Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Workers on Assignment

As most talent suppliers know, the positive impact of diversity and inclusion is no longer up for debate. Research from top consulting firms, including McKinsey, Deloitte, and BCG, all reveal that businesses prioritizing diversity and inclusion are significantly more likely to be innovative, adaptable, and, therefore, more profitable. 

Just like with permanent employees, creating a diverse pool of workers on assignment contributes to the success of both the talent supplier and the end client. The end client benefits from the talent supplier’s diverse pool, which creates stronger bonds of partnership and future opportunities to work together. Furthermore, having diverse voices and multiple perspectives within your talent pool can help you understand and connect with a wider range of customers. 

Committing to diversity and inclusion is also critical to retaining talent. According to Glassdoor, 76% of job seekers want to work for diverse companies, so if your firm is not actively seeking to place workers from diverse backgrounds, you could be missing out on talent or even losing talent you currently have. 

Industry leaders ranging from Accenture to Comcast NBCUniversal have long realized the importance of developing diverse and inclusive workspaces. For Johnson & Johnson, diversity is essential to helping them create “a better healthier world.” In fact, improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is so important to organizations, that the total dollars spent on DEI-related efforts are expected to double from $7.5 billion to $15.4 billion by 2026 — according to GIA research.  

While the benefits of diversity and inclusion are obvious, the experience of being a non-permanent worker on assignment can lead to feelings of exclusion. This is an especially difficult situation for workers who may already feel marginalized. In this blog post, we explore strategies for including flexible and non-permanent workers. Let’s start by exploring how non-permanent work impacts diversity and inclusion. 

Unique DEI Challenges Faced by Workers on Assignment 

When it comes to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within the workforce, workers on assignment are far too often excluded from the conversation. Here are a few of the unique challenges to diversity, equity, and inclusion a worker on assignment might face: 

  1. Lack of Awareness: In some cases, the hiring organization or client may not have a strong awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workforce. This lack of understanding can lead to a workplace environment that inadvertently perpetuates biases and excludes underrepresented groups. 
  2. Limited Inclusion Efforts: Temporary workers and independent contractors may not be fully integrated into the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Companies often focus their diversity initiatives on permanent employees, leaving non-permanent workers feeling disconnected and undervalued. 
  3. Unequal Access to Resources: Non-permanent workers might not have the same access to resources, benefits, and support as their permanent counterparts. This disparity in resources can impact their ability to fully participate in company activities and hinder their professional growth and development. 
  4. Isolation and Lack of Support: Temporary workers and independent contractors may experience feelings of isolation, as they often have shorter-term assignments and may not have strong connections with their colleagues. This lack of support and sense of belonging can hinder their engagement and overall job satisfaction. 
  5. Discrimination and Harassment: Non-permanent workers may be more vulnerable to discrimination and harassment, as they might be seen as having less power and influence within the organization. Instances of discrimination or harassment can go unreported due to fears of losing future work opportunities or retaliation. 
  6. Uncertain Career Path: The temporary nature of non-permanent work can lead to uncertainties about career advancement and stability. This uncertainty might discourage some diverse professionals from pursuing non-permanent opportunities, leading to a less diverse pool of candidates for such roles. 
  7. Lack of Representation: The absence of diverse representation among non-permanent workers can perpetuate stereotypes and reinforce unconscious biases within the workplace. 

The Role of Talent Suppliers in DEI Initiatives

To create a truly inclusive workforce, talent suppliers play a crucial role in supporting their workers on assignment. Here are some key actions that talent suppliers can take to ensure their workers on assignment are included in DEI efforts and given equal opportunities for growth and success: 

  1. Raise Awareness and Offer Training: Staffing agencies can educate their employees and recruiters about DEI policies, best practices, and the importance of diverse hiring. This awareness can help recruiters better understand the company’s DEI goals and attract a more diverse pool of candidates. 
  2. Include Temporary Workers in DE&I Efforts: Staffing agencies should work with their clients to ensure that temporary workers are fully integrated into the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. This may involve providing diversity training, inviting temporary workers to diversity events, and including them in employee resource groups. 
  3. Collaborate with Clients: Staffing agencies can collaborate closely with their end clients to align DEI goals and policies. By understanding the specific diversity requirements of clients, agencies can source candidates that match these criteria and contribute to a more inclusive workforce within the client organization. 
  4. Ensure Equal Access to Resources: Staffing agencies should advocate for equal access to resources, benefits, and support for non-permanent workers. They can work with clients to ensure that temporary workers receive the necessary tools and opportunities to thrive in their roles. 
  5. Foster Inclusion and Support: Staffing agencies can implement programs to address isolation and lack of support experienced by non-permanent workers. This could include mentorship programs, networking events, and regular check-ins to ensure that temporary workers feel valued and connected in their placements. 
  6. Implement Reporting Mechanisms: Staffing agencies can establish anonymous reporting mechanisms for discrimination and harassment incidents. This empowers non-permanent workers to raise concerns without fear of retaliation and ensures that appropriate actions are taken to address any issues. 
  7. Measure and Report Progress: Staffing agencies can measure their progress in promoting DE&I by monitoring key diversity metrics and reporting on the diversity representation of candidates placed with end clients. Regularly reviewing and sharing these statistics can help identify areas for improvement and celebrate successes. 

Expect Poison from Standing Water 

As a talent supplier, embracing diversity and inclusion is not just a matter of principle, but a strategic move that can lead to unparalleled growth and success for both you and your clients. Organizations that promote diversity and inclusion enjoy a host of benefits, including greater creativity, innovation, and market reach. Most research supports this conclusion, including a 20-year study by the Torrey Project which shows that purpose-driven businesses enjoy higher financial returns. Investors are also increasingly looking to back companies that are committed to diversity and inclusion, providing additional incentive to hire diversely.  

Conversely, companies that refuse to adapt can, in the words of William Blake, “expect poison from standing water.” Companies that don’t bother with diversity and inclusion face stagnation and eventual loss of market share. These companies also lack dynamism and fail to adapt to change. 

At People2.0, we understand the critical importance of fostering an inclusive work culture. Our employer of record (EOR) and agent of record (AOR) services empower you to hire non-permanent workers from all over the world. With People2.0 as your partner, you can build a diverse and inclusive workforce that fuels creativity, growth, and success. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you achieve your diversity and inclusion goals while propelling your organization to new heights. 

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