How Staffing Industry Is Championing The DE&I Cause

joseph cole

Updated on May 2, 2023

The world is proudly celebrating the cause of DE&I everywhere. DE&I is no longer an abbreviation but is an institution itself. On a broader outlook, one can see the term as an all-inclusive one. Besides, diversity, equity and inclusion, the abbreviation of DE&I, cause also fights for underserved and underrepresented facets like women, LGBTQ +, working mothers, war veterans, and others. In this regard, the staffing industry is playing a central role in helming the cause. 

In one of the SIA events, Orlando L. Williams Chief Executive and Equity Officer, Motus Recruiting & Staffing Inc. quoted, “We in the staffing world have the unique opportunity and responsibility to help our employers be diverse with talent, thought and action,”. In harmony, staffing services are increasingly getting propelled around DE&I strategies end-to-end. The goal is not only to raise awareness but to get the voices heard too – those voices that need encouragement and respect. 

Why does DE&I matter to Staffing Industry

The staffing industry is addressing DE&I by making recruitment and staffing processes more welcoming and embracing. Industry standards, senior management, work culture, recruitment norms are realigned and restructured with DE&I norms – to create access and culture for all those who deserve representations that is long overdue. 

Essentially, the staffing industry consists of those firms and agencies that provide staffing, workforce solutions, and other related services to client organizations. In the year 2020, the global hire market accounted for $ 35.8 billion, which is 7.7 per cent of the global staffing market. 

DE&I matters to the staffing industry because it is no longer a social norm, but a key source to many advantages and increased RoI as well. According to Barry Asin, SIA President, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion go beyond ownership to commitment. As the conversation around DE&I takes a deeper hold in the industry, staffing clients are increasingly looking to suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to delivering diverse talent and to enhancing equity at work, both internally and externally.” 

Let’s take a look at how the staffing industry is setting major goals in championing the cause of DE&I:

Infrastructure

Embedding DE&I into the workplace is neither an instant recipe nor an overnight success. It requires critical planning and renovations to onboard DE&I strategies smoothly. There will be crucial capabilities that need addressing like bias, concerns and misleading information around than just following the trends. 

Vendor Management

Vendor management systems should incorporate DE&I in their modus-operandi and goals, particularly staffing MSPs who handle their client’s day-to-day operations and contingent staffing. Since they work on acute flexible lines, adapting DE&I strategies in the operational model for their staffing clients would bring stupendous benefits. It will not only attract passive, but real talents, but will also positively impact the workforce composition. 

The C-Suite

When the top management walks the talk, commitments are transformed into actions. The conscious steps, C-suite takes about incorporating DE&I, either in form of SOP or KPIs make an impactful difference in the organization. It also requires engaging key stakeholders on the emotional and moral levels is very crucial. In this regard, top leaders play a pivotal role. 

Voicing the same, SIA also reported that securing support from the executive level is the most crucial enabler of DE&I success in the organization.

AI to the Rescue

The staffing industry is one such industry that has effectively learnt to reap the benefits of AI in the recruitment process.  While it’s true that a candidate’s fit is based on his/her ability to do the job, AI assessments that are scientific, bias-free and validated encourage DE&I in the hiring pipeline like never. In this regard, tech-enabled DE&I solutions spur a conducive environment for the workforce, irrespective of their backgrounds, status or choices. 

For example, hiring algorithms can help firms on recruiting candidates on various DE&I dimensions. Also, business intelligence technologies like predictive talent analytics help staffing enterprises reflect on data on DE&I practices and their accountability. 

HR Policies

Staffing enterprises are in a liaison that DE&I integration in HR policies is not a program, but a business strategy – a source of competitive advantage. For a successful transition of DE&I into the workplace, it goes beyond compliance to EEOC and ADA guidelines.

Like Kaizen, augmenting DE&I in the workplace is a continuous effort. Prior to amending policies and norms, HR can sync DE&I with work culture by revamping job descriptions, encouraging dialogues, eliminating biases, including gender diversity and bringing value and social justice to the forefront. 

DE&I and Financial Performance

Staffing enterprises know that DE&I is not a buzzword, it need not be looked at from a moral standpoint only either. To reiterate this, statistics from major researches reaffirm that DE&I has a direct correlation with the financial performance of a company. It means a simple, influx of diverse employees elevates company profits. 

When people across different dynamics are hired and valued, the vastness of opinions, skills and insights increase; lighting the innovation spark in the organization. It also opens up ways to cater to different consumer markets. 

In the words of Satish Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, Glider.ai, “Embracing DE&I into the workplace means more creativity and more engaged workforce, which in turn translates to an improved bottom-line.”

The Road Ahead

DE&I is not just any fad that fades away with the passage of time. It is a movement is seeking the justice that is long, overdue. “In such uncertain times, there’s a need for staffing enterprises to ask their teams about their well-being. One also has to be intentional with inclusion and equality and make it a part of their DNA,” says Leslie Vickrey Founder and CEO, ClearEdge Marketing. 

People, highly skilled people, and talents will be the next big thing in the next decade. The staffing industry has understood this much better than any other industry. Together with corporate leadership, the staffing industry is breaking the traditional barriers of recruitment.

Glider.ai is effectively achieving its mission of ‘quality first, bias never, integrity always’ with DE&I. Being a leading talent intelligence company, Glider uses artificial intelligence to lay a robust DE&I foundation in hiring.

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