Diversity and Inclusion: Bridging the Tech Skills Gap Post Covid-19

A recent article, written by CWJobs delves deep into how building diversity and inclusion into your workplace culture can help companies close its tech skills gap and thrive post Covid-19.

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, 14% of employers put diversity and inclusion in their top three HR priorities, compared to just 5% one month into lockdown. Keeping inclusion on the business agenda during and after this public health crisis is vital in driving real change.

In the current climate, it’s important that companies foster inclusive cultures to broaden their tech candidate pool and inspire talent of all ages and genders in order to cope with the increased demand for tech skills.

Let’s take a closer look at how diversity and inclusion can help bridge the UK tech skills gap:

Building diversity into your company culture

According to McKinsey’s recent Delivering Through Diversity report, gender diverse teams are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation. Likewise, ethnically diverse teams are 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability.

For companies to benefit from the increased productivity that comes from hiring diverse teams, inclusion needs to be integrated into their culture. Gender and ethnic minority groups need to have a platform that provides the opportunity to discuss how aspirations and challenges can be addressed on a company-wide level.

A diverse company culture begins at the recruitment stage. In place of unstructured face-to-face interviews, where gender bias is more common, companies can use skills-based assessments to find top tech talent. Making hiring decisions based on performance data from specific tasks can accurately and fairly assess a candidate’s suitability for a role.

Enabling flexible working

In the wake of Covid-19, many companies had to quickly adjust to remote working. For some employees, remote working has provided a better work-life balance that they’d be keen to continue into the future.

According to a recent survey shared by Yahoo Finance, 57% of employees said they did not want to go back to ‘the normal way of working’ in an office environment with normal office hours. In order to retain and attract tech talent, companies should continue to enable flexible working.

CWJobs’ recent research finds that women (71%) are more likely than men (65%) not to accept a job with no flexibility. Advertising flexibility in job ads and offering full-time roles as part-time job shares can benefit all genders, enabling workers to balance work and family life more effectively.

Similarly, by actively promoting the UK government’s Shared Paternal Leave, parents can share childcare responsibilities, which can have a positive influence on the career decisions they make.

Recruiting across the age spectrum

According to CWJobs’ report Everyday Ageism in the Tech Industry, on average, UK tech employees start experiencing ageism at the age of twenty-nine and are prematurely considered ‘too old’ for their industry by thirty-eight. This age discrimination not only negatively impacts individuals, but companies too.

A recent study by the Harvard Business Review, finds that companies with higher age diversity have 19% higher innovation revenues and 9% higher earnings margins. As such, companies should embrace workers of all ages in order to fill their tech skills gaps.

Whereas younger generations are more likely to have the technology know-how to lead in areas like innovation, older generations will have more experience in the workforce and will have lived through emerging trends and technologies before. Their experience can provide companies with invaluable insights into the future of technology and the industry.

Older tech workers are less likely to have job-hopped in their career, compared to millennials, who typically plan to leave a job within 2 years. The dedication of older workers can also inspire younger generations to maintain commitment to a project and a company, improving retention rates.

Creating returnship programmes

Returnships in the tech industry enable skilled workers to rejoin the workforce and provide companies with a productivity boost. Enabling workers to return to roles at a similar level as before, means they can resume their duties and help bridge skills gaps, all within an inclusive environment.

By offering support and mentorship throughout returnships, employees will feel less anxious about taking a career break and will be more likely to remain loyal upon their return.

Recruiting experienced workers saves tech companies money in the long-term and creates a diverse workforce from which everyone benefits.

Removing bias in the recruitment process

Using inclusive language in job advertisements can encourage applications from a more diverse pool of candidates. Similarly, using gender-neutral language can help encourage a balance of applications from all genders. Research shows that many words are associated with masculine or feminine stereotypes, which can unconsciously influence applicants.

The Gender Bias Decoder created by CWJobs’ sister brand Totaljobs, helps recruiters identify gendered words in job descriptions and emails so they can deliver more inclusive messaging to candidates.

In many cases, appointing a diversity manager can help reduce biased decision-making in recruitment. A diversity manager helps monitor the hiring process by reviewing recruitment decisions and monitoring data that can highlight biased hiring patterns.

At CWJobs, their Applicant Manager platform integrates with Good&Co, a workplace culture platform that uses advanced psychometrics and big data​​​ to help recruiters make better, data-driven hiring decisions.​

Employers can also use the Company Profile features and Premium Ads to communicate effectively with candidates and demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Partner

For the last 20 years, CWJobs has been the home for tech jobs. We match employers from all industries with the most relevant tech talent through our innovative product technology and unique candidate audience.

Our CV database of 1.2 million skilled candidates combined with our expert understanding of tech recruitment means that our clients can find the right talent, quickly and efficiently.

For more information about CWJobs, get in touch on 0333 0145 111.

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