UK SMEs with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programme in place see substantial increases in their recruitment success, employee wellbeing and retention – over 50% in fact. So why is it seen by some as a ‘nice to have’ and not a business imperative? We look at how My Inclusion Hub is helping SMEs manage DEI and attract the best talent.
A business is only as good as its people and we all know how challenging hiring the right people can be, particularly when you’re recruiting into an SME or micro business where the ‘right fit’ matters so much.
With half of recruiters struggling to find candidates with the necessary skills last year, the UK’s search for talent is intensifying while the skills gap widens, according to reports.
As salaries struggle to keep up with inflation, attractive benefits like flexible working are the key to hiring and keeping staff.
An organisation’s mission, its culture and way of doing business are motivators too, for staff who want to feel a sense of purpose or meaning in what they do.
Jobseekers are also paying close attention to whether career progression is transparent, how diverse and inclusive an organisation’s culture is and whether an employer is committed to supporting the wellbeing of its workforce.
In a time of strong competition, investing in DEI is a proven way to boost your recruitment outcomes.
According to research commissioned by My Inclusion Hub in 2023*, which surveyed 301 UK SMEs, from micro to medium-sized businesses, over half say DEI helped improve recruitment success (56%), productivity (55%), and staff retention (52%).
Similarly, 52% of respondents believe that DEI could help their business recruit a greater variety of people and improve staff wellbeing (46%).
So why, when the numbers are so clear, do organisations not embrace DEI? Let’s have a look at the benefits.
The benefits in black and white
In this changing world, small businesses are realising how essential it is to bring diversity and inclusion into the hiring picture. It’s not ‘a nice thing to do’; it’s a smart move that helps them compete and grow better.
Embracing DEI principles in recruitment strategies isn’t just a moral obligation – it’s a strategic decision that unlocks benefits and cultivates a culture that is primed for success.
- Enhance employee engagement and retention
Employees who feel valued and respected for their differences are more likely to be committed to their work and an organisation’s mission. This sense of belonging reduces turnover rates, saving SMEs the repeat, and sometimes crippling, costs of having to re recruit and train new employees.
According to Accounts and Legal the average employee costs £12,000 for SMEs to replace.
Some, such as the world’s largest HR association, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), predict that it costs six to nine months’ salary on average. So for a manager making £40,000 a year, it costs £20,000-£30,000 in recruiting and training expenses. Others say the cost, particularly for high level staff, is even more.
When you’re a small business on a tight budget, this true cost can have a serious impact.
- Encourage diverse talent pools and perspectives
The Cornerstone of DEI in recruitment lies in its ability to widen the talent pool. By actively embracing diversity, SMEs open doors to new candidates. This widens the welcome mat to those from more varied backgrounds, cultures, genders, abilities and experiences. And this inclusivity enriches the skills and perspectives that your business can draw on.
- Fuel innovation and creativity
Diversity within teams will always bring different ideas and innovation. When a wide group collaborates, they bring fresh perspectives to the table, challenging the status quo and disrupting traditional approaches, which can be game changing for SMEs seeking the competitive edge.
- Improve decision-making and problem-solving
Inclusive groups can make better decisions, so it can be valuable to build teams with a wealth of perspectives and experiences. This diversity of thought enables more effective problem-solving and decision-making processes, offering potential solutions that are more reflective of diverse needs and experiences.
- Align with diverse markets and customers
Businesses today operate in increasingly diverse markets. Having a workforce that mirrors the diversity of customers and markets is crucial. Through DEI-focused recruitment practices, businesses can align their teams, bringing better understanding and responsiveness to the needs and preferences of diverse customer segments, strengthening customer satisfaction and market position.
My Inclusion Hub: Transforming recruitment with DEI
So, we’re convinced that DEI will bring business benefits and are committed to integrating DEI principles into our recruitment processes. Where should we start and what is out there to help us?
In many cases, SMEs are turning to innovative solutions like My Inclusion Hub. This online platform is a partner on the DEI journey.
It helps SMEs successfully integrate DEI into their daily business processes and transform their recruitment strategies by providing the tools, resources and confidence to create an inclusive world at work, removing the stress as part of the deal.
My Inclusion Hub unlocks DEI in three easy steps.
- Evaluate your DEI maturity
The first step involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of an organisation’s DEI status by using the Inclusion Maturity Index. This index serves as a launching pad, offering valuable insights for targeted planning and action.
- Monitor your progress
Employing the index on an annual basis provides information that means the impact of DEI efforts can be tracked over time, building a clear view of the changes and improvements within an organisation.
- Demonstrate your DEI credentials
DEI is rapidly evolving into a performance indicator. My Inclusion Hub empowers organisations to proactively address DEI and showcase progress relative to competitors.
Clear Assured, which will soon be available on the platform, helps demonstrate DEI credentials by meeting a global inclusion standard recognised by the key players at the top of supply chains. This not only enhances competitiveness but also plays into organisations’ profitability, growth, and access to funding.
Pricing is tailored to suit organisations of all sizes, from single-employee setups to those with up to a 250-strong workforce. But what sets it apart is My Inclusion Hub’s foundation: it’s not merely another DEI program, but a comprehensive knowledge hub built upon the well-established DEI expertise of the Clear Company, a trailblazer in DEI since its launch in 2003.
The platform is tested, rooted in real-world experiences, and backed by a proven track record of delivering tangible results. By joining My Inclusion Hub, SMEs aren’t just learning; they are learning from the best practices in the field.
Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment not only widens talent pools but also fuels innovation, improves decision-making, enhances employee engagement, and aligns businesses with diverse markets.
For SMEs aiming to embrace the transformative potential of DEI in recruitment, My Inclusion Hub offers the tools, resources, and guidance needed to cultivate an environment where diversity is celebrated, equity is ensured, and inclusion is the norm.
To discover more about My Inclusion Hub and how it can help your organisation, visit the My Inclusion Hub Website.
*About our research
The statistics cited come from research commissioned by My Inclusion Hub in March 2023. Working with an independent research agency, we surveyed 301 UK SMEs, from micro to medium-sized businesses across the financial, infrastructure and agricultural sectors.