The employment market for the financial services industry is becoming increasingly competitive. To attract and retain the best talent, you need to appeal to a diverse range of candidates. Many companies talk about being diverse, but most fail to live up to their words. You need equal opportunities for gender, ethnicity, generation, and disability so that your team encompasses a variety of experiences, skills, and backgrounds.
Having a diverse workforce isn’t just about improving your company’s image and reputation. Increasing diversity is one of the best ways to bridge skill gaps. 70% of CEOs in financial services recognize limited availability of critical skills as a hindrance to future growth. To solve this problem, your company needs to appeal to more women, more ethnicities, and more age groups. At the same, having more diversity also improves your appeal to finance job candidates as a whole. It’s ultimately a win-win situation.
Look for Unique Perspectives
The financial services sector is drastically changing thanks to new technology, and to keep up with the times, more diversity is a necessity. Diversity should be a priority during the hiring process. Companies need to be proactive in recruiting disenfranchised groups. You want to find candidates who bring unique perspectives to the table. When you have a diverse team, you can approach challenges and problems from every angle, which is always an advantage.
Start at the Top
The attitude and actions of an organization’s leadership affect the company on every level. To create a culture that fosters diversity, leaders need to communicate clearly that diversity is important and show consistent support for policies that promote inclusivity. Also articulate how improved diversity benefits the bottom-line. This will help motivate the whole team to promote diversity as a value. Finance and accounting leaders need to be willing to listen to different perspectives and have their own perspectives challenged.
Many companies have programs in place to accommodate flexibility and work-life balance. Yet, many of these programs are hard for employees to access and many people will avoid taking advantage of them because they don’t want come across as lazy or difficult. Having flexibility as a priority will greatly improve your appeal to diverse groups of people, especially women and millennials. Make it clear that flexibility is a real value and that taking advantage of these programs won’t negatively affect employees’ careers.
Diversity not only improves your public perception, it adds real value to your company. You will appeal to a broader range of customers, your team will be able to tackle more challenges, and you will have an edge in the increasingly competitive employment market.
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