Embracing the business benefits of inclusion could make mandatory diversity quotas redundant, says recruiting experts Hays in China.
In its Hays Journal, out today, the recruiter provides insight on how diversity in the workforce has an increasingly global relevance, but there is much debate about how it can best be achieved in business.
“Gender quotas are very much the public face of the diversity agenda, but many remain sceptical about their effectiveness when it comes to driving performance, change and share value,” said Nigel Heap, Managing Director of Hays in Asia Pacific.
“Some organisations fear that a box-ticking approach to recruitment is not compatible with the aim of acquiring the very best talent. Others say that set quotas harm the notion of promotion on merit, can lead to ‘tokenism’ and can simply result in the same women taking on more boardroom roles, rather than bringing in new blood at higher levels.
“Yet the perception remains that not enough is done to promote gender diversity. In a recent Hays survey, 65 per cent of respondents in China thought organisations do not do enough to help women reach the top or that more could be done.
“Inclusion goes beyond gender box-ticking. If employers are actively encouraged to seek out candidates who will bring different perspectives and ways of problem-solving to the mix, the net result would be that more women – as well as more varied cultural backgrounds – would hold senior roles. This brings the focus to the benefits diversity can bring a business.
“The business case is compelling – in March a global poll of 241 companies by law firm Eversheds concluded that there was a clear correlation between smaller, more diverse and more independent boardrooms and share price performance and company success.
“A genuine engagement and willingness to embrace diversity and inclusion when it comes to recruitment and promotion leads to the business benefit of different ways of thinking. But sometimes, it can require a shove from above, such as quotas, to encourage employers to make diversity reality.”
Other insights to be gained from the latest Hays Journal include:
• What CEOs want from HR: views from eight business and HR leaders;
• Transforming organisations: HR at the heart of change;
• Workforce planning: uncertainty increases the need for flexible workers;
• Psychometric tools: the appliance of science;
• Regional snapshot on China: we look at how the profound demographic changes in China are creating a huge demand for skilled workers. Multinational businesses are scaling up their workforces in a country that offers huge opportunities alongside mounting challenges.
View the Hays Journal at www.hays.cn or contact your local Hays office.
Hays Journal is a bi-annual, client-facing publication that focuses on topical issues and trends in the world of HR and recruitment. It's a tool that enables us to stand out from our competition by expressing insight and perspective on HR and recruiting issues.
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.
As at 30 June 2011, Hays employed 7,620 staff operating from 255 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011, Hays reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit of £114 million and placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments. 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.
Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom and the USA.