SMEs: 7 reasons you should be hiring for diversity

SMEs: 7 reasons you should be hiring for diversity

Variety is the spice of life, and that’s true for your team too. A diverse team is important for many reasons. By bringing together people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, diverse teams can be more creative, innovative, and effective at problem-solving. Additionally, prioritising diversity and inclusion can help SMEs to better understand their customers, enhance their brand reputation, and increase employee satisfaction and retention. In this article, we’ll explore seven reasons why hiring for diversity is crucial for your business.

1. Hiring for diversity brings increased creativity and innovation

A diverse team brings together people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This diversity can lead to new and innovative ideas that might not have been considered by a more homogenous group. According to studies, diverse teams are 1.7% more likely to be innovation leaders in their markets. By tapping into various perspectives and bases of knowledge, you allow yourself a wider range of options when decision-making.

2. It improves problem-solving

Diverse teams tend to be better at problem-solving because they are able to consider a wider range of viewpoints and potential solutions. This can lead to better decision-making and more effective problem-solving overall. Homogenous groups can potentially fall into unhelpful groupthink, keeping your business in the same rut. By hiring for diversity, you give yourself a wider range of problem-solving skills.

3. Hiring for diversity leads to enhanced customer understanding

A diverse team can help SMEs to better understand their customers and serve them more effectively. By including people from different backgrounds, SMEs can gain insights into the needs and preferences of a wider range of customers. There may be unique challenges in certain market segments that you would never know about unless someone from a similar background pointed it out. The more of these perspectives you can get, the better you’ll understand your customer/client base.

4. Hiring for diversity builds better brand reputation

Companies that prioritise diversity and inclusion are often viewed more favourably by customers, employees, and investors. The more your team reflects the world you’re doing business with, the more likely it is that people will resonate with your brand. This can lead to a stronger brand reputation and increased business success.

5. It increases employee satisfaction and retention

It can be pretty demotivating being surrounded by a team that’s basically made up of different versions of the same person. By contrast, employees who feel that their company values diversity and inclusion are more likely to feel valued and supported in their roles. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced turnover.

6. Hiring for diversity provides access to a larger talent pool

When a company prioritises diversity and inclusion, they are able to attract a wider range of candidates for open positions. In fact, according to a survey by Glassdoor, 76% of job seekers say that workplace diversity is an important factor when deciding to take a job. Focusing on diversity when hiring can lead to a larger talent pool from which to choose and a more skilled and capable team overall.

7. It ensures compliance with legal requirements

There are often legal requirements or regulations related to diversity and inclusion in hiring. In South Africa, there are various criteria that mean, by law, you have to be hiring a certain way. By prioritising diversity, SMEs can ensure that they are complying with relevant laws and regulations and avoiding legal issues.

In conclusion

Hiring for diversity is essential for SMEs and business owners who want to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. A diverse team can bring a wider range of perspectives and ideas to the table, improving creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. Additionally, prioritising diversity and inclusion can lead to better customer understanding, a stronger brand reputation, and increased employee satisfaction and retention. By embracing diversity in hiring, you can build a more skilled and capable team, comply with legal requirements, and position your business for long-term success.