Diverse recruitment leads to diverse ideas. It’s those ideas that lead to innovation and uncover problem solving processes that a group of like-minded individuals would have been blind to. The reason? Cognitive diversity. A subject covered in detail by Matthew Syed in his book Rebel Ideas (2019), cognitive diversity is the combining of unique perspectives in an effort to boost overall collective intelligence. It enables groups of thinkers to cover the holes in each other’s thinking due their own varied experiences.
Recruiting people from diverse backgrounds for roles within the workforce right up to management can help you put together a versatile team and could increase your revenue by up to 19%. Having diversity as a focused part of your recruitment strategy should go beyond the demographics of gender, race, religion and age however.
Recruiting someone based on how diverse their demographic is does not guarantee a boost to the collective intelligence of an organisation. It is about ensuring that the candidate has relevant capabilities and synergistic potential for the role you’re looking to fill, but comes with a way of thinking unique to your organisation. This can lead to generating ideas from a merging of different ways of thinking that can create industry shaking innovation. This blending of ideas has been proven over and over to be a huge success in the FMCG industry product development process and in the creation of business models from making alcohol free beer, to the creation of the dollar shave club.
How to increase diversity in the workplace
Cross Industry Hiring
Recruiting professionals from different industries into your own gives your team a fresh perspective on old problems. They can refresh team dynamics, revitalising progress on important business efforts and engineer innovation through being able to think outside of sector specific standards. An example being recruiting an IT professional into an FMCG company. They would be able to provide insights into how the targeted markets will evolve in the digital world.
Flexibility in the Working Environment
When looking at increasing diversity in your workplace, you should be sure to do so while looking at what the roles your offering require. Having a more human approach when looking at how those requirements can be met will attract more diverse candidates and opens up new pools of candidates to draw from. It allows people with high expertise who cannot operate during standard working hours to provide value to a company on a flexible basis. Creating that kind of flexibility can be initiated by breaking down the job role requirements and seeing what areas could be completed while working from home.
By excluding any information that indicates a person’s demographic, a company can assess a candidate based more so on their skill set and experience. While it is still possible to infer details about a candidate’s background from their experience, the process will still help reduce the chance for any bias affecting the hiring process, conscious or not.
The benefits of increasing diversity in the workplace cannot be ignored by businesses looking to innovate and remain agile in an ever growing and competitive industry.
The future of the FMCG industry is digital and that’s why sourcing diverse candidates, like those with a background in IT is essential for business.
D R Newitt specialise in placing IT professionals into the FMCG sector to help businesses develop their in-house digital marketing and develop their own IT infrastructure. Find out how we can find you the perfect IT candidate to help you grow and adapt.