Can RPO Services Enhance Workforce Diversity?
“Diversity matters because a diverse group of employees can produce more innovative solutions.” – Corey Anthony, CEO of AT&T
The Importance of workplace diversity and inclusion has become more and more prominent over the years. As our society develops, so do workplace perceptions, this includes the fight for equal opportunity and representation. Many companies have come to realize that it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the only way to survive. A workplace that is not inclusive and diverse enough creates a very biased setting for employees.
This in turn has many negative effects such as turning the office space into a breeding ground for dissent and dissatisfaction. That is never a good thing for a company that wants to keep its turnover rate low. Workplace diversity has become the norm, as opposed to the exception. This is a great indicator of company policies and the progress we have made in the realm of business. However, there is always room for improvement, and that’s where recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) comes into play. In this article, we will first explore what exactly workplace diversity is. We will then move on to what role recruitment process outsourcing plays in that.
Workplace diversity is an important component in any company in the 21st Century!
What is Workplace Diversity?
Workplace diversity is essentially a principle in the workplace that maintains a point of convergence for people from all walks of life. This means making it a welcoming place for people’s similarities and differences. Regardless of their age, cultural background, ethnicity, disabilities, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, they should have equal representation. However, this is just a broad description. We will get into the different, specific categories shortly. The point is that, with a better understanding of the basics of a diverse workspace, we can begin to understand why it’s become such an essential part of the modern workplace.
We will also be able to understand how an RPO firm can help shape your corporate identity through the improvement of workplace diversity. It’s a cause-and-effect essentially.
Important Types of Workplace Diversity to Keep an Eye On
Regardless of where you work these days, it’s a near certainty that there will be people from all walks of life. Now, with all these different factors of workplace diversity to consider such as race, religion, ethnicity, and so on, we need to look at it from a perspective of a recruiter — just for the sake of simplification and understanding.
1) Experience-Based Diversity: This category refers to people of different levels of experience. This can be life experience as well as professional experience. You can be a parent who didn’t work for quite some years and are looking to re-enter the workforce, or a military veteran looking for a change of pace. Regardless, if you meet the standards of the company’s requirements you deserve that equal opportunity to work there as well.
2) Educational Diversity: In this day and age, many of us don’t work in the fields we studied for. You could have studied engineering and still work in marketing and advertising. It can also refer to different levels of education such as a person who only finished high school or an MBA. Again, as long as you have the skills to get the job done, then you deserve a shot.
3) Fundamental Diversity: This category refers to the beliefs of different persons and the value system within the company, which should ideally encompass and hold equal opportunity for anyone, regardless of their beliefs or values. It says a lot about the company’s relationship with the employees and the standard of ethics therein.
What Role Does the RPO Play in Establishing Workplace Diversity?
The benefit of creating an inclusive workspace within an organization is that employees will feel more comfortable being a part of the company. This has many positive impacts on the business at the end of the day, a fact that is not lost on RPO agencies. recruitment process outsourcing firms will go the extra mile to understand what kind of corporate culture they want to create and will then align the recruitment strategy accordingly.
Here are a few key ways in which an RPO firm can help you maintain diversity.
1) Attracting and Retaining Talent: With the aid of an RPO company, prospective employees and candidates alike will take notice of your company’s job openings if it’s represented in the right light. Why? Simple – employees want to be part of a place that makes them feel included and accepted. RPOs will make sure that this inclusive culture is emphasized, enticing recruits to join your ranks. As far as retention goes, it will also improve as employee satisfaction will also go up!
Boosting the Company's Image
2) Employer Branding: Through the genuine recruitment efforts of a good RPO agency, your name as an employer will permeate the industry. They will make sure that your business communicates the right message in terms of ethics, mission, and vision. They become your brand ambassador. Think about it, you can have the most inclusive workspace, but it needs to be communicated and represented in the right way to have any meaningful impact. RPO agencies can help you accomplish this feat.
3) A Unified Front: While there are many benefits to team diversity and an inclusive workplace, there are certain drawbacks. One such drawback, well it’s more of an unavoidable outcome, is that people from diverse backgrounds may not communicate as a unified front at all times. Different people have different opinions. This is where recruitment process outsourcing comes to the rescue once more. As they attract more diversity to your organization, they also present a unified team message for the customer-facing communication efforts. It’s a balancing act, one that a quality RPO agency will have mastered.
“Diversity is having a seat at the table. Inclusion is having a voice and having that voice be heard.” – Kadia Tubman, Journalist at Insider Inc.
Considering Corporate Diversity as a Whole: The Big Picture
Diversity in and of itself is a great thing, but when we throw corporate culture into the mix, that’s when the lines get a little blurry. It can either turn out to be a competitive edge in terms of retention and performance, or it can prove to be a crippling liability. Keep in mind that while business growth is an important factor it’s not exclusive of the individual employee’s needs to be recognized, appreciated, and so on. Sometimes divergent thinking can help provide surprisingly helpful perspectives or it can clash with the work culture.
At the same time, the very same workplace diversity can help you expand your reach as a name in the industry to various geographies and demographics. The role of the RPO agency in all this is to help you find and maintain that fine balance by recruiting the people who fit best with the values of the organization but at the same time help the organization grow.
Take Canada for Example
If we take the case of Canada, a research article by the Library of Congress called ‘Canada: Higher Standards Set for Workplace Diversity‘, revealed that women constitute around 48% of the country’s workforce as per 2020 data. However, they hold only 14% of all board seats. It was also revealed that in the Greater Toronto Area, over 50% of the population in 2015 were visible minorities, but only 12% of them held leadership positions and only 4.5% of them were in senior leadership positions.
Why is this so significant? Well, considering that Canada is one of the leading global economies and the fast pace at which it is growing in terms of in-demand jobs, then this disparity becomes all the more pronounced. Not to say that there aren’t companies taking steps to diversify, but there is plenty of room for improvement. Canada RPO agencies are an ideal solution to try and close this gap.
While diversity is really important, the implementation is not always up to the expected standards.
The Ground Reality of Workplace Diversity
While we see companies and executives preaching workplace diversity from the rooftops, the ground reality is that the actual implementation of these much-needed changes is not to the scale that it should be. More often than not, you will hear employees say that there is something lacking in their company or that they are looking for something more meaningful.
It’s at this point that you should take a step back and seriously consider how diverse or inclusive your workplace truly is. For example, if your company is a female-led business, think about the actual ratio of men to women in the workplace. Is the workplace itself a male-dominated space or is it more on the even side?
Summing Up Workplace Diversity
Don’t get it twisted now, by no means should you go out of your way to avoid hiring male employees either. It’s all about equal opportunity for both men and women. Having said that, it can be a double-edged blade. That’s why you should consider investing in diversity-building initiatives and resources such as RPO agencies.
With a little bit of an online deep-dive, you too can find that perfect RPO partner to help you strike the right balance between workplace culture and diversity and the role each will play in relation to each other. The right RPO partner can help you centralize your core activities efficiently and give you insights on how to go about building this inclusive model going forward.
When all is said and done, workplace diversity is extremely important for a business’s survival. However, that is also what makes it such a monumental task. So, the minute you decide to take it to the next level, get the right resources on your side!