Strengthening diversity and creating an inclusive workplace has become a key priority for most of the organizations. Many reports have highlighted the benefits of having a diverse workforce and organizations have realized the relevance as well. A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19 percent higher revenues due to innovation. Besides these advantages, there is also a need to focus on diversity and inclusion as the macro trends demand for it.
While most of the world was still dealing with the problems of gender diversity, now there is a new opportunity to open doors of the companies and mindsets of leaders to make room for the LGBTQ community. Beyond gender, there are people from multiple ethnicities, religions and cultures working together. Then there is generational diversity, with the ageing workforce on one side and the new entrants, Gen Zs on the other.
When it comes to both hiring and managing these extreme demographics, there are many challenges that companies have to face today.
Although the benefits are many and diversity is good to have, it is easier said than done to manage a diverse workforce.
Ever since companies have identified the benefits of having a diverse workforce, the emphasis has been on introducing policies and initiatives that help them create a more inclusive work culture. But the concept of diversity and inclusion in itself is so vast and complex that both leaders and HR teams have not been able to wrap their heads around it yet.
However, recently there have been many innovations and advancements in the way businesses can use technology to enhance diversity. From softwares and platforms that are helping recruiters remove bias during hiring to apps enabling diverse workforce engage and collaborate better.
Using data to learn more about hiring patterns
To begin with ATS can be helpful in learning about candidates and how successful companies have been in attracting diverse candidates. Any particular organization can conveniently generate such reports and assess the data to find out the current hiring scenario.
Stockroom.io's Equiv.in is for instance a full fledged job portal for diversity talent (Women,Persons with disabilities, LGBTQ, Veterans) that helps companies list down jobs and explore candidates from an exhaustive database of diversity talent pool.
Blind Recruitment: Removing bias from the hiring process
Some hiring platforms allow recruiters to remove any and all identification details from their candidates’ resumes and applications.
There are many HR and Work Tech companies including Blendoor and Unitive that have created softwares to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process.
Creating gender neutral JDs
Textio Talent software has been dubbed "spellcheck for job postings." It uses machine learning to analyze job postings and hiring outcomes from more than 10,000 companies.
Further, Stockroom.io has built a smart augmented reading tool which helps companies to come up with the best gender neutral job descriptions to attract more diversity job applications.
Connecting a diverse workforce through tech
Other than helping companies build a more diverse workforce at hiring stage, many tech based tools can also be used to manage this diverse workforce.
The work doesn't end at just the hiring stage, in fact managing the diverse staff can be all the more difficult. As in some cases all of these employees are based out of different locations and spread across geographies. Linguistic, cultural and sometimes socio-economic differences create communication gaps among employees and hampers the overall performance of teams and in turn businesses.
Therefore some basic business tools like video conferencing, collaborative apps and workplace tools such as Slack, and Workplace by Facebook, among others, can be leveraged by companies to better manage the diverse workforce.
Technology, clearly presents many opportunities but it is only a facilitator and not a completely dependant solution to the diversity challenge.
Naren Krishna, CEO of Equiv.in reiterates the same and says, "Diversity is a problem which cannot be solved just with technology. While technology will enable us to solve the problem at a scale, a great deal of this problem still has got to do with the mindset issues."
Hence, HR teams and leaders have to play a role and engage internal workforce in meaningful conversations, stories, workshops and also constantly identify the best practices that other companies in the industry are following.