to continue as the economy recovers, so workers will consider new and different jobs when job searching from now on.

There are other trends pointing to jobseekers exploring new arenas in their careers. Randstad’s 2020 COVID-19 Labour Pulse Survey saw that 86% of respondents were motivated to upskill and re-skill in the next 12 months. Of these, 19% registered that they are looking to change their career or job industry, while 16% mentioned the fear of losing their job due to redundancy.

As workers learn new things and apply for positions outside their previous specialisations, it is logical than an organisation should embrace this mindset as well. Workforce diversification is necessary in the post-Covid world, and brings many benefits.

What is a diverse workforce?

Broadly, workforce diversity means similarities and differences among employees in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

Beyond demographics, however, workforce diversity can also incorporate employees from different educational backgrounds or work experience. Examples include promoting a diploma-holder to a formerly degree-only job, or hiring someone from a different industry.

What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?

Unfortunately, some companies can remain bound by outdated business “traditions” that reject change. To combat those beliefs, here are some compelling reasons why you should embrace a diverse workforce:

  1. Fosters respect

    As people work with others different from them, they will naturally come to learn and understand more about them and the world. This creates a culture of respect and understanding in a workplace, which is collaborative and cooperative.

  1. Conflicts can be more easily resolved and reduced

    Studies have found that workplaces with a diverse workforce experience less conflicts, and conflicts are more likely to be resolved amicably. This is because employees who acknowledge others’ differences often also actively search for common goals such as product- or service-related milestones. Respect for co-workers either reduces the likelihood of conflict or facilitates an easier road to conflict resolution.

  1. Develops employees

    A good company looks after its employee development holistically. Thus, a diverse workforce helps to foster bonds and open new opportunities. Companies interested in expanding regionally or globally will also have an advantage if their employees are used to, and familiar with, working with many different kinds of people.

How can I foster a diverse workforce?

It starts from a commitment to hire people who can do the job, no matter where they come from or what their previous experience was. Locally, there are strict laws forbidding discriminatory hiring, but it benefits a company to go deeper than that – and examine its own unconscious biases in employment.

We recommend using a customised search too like TextKernel to search for employees by skills rather than previous experience or demographics. TextKernel uses AI-powered technology to source and match candidates and jobs with ever greater speed and accuracy. Also, you can manually enter criteria into the search for TextKernel to screen, and set different levels of priority for skills, to ensure you get the best match for the job.

You may also use a job posting system like Broadbean to post your available positions on job boards and SNS simultaneously. This will ensure you reach a wider pool of candidates rather than just “the people trawling job boards”. Thus, you get in touch with applicants you might not normally have any means to contact.

Building a diverse workforce involves planning and commitment, but the rewards are manifold.

Interested in HR Solutions? Email sg.enquiry@careerbuilder.com for a demo, or contact your CareerBuilder rep to learn more. 

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