There are millions of immigrants in the United States who are work authorized, but who still find it difficult to obtain suitable employment due to either structural or cultural barriers. Below are four reasons why it is important to hire diverse talent and how it can be better cultivated.
Local Market Awareness and Insights
Once you have a diverse workforce, you’ll have a crucial edge when entering new markets. This is because in order for a service or product to have success overseas, it must be adapted, which will require you to understand local regulations, customs, laws and the competitive environment. Having employees with local connections along with the ability to speak the native tongue can dramatically boost your global development.
Gain and Retain Top Talent
When you restrict your talent recruitment to a single demographic or region, you’re greatly limiting yourself. Because the job market has become global and highly competitive, companies are in a race to recruit a diverse and talented workforce. This means you must look beyond the scope of a single demographic so you can attract candidates from all backgrounds, but to do so you must first create an environment that is both inclusive and multicultural, which will make you stand out. It is no longer enough to offer a generous salary, signing bonus, or benefits.
You Can Offer a Broader Range of Services
When your talent pool is culturally diverse, your organization will have professionals with a wider set of skills that in many cases won’t be available if you hire locally. Enterprises that are globally oriented will find it much easier to expand their product or service range by leveraging the experience and skills that diverse employees will bring. Peoples from different cultural backgrounds have distinct tastes and what is palatable to one group might be taboo and alien to another. By having diverse staffing, you’ll avoid the cultural insensitivity that can lead to the loss of huge sums of money, not to mention market share.
You definitely want members of the team to have different skillsets because when they do, this means you can offer services and products which will appeal to multiple demographics rather than just one or two. To retain your competitive edge, your organization must be adaptable, and an institution’s adaptability is only as good as the employees who work for it. An adaptable company can develop, plan and execute with speed, and by bringing onboard a team that is culturally diverse, you will be able to identify market trends much faster than your competition, while maintaining global insights.
Diverse Teams Have Superior Productivity
The more productive your organization is, the more prosperous it will be. Did you know that having a diverse team will actually boost your productivity? The reason is that bringing people together from different cultures will foment an environment where they’ll come up with novel ways of solving problems, which leads to breakthroughs that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve.
While some might feel that maintaining a homogeneous team is the wiser option, the trouble with this approach is that it often creates a stagnant environment that relies too much on tradition rather than innovation. Because people of different cultures see the world differently, their unique perspectives can culminate in novel solutions while also encouraging healthy competition.
Increased Opportunities for Professional and Personal Growth
An organization that utilizes a culturally diverse team will create an atmosphere that will attract the most ambitious, globally minded and talented professionals. The reason is that such individuals wish to work in an environment where they are understood and where it’s possible to grow both professionally and personally.
Collaborating across cultures will often prove to be an enriching experience. It will allow every team member to learn about different perspectives. A lot of people fear cross-cultural exchanges because they are under the misconception that they must give up their own cultural identity, but this isn’t true at all. Interacting with people from different cultures and seeing their view of the world will expand your horizons, while also allowing you to see the commonality among all peoples.
It also offers the opportunity to expand your awareness internationally, which will help abandon any harmful prejudices or ethnocentric views you might have, a process that is incredibly valuable. By working with colleagues of different backgrounds you’ll also have the opportunity to expand your own skillset.
Ensuring All Voices are heard
While establishing a team that is inclusive and diverse is essential, it isn’t enough to depend solely on brain power. You want to have an environment where every member of the team is encouraged to provide their point of view. But this can be challenging for people that come from certain cultures, such as East Asia for instance.
The reason is that such societies tend to be deferential or polite and as a consequence, team members from those backgrounds might be reluctant to share ideas, particularly if they’ve just joined the team. On the other hand, people from Western Europe or the United States will be much more likely to share their point of view, so a balance must be found where all sides can make equitable contributions.
Dealing with Visa Issues and Employment Laws
One of the toughest challenges that organizations will face is dealing with issues related to visas and employment laws. Every country has specific laws regarding foreigners being able to travel and work, as well as employment laws that are specific to them. These laws are also subject to change, which can occur at any time, and companies must remain in compliance with them.
However, this shouldn’t discourage companies from hiring internationally. If anything, you should see it as a challenge that can be overcome by retaining a dedicated Human Resources team that can navigate the numerous visa requirements and employment laws to attract the best international talent. Remember, if you fail to do this, the competition most certainly won’t, and every top employee they attract may erode your competitive edge as time passes. So understanding the requirements for international employees and how to manage them is a priority.