Why a Diverse Workforce Is a Competitive Differentiator

diverse employees at work

In today’s fiercely competitive business climate, enterprise companies are constantly seeking fresh strategies to outpace rivals and carve out their distinctive edge. Building a diverse workforce is rarely considered one of these strategies.

But, insights from leading large-scale orgs suggests it should be:

Diversity, though often seen mainly (or solely) through the lens of social responsibility or compliance, is increasingly being recognized as a powerful competitive differentiator for businesses small and large.

With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, a diverse workplace is no longer just a nice-to-have. It’s now essential for any org that wants to thrive — and continually attract and retain top talent.

diverse workforce

Building a diverse workforce: The right thing for enterprises — but also the smart thing

“There is broad agreement that diverse and inclusive workplaces are a good thing,” business experts Gena Cox and David Lancefield recently wrote for Harvard Business Review.

“These environments value all employees’ contributions and reflect the demographic characteristics of the available labor force,” the pair added. “Put most simply, it’s the right thing to do.”

Your enterprise, like countless others in the past decade, has undoubtedly embraced diversity and inclusion — not for the sake of appearances, but to hire a wide range of diverse individuals with numerous distinct life experiences and areas of expertise who can become valuable contributors.

Identifying, engaging, and employing people of different genders, races, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations, and physical abilities is certainly a joint effort by your C-suite, HR staff, and TA team.

That said, it’s clear it’s worthwhile, given it can help your business:

  • Attract top talent by showing you provide equal opportunities to all employees
  • Reduce employee turnover by consistently improving your work environment
  • Ensure an inclusive workforce that includes all employees in the company culture
  • Build a strong level of trust, due to leadership’s commitment to achieving DEI goals

Per Great Place to Work Culture Coaching Lead Matt Bush, DEI is “more than policies, programs, or headcounts.” Truly inclusive and equitable employers “outpace their competitors by respecting the unique needs, perspectives and potential of all their team members,” Matt added. “As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees.”

Greater innovation. Enhanced productivity. Improved collaboration. Increased profits. Greater employee engagement. It’s clear the pros of diversity hiring are many for enterprises today.

To get on your way to constructing a more diverse workforce, it’s just a matter of auditing your TA people, processes, and tech — with a big focus on the latter focus area — to set your recruiters up for success with contacting, connecting with, and converting diverse candidates.

benefits of a diverse workforce

Realizing a more diverse workforce with an advanced applicant tracking system

Nearly seven in 10 talent acquisition pros said diversity hiring is a top priority for their companies in 2023 and will be for the foreseeable future, a recent Employ Quarterly Insights Report found.

The one big need to accelerate their DEI recruiting? An advanced applicant tracking system.

Notably, ones that can help your large-scale org become a more diverse company by transforming how your recruiters and hiring team members source, nurture, interview, and evaluate diverse talent.

These include:

  • Bias mitigation: Jobvite helps mitigate both conscious and unconscious bias in recruiting. This, in turn, leads to more objective decision-making in the hiring process. Consider our Bias Blocker functionality. It automatically hides PII that could lead to bias from a candidate’s resume before it is reviewed by the hiring manager. Something job seekers certainly want to see from potential employers.
  • Inclusive employer branding: Jobvite also enables brands to develop highly inclusive messaging for their career site pages, job descriptions, and nurture campaigns (via email, text, and social media). This messaging helps them promotes the diversity and inclusivity of their orgs to active and passive candidates.
  • DEI analysis: Jobvite offers tools to track and report on the effectiveness of DEI hiring initiatives too. This allows orgs to identify the best sources for diverse talent, see the significance of DEI content, and monitor the progression of diverse applicants through the TA process​.

Look no further for evidence of a successful DEI recruiting and hiring approach executed with the aid of our advanced applicant tracking system than Jobvite customer ACCO Brands.

The multinational manufacturing company with nearly 7,000 employees in more than 20 countries across the globe has made a concerted effort to build a diverse workforce in recent years:

  • Proving to job seekers and existing employees alike that the company is a big DEI advocate and wants to form a truly diverse workforce is a primary objective for ACCO.
  • By sharing insights into its DEI initiatives in its recruitment marketing collateral and website pages, including its career site and job postings — channels its can optimize with help from Jobvite — ACCO has been able to prove its commitment to DEI. This, in turn, helps the business engage diverse talent for open roles and teams across its business.
  • ACCO’s recruiters consistently connect with passive candidates from a variety of different backgrounds who have the requisite skill sets and experience desired by hiring managers for openings on their team.

While Jobvite helps with the attraction of diverse talent, ACCO’s diversity “task force,” which has a dozen-plus members, works hard to execute and iterate on ongoing DEI initiatives and involve new and veteran employees alike in said programs. Something that aids with its retention efforts.

Chat with our team to learn how our Talent Acquisition Suite can help you build a more diverse workforce and achieve your org’s distinct DEI and growth goals.

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