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Diversity in the Workplace: Why Inclusive Hiring Leads to Success 

Consider your company as it stands right now: to what extent does it reflect the growing diversity of our population? South Africa is often described as a melting pot of cultures and creeds, yet our workplaces don’t always seem to reflect that diversity.

In recent years, organisations have experienced increased social pressure from individuals, communities, and the government to take more significant steps to improve their hiring policies and practices. If you want to count your organisation among those investing in inclusivity and workplace diversity this year, we encourage you to read on.

The Need for More Inclusive Hiring

It is vital that organisations have policies and processes in place that promote fair inclusion and recruitment of candidates. BBBEE policies are there to level the playing field for candidates from marginalised communities to have fair opportunities to apply for jobs in their chosen fields. Equality and appropriate access should be given to all qualified potential candidates, regardless of their:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Culture 
  • Economic background
  • Disability or differently-abled status
  • Sexual orientation

In other words, inclusive hiring is about offering all viable candidates the opportunity to have a seat – and a voice – at the table of your organisation.

The Benefits of an Inclusive Workplace

A recruitment strategy prioritising fair access for all will serve your organisation in more ways than you might realise. There are significant internal and external benefits to an inclusive hiring approach. We unpack some of the key benefits below.

1. Diversity and Difference

Diversity is a good thing whether you represent a small startup or a large corporation. Different backgrounds and perspectives can only add value to your organisation, with benefits such as: 

  • Unique and varied solutions to challenges 
  • A broad spectrum of creativity
  • Experiences from a variety of contexts
  • Opportunities to learn and appreciate people’s differences

Diversity reduces one-dimensional ways of doing business and prioritises each team member’s humanity and unique contributions.

2. Elimination of Bias

Despite their best intentions to remain fair, recruiters may unintentionally see potential candidates through a biased lens. With a robust and inclusive hiring process in place, bias can be reduced and even removed from the recruitment process, as recruiters have to consider the conscious and unconscious biases that could influence the success of specific candidates. In addition to this, inclusive policies can also expose any unfair interpersonal treatment among existing co-workers.

3. Attract Great Talent (and Keep It)

Fair recruitment processes will give your organisation greater access to a diverse workforce with exceptional skills and qualifications. Professionals want to work for companies that make space for their communities to be fairly represented. 

Remember, it would be unwise to believe that your organisation holds the upper hand in attracting talent. The success of your organisation is rooted in the satisfaction of your employees. McKinsey & Company indicated that 39 percent of candidates would turn down a job offer or drop out of a hiring funnel if a company needs inclusion. It’s a big deal; poor hiring policies could rob your organisation of the right people.

4. Improve Your Reputation

It won’t take long for word to spread about your organisation’s inclusive hiring policies. This will positively impact your company’s reputation within your sector and among potential employees. Qualified candidates will want to work with you. Why? An organisation that places such an emphasis on diverse recruitment sends a message that its employees are highly valued and accepted. This contributes to greater employee happiness and they’ll be less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.

Furthermore, you will find that consumers and suppliers want to do business with organisations that value inclusivity, so a positive reputation serves you in every aspect of your business.   

5. Boost Your Revenue

Your bottom line also benefits from inclusive hiring policies supporting BBBEE. Recent studies indicate that companies committed to maintaining a diverse team are 70% more likely to break into new markets than companies that don’t have a diverse team. Furthermore, a study done by Harvard Business Review found that companies with higher-than-average diversity levels earn 19 percent higher innovation revenues than less diverse companies.

Other benefits of BBBEE compliance include: 

  • Competitive advantages over non-compliant organisations
  • Greater access to new business in new markets
  • Consideration for government tenders
  • Opportunities to demonstrate their social responsibility and transformation efforts
  • Access to funding and capital
  • Tax benefits and incentives

Barriers to Improved Inclusivity in the Workplace

As much as there is a great need for more diverse representation in our country’s economy, we face significant challenges that reinforce barriers to greater inclusion, namely:

These barriers continue to limit opportunities for talented, hardworking candidates to access employment in their desired fields. 

We believe that a commitment to inclusion also entails ongoing skills development and training. It is the key to achieving greater diversity in your organisation as it consciously works to improve representation, especially among marginalised groups.

Invest in Inclusivity. Contact Summit Today!

We are passionate about transforming our country’s workforce through in-demand, value-adding, custom learning solutions and training that uplift individuals and communities. Summit forms part of the Invictus Education Group and is a Level 1 BBBEE provider. Partner with us and benefit from our scalable, end-to-end training solutions available across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our services include recruitment, a focus on learner retention, learner throughput rate, and job placement. Contact Summit today to learn how we can help strengthen your organisation’s commitment to inclusivity.