The 21st May 2019 is World Day for Cultural Diversity and it brings in to focus how a rich tapestry of people can create inspiring, productive environments. The importance of cultural diversity in the workplace can never be underestimated, especially as there are fewer geographical borders when it comes to trade, audience and recruitment.
The creative power of eclectic minds
Bringing together employees with different backgrounds ensures fresh ways of thinking, new solutions and insightful balance, as different cultures often have different yet positive perspectives. Diverse teams will also problem solve and innovate to a company’s advantage – if you need more encouragement to cast your recruitment net as widely as possible, Forbes has a particularly detailed article on how cultural diversity brings creative power to the workplace.
Outward projections can help inbound recruitment
As well as increased creativity, a culturally diverse workplace has other benefits, including attracting and retaining talent. According to CBRE, Millennials are projected to make up roughly 75% of the workplace by 2025, so creating companies this group want to work for is crucial for future recruitment.
What Millennials want from a job shows a shift away from traditional pay and prospects. Speaking to Bloomberg Lawrence Loh, director of the Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations at the National University of Singapore’s Business School, said the “issue of inclusiveness is already now hard-coded into Millennials,” therefore employers should display their multicultural and cosmopolitan approach, with an inclusive ethos running through every branded touch point – be that company literature, advertising, its website and even social media posts.
Cultural diversity is also an attraction that goes behind the hiring phase. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 revealed that diversity, inclusion and flexibility are key in keeping Millennials loyal to a company.
Take it from the top
The Deloitte survey also touched on how a company’s hierarchy can help it appeal to younger employees for whom cultural diversity is important. The report noted: “Although attracting and retaining Millennials and Generation Z respondents begins with financial rewards and workplace culture; it is enhanced when businesses and their senior management teams are diverse”. Leading by example is a clear way for businesses to outwardly show it places value on a diverse workforce, with a zest for multiculturalism reflected at the most senior levels.
A global business needs a global workforce
The internet has revolutionised how businesses market their services or goods and with very few logistical barriers, almost every company has the potential to go global. A culturally diverse workforce puts companies in the strongest position to expand into new overseas territories, with staff who already speak other languages and who possess knowledge of other customs giving businesses a competitive edge.
Take the work to the talent
While building a multicultural team in the past may have involved a smaller talent pool or recruiting from overseas, today’s technological advances mean a business can be truly global from just one location. The trend for ‘decentralisation’ – where a business has workers spread across the world rather than under one roof – is achievable thanks to cloud computing, real-time project tracking software and video calling. This lifts recruitment restrictions and opens the door to a genuine culturally diverse professional environment.
Placing the perfect job advert
Advertising vacancies with cultural diversity in mind is a delicate balance and it can be easy to stray into the minefield that is positive discrimination. It is unlawful to show a preference for candidates with a certain racial, cultural or religious background, even if you are trying to re-address the multicultural mix of your company. Employers need to refrain from requesting CVs exclusively from a certain group or ethnicity as it may lead to unintentional discrimination against some applicants.
This approach should also be carried through to the interview stage, with interviewers maintaining the stance that the role should be filled by the most competent candidate, regardless of their background.