Consumers and professionals alike are all becoming more aware of the issues that minority groups face every day. The public’s collective tolerance for inequality of any kind is growing weaker by the day, and companies are now scrambling to keep up with the changes consumers and potential employees want to see in business and in the workplace.
The beginnings of this cultural shift has been seen in marketing campaigns for several years now. Companies like Dove, Pepsi and H&M attempted to capitalise on consumer sentiment toward diversity and inclusion, but each faced a major profit-damaging backlash as a result. The main issue with these campaigns is that they attempt to jump on the diversity bandwagon but lack substance – consumers and employees are intelligent beings and will spot this a mile off. People are no longer willing to accept companies paying lip-service to issues they care about: your business needs to keep up.
It’s too easy to add diversity to the list of business priorities, but for it to slowly slide off the radar because no one really wants to take responsibility for such a sensitive and important issue. Companies who have not been caught up in a diversity, equality or inclusion scandal may also feel that they can continue to operate the same way they always have with impunity. If they maintain this attitude, these businesses are unlikely to exist 20 years from now.
Not only will consumers cease purchasing from a company who disregards their values or fails to include them, potential candidates will also be put off from applying. A mixture of lost revenue and an inaccessible talent pool means that companies who ignore diversity, deliberately or not, will almost certainly suffer in the very near future.
Companies with more than 250 staff based in the UK are already obligated to report their gender pay gap, and there are already calls for ethnic pay gap reporting to become mandatory too. The UK may be at the forefront of legislating against this issue, but companies in other territories are already adopting the practice in anticipation of similar regulations being brought into other countries.
Firstly, recruitment partners are on the ground hearing what candidates say about companies and how they feel about their employer brand. This can provide valuable insight for C-suite executives who may never actually meet potential candidates. Glassdoor reviews are of limited use in this situation – more often than not they record opinions of people who have already interacted with the company, but a large talent pool may already be giving your organisation a wide berth.
Recruitment professionals can also ask you the right questions. If you request more diverse shortlists, they’ll ask what your current diversity ratios are and why that’s the case. If you don’t know the answer, there’s your starting point.
Benchmarking can also be an incredibly useful tool for establishing the competitor landscape, and your recruitment partner can usually help with this. Finding out what packages your competitors are offering, where they’re hiring, which universities they partner with and what kind of flexibility they offer can be an eyeopener in terms of why your company may be lagging behind on the diversity spectrum.
To find out how we can help you increase the diversity of your organisation, contact us today.