By Bridge Consulting

Nov 7, 2019

How homogenous hiring can harm your business

Though aiming for workplace diversity is something that many hiring managers will strive to achieve, unfortunately homogenous hiring might be more common than you expect. Homogenous hiring often happens unconsciously during the hiring process and means that people with similar skills, experience, backgrounds and other traits, are hired to fill a role.

This can occur because a hiring manager is (whether unintentionally or not) hiring candidates who are similar to themselves, or else candidates that they expect will perform better in that role.

While a diverse range of employees provides a more varied range of skills, styles of thinking and greater opportunity for growth, homogenous hiring can unfortunately have several detrimental effects on the productivity, longevity and culture of your company.


Limited employee skills and experience

When hiring, many people will often have an implicit notion about the kind of person who would make an ideal candidate for the role, seeing them continuously hire candidates with similar skills and experience.

This is an extremely limiting and detrimental method of hiring, as it significantly restricts your talent pool. By hiring only candidates that you believe will be best for the role, you are closing off the potential for your company to receive a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience that you may never have even considered might be important for the role in which you are hiring.


Less understanding of your customer base

Creating a workplace filled with employees of a similar demographic, for example age or gender, could impact the way in which your company is able to understand and communicate with its customer base.

A diverse team will be more representative of the people to whom you are promoting to, and even open up opportunities for you to expand your client base. You will have a group of employees all with a diverse range of experiences who will be able to relate and connect with a wider group of people.


Decreased innovation results in less financial return

Repeatedly hiring employees with the same skill set means that you are bringing the same knowledge and expertise into your organisation. While this may see the necessary duties carried out correctly, it limits the opportunity for growth and innovation, and therefore revenue, for your business.

A worldwide report conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found a direct link between companies with more diverse management teams and overall innovation. Organisations that have above-average diversity on their management teams reported their innovation revenue was 19 percentage points higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity.

Another study investigating racial diversity examined proprietary data sets for 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The findings definitively concluded a link between an organisations level of diversity and its financial return: companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their counterparts, while companies in the top quartile for gender diversity proved to be 15% more likely to have financial returns.


Looking for Talent


Lack of diversity drives off quality talent

According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, a workplace that does not appear to embrace diversification can be extremely off-putting to potential candidates. The survey reported that 67% of candidates said that being hired into a diverse and inclusive workplace was an important factor to them when considering job offers.

Diversity in the workplace boosts a company’s employer brand and presents a company as a more desirable place to work. A lack of diversity in your organisation could serve to make your workplace look antiquated and undesirable for exceptional and forward-thinking talent.


Workplace relations issues

Whether conscious or unconscious, homogenous hiring could can be deemed as discrimination in certain cases, seeing organisations potentially facing legal consequences. In Australia, national and state laws cover equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination in the workplace, and employers are required to create a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.

As an employer, you must understand your responsibilities under human rights and anti-discrimination law. The best way to do this is to put effective anti-discrimination procedures in place, making sure to include them in your hiring process.

One of the best ways to ensure diversity within your hiring process, is to engage professional consultants, who have been trained to objectively screen, source and interview candidates, or provide training to your hiring managers. This will remove the likelihood of bias and allow your organisation to achieve an optimal level of efficiency and productivity.


If you require assistance in sourcing and hiring the best talent for your company, Bridge Consulting can help. Our specialist Consultants work closely with you to assess your specific needs. Contact us today.

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