Technology is fundamentally changing the world around us. New generations raised in our digital world have new expectations of their work environment. There is a wide digital skills gap, and by 2020 there is a shortage of 900,000 skilled ICT jobs across Europe. Therefore, attracting good people is only going to be more difficult.
Small conference meeting in the modern field.
A good place to start is with inclusivity. Having a diverse and inclusive approach to recruitment means that you will gain access to an untouched pool of talent. And as a bonus, different companies have happier employees and are more innovative.
Away from the existential threat, the skills shortage is very real, and 79 per cent of UK CEOs say the skills shortage is one of their top business concerns. One way you can try to fill this skill gap is to widen your talent pool by looking at uncapped sources. And while 73 percent of employers said that diversity encourages creativity and innovation, it’s no wonder why they count growing diversity as a workplace priority.
One way that you can encourage inclusive recruitment is to work with employee resource groups within the organization. They will help create hiring programs or advocacy. They will be able to give you feedback on their experiences and how you can improve your organization.
And another great way to raise awareness is to work directly with nonprofits and schools, creating scholarships, programs and training opportunities. (For example, at Microsoft we have an inclusive recruitment program that includes an autism program, competency-based events and supported employment. We run networking and community programs, apprenticeships and more, to ensure that we Employ diverse talent who can help us innovate.)
Make your organization accountable
Small business teams collaborating in the modern workplace. It is important to include your diversity and commitments to your organization’s values. This will help change the drive from inside to outside. And while it is important to attract diverse talent, you also need to make sure that you provide opportunities for everyone in your workplace to do their best work. (For example, by making these commitments a core priority at Microsoft, we have introduced extended parental leave and training and education.)
Most importantly, we have included a ‘core priority’ for leaders and employees.
Leaders are held accountable, by binding a portion of their compensation directly to diversity progress. Diversity and inclusion are also part of an employee’s performance review and development process, and they are able to deepen their education about diversity, and make inclusion a daily part of their roles.
Encouraging a culture where everyone is heard, valued and included. This includes staffing programs that help advance inclusion and partner with shared values. In addition, empower employees with flexible work opportunities, and provide them with technology that is built with inclusion in mind.
Long term commitment to be inclusive
By engaging in different perspectives, you will challenge and advance your thinking. You will enrich your employee experience. And you will eventually empower your organization and community around the world.
But it is important to remember: change will not happen overnight. Diversity and inclusion is a long-term commitment, and it takes effort. But by making it a core priority, tying it to business and leadership KPIs, you will increase the value of your organization. And your workplace will become a more creative, engaging and exciting environment.
Include input from people in a wide variety of backgrounds and discoveries
You can also. Or maybe you want to improve customer relationships. Cognitively diverse teams solve problems 60 percent faster. Therefore, whatever work you do, having a diverse input will give you better, more well-rounded results at a faster rate.
If you build your product or service with diverse inputs, you will cater to a wider set of customers. This will not only increase profitability, but it will also promote innovation. Your employees will be empowered and excited to be part of a positive, supportive environment.