Diversity and inclusivity have become a more visible aspect of a modern workforce. Most talent acquisition strategies these days take diversity into account when making hiring decisions. It is no longer a question of sourcing the talent with the necessary skills; businesses now also have to meet internal and external diversity requirements, in addition to satisfying their internal staffing needs.
However, most industries are lagging in terms of engaging diverse and inclusive hires. In the tech industry, however, companies are investing heavily in acquiring skilled talent and a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. Find out why this is so critical in 2022.
Having a homogenous workforce can often indicate a problem with hiring. Of course, this may not always be a conscious bias. It can also be a consequence of the structure of the in-house recruiting model. For example, hiring managers usually have more say than recruiters in decentralized recruitment. In most cases, the recruiting team only steps in when it is time to make an offer to those candidates that the hiring manager shortlists.
In the tech world, companies are pushing aggressively to build diversity among their workforces. Here are some key reasons why tech firms are more open than ever to vibrant and diverse talent:
Weakening Bias with Remote Working
The COVID-19 pandemic keeps popping up in business contexts and for good reason. It has proven to be an unprecedented disruption with broad-ranging impacts, some of which are still in flux. Among the many things, conventional workplace models seem to have undergone the most visible transformation. The foremost example is remote work, which is becoming the standard rather than the exception.
While businesses had (and still have) concerns about remote working as a permanent replacement for conventional workplaces, there is no denying its potential. Yes, it is harder to work with stakeholders, like a mortgage staffing agency without in-person interaction, but the benefits often outweigh the inconvenience. One of the foremost benefits is the access to talent pools that businesses previously did not consider practicable.
In the tech industry particularly, businesses have found recruiting remote workers from different countries and time zones to be a smart move. Tech companies now routinely enlist workers across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States. The lower payroll and business costs aside, the pandemic has, at the very least, helped to break down hiring biases.
Readjusting Employer Brand Image
Other factors have been in play even before the pandemic. Social norms and employee expectations have changed over the years. There is very little tolerance these days for discrimination, both in professional and personal circles. Any hint of racism, homophobia, sexism, or ableism can turn an individual or an organization into an undesirable.
One of the reasons employers are putting more emphasis on diversity hiring is to minimize any chances of the “discriminatory” label being attached to them. Many businesses now promptly follow up any accusations of bias or exclusion with a serious workplace investigation process to better understand the root cause.
Increasing the Workforce Innovation Quotient
There is a lot more to diversity hiring than simply keeping up with the times or preventing the negative perception associated with an employer’s brand. Homogenous workforces comprised of workers with similar backgrounds, academic histories, skills, and employment histories run the risk of becoming an echo chamber. Groupthink can cripple an organization’s vision and its ability to innovate.
By comparison, diverse workforces have varied backgrounds, academic histories, and life experiences. This plurality is an essential ingredient when it comes to workplace innovation. In business, and especially among tech businesses, an innovative workforce is a key to long-term survival and growth.
Preserving a Positive Perception Among Customers
No business can thrive without a sustainable customer base, but very few clients are receptive to working with a tech firm that has a reputation for exclusionary or discriminatory practices. Failure to recognize the shift toward diversity and inclusivity could cause firms to miss out on significant business opportunities. Tech firms, in particular, aim to become globally recognized names and attempt to acquire users across geographical borders.
However, unless misplaced bias and discrimination are addressed properly, a tech firm may soon find itself with a stellar product/service and no client base. Ultimately, it could cause all revenue streams to dry up, leading to collapse.