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CEO Insight: 5 Benefits of Hiring Diverse Talent at SMBs

by Hesam Lamei

Prioritizing workplace diversity is paramount for small and medium-sized businesses. Diversity is at the forefront of prospects’ minds, according to a recent Glassdoor survey, and it goes without saying that recruiting and retaining qualified talent is incredibly important for smaller organizations as all personnel have direct influences on revenue and overhead expenses. In this blog, I give my CEO perspective on why companies, especially small and midsize businesses, should ensure diversity initiatives are top-of-mind.

1. Recruit Talent with Ease

At my company, recruiting diverse talent has allowed us to cast a larger net for potential candidates and shortened the timeline to hire. Within a larger pool of candidates, you see diverse skillsets, and you have an increased chance to hire the most qualified candidates. Diverse hiring can provide access to older candidates who are experienced and possess strong work ethics as well as candidates from different countries with superior educations. Since many candidates consider company diversity an important factor in their decision-making process, workplace diversity also makes companies more competitive in the job market.

2. Enhance Collaboration

Something I’ve witnessed firsthand from my company’s diverse workforce is improved collaboration between siloed departments as well as within individual teams. Diversity allows companies to operate more efficiently. Collectively, the level of education and experience is better amongst diverse groups, and higher caliber employees are more qualified with excellent planning, time management, goal setting, and delegation skills. Diverse employees also inspire each other, leading to encouraging environments for working together.

3. Propel Innovation and Creativity

Different ideas and points of view inspire new ways of thinking and open minds to others’ perspectives. Having different opinions on how to accomplish work can lead to innovative process changes. From my perspective, innovation and creativity is particularly crucial for coming up with new ways to market and sell products to customers. Problem-solving is another key area that reaps benefits from various experiences, backgrounds, and qualifications.

4. Broaden Service and Market Share

Having employees with diverse backgrounds will expand access to national and international markets. Companies have more effective communication between markets and employees with similar backgrounds and experiences, which leads to enhanced sales and marketing. Improving sales and marketing to broader audiences leads to increased revenue. According to a recent study, companies with the most diverse management teams yield an operating profit margin 12.6 percent higher than those with the least diverse management teams.

5. Keep Turnover Rates at Bay

With an improved economy and more access to jobs, people are more inclined to quit their jobs if they are unsatisfied in any way so employee retention should be a high priority at organizations of all sizes. The inability to retain qualified employees results in high turnover costs as recruiting and hiring replacements is an expensive process. Additionally, when speaking about diversity in the workplace you must also consider a lack thereof can lead to feelings of discomfort and uneasiness if an employee feels like he or she doesn’t fit the company mold. Furthermore, feelings of hostility and high turnover rates can ensue at companies that don’t encourage inclusive environments.

My company experiences these benefits of workforce diversity every day. Decreasing turnover costs, increasing market share, driving innovative thinking, improving collaboration and attracting the most qualified talent can benefit companies of all sizes and at any stage in growth so make diversity initiatives a business priority today.