August 4, 2023Read More
Ilit Raz, CEO of Joonko, a technology company that helps companies meet their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) targets, recently shared her perspectives on DE&I trends in BenefitsPRO’s online magazine. Raz provides a few key data points to showcase the importance of DE&I in today’s workplace. The first data point is a Glassdoor survey that resulted in 76% of job seekers reporting that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. The second data point is a McKinsey analysis that found companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
Below, Raz summarizes five evolving trends for companies to be aware of as they shape the workforce of the future:
Remote work is creating more opportunities for inclusive hiring
The pandemic has considerably altered the recruiting environment and a 2021 McKinsey study shows 52% of employees prefer a flexible, hybrid format. This data metric suggests the future of the workforce will be impacted by a demand for remote working conditions, creating opportunities to recruit from an expanded talent pool. Companies’ willingness to be flexible with virtual work brings more DE&I opportunities to the table. Talent pools are not limited to one location and allows hiring managers to pursue underrepresented candidates across the country.
Companies exploring more inclusive hiring processes
More companies are investing in DE&I and creating a reality of inclusion for underrepresented talent. Companies are finding ways to address unconscious biases during the hiring stage. Examples include using more gender-inclusive language to creating an equalized interview experience. Investing in the change is not only better for candidates, but it’s also better for business as diversity enhances the employer brand.
Declining ageist hiring biases
Older generations are still facing ageism in the workplace. According to Raz, while over 50% of workers over 55 are retiring, many are still looking for a job and are hitting brick walls. The World Health Organization deemed ageism as a health issue due to the combination of financial instability and stress it may cause. To help this challenge, Congress passed an anti-discrimination act based on someone’s age. Some companies have created employee resource groups for older employees to help with ageist biases. Raz thinks more companies will finally be compelled to address ageism in the workplace, further enforcing DE&I in company policies.
Weaving employee health and wellness into DE&I practices
The pandemic has highlighted employee mental health as an issue, with global uncertainty and anxiety impacting everyone. The Society for Human Resource Management survey showed one in three employees are experiencing symptoms of depression due to the pandemic. Many companies are now offering online talk therapy and monthly wellness stipends as well as creating open spaces for employees to feel comfortable requesting accommodations.
AI for HR Tech 2.0: The Revolution is here
AI-based technology for HR has been shaky at best as spotlight algorithms were accused of reinforcing human biases. However, Raz says AI-enhanced HR tech is making a comeback, enabling companies to streamline their DE&I strategies and procedures. Diversity recruiting platforms are helping talent acquisition teams scale the diversity recruitment pipeline and at the same time removing human biases such as analyzing language for more gender inclusivity.