Why employer brand should sit at the centre of your inclusion and diversity strategy – and vice versa

Miles Skelton  |  March 5, 2019

For anyone who has already spent any time on thisisMVMNT.com, you’ll have noticed that we divide our offering into two strands ‘Inclusion and Diversity’ and ‘Employer Brand’. Whilst these are undoubtedly two separate offerings, the two are forever entwined in our minds. And, like so many great duos that have come before, ham & cheese, French & Saunders or Lennon & McCartney (sorry George and Ringo), when put together they compliment and elevate one another.

Here’s just a few ways that your employer brand and inclusion and diversity (I&D) strategy are perfect bedfellows.

Become a magnet for talent

Now, we appreciate that this is what your employer brand is supposed to be doing for you. However, using your brand to showcase your commitment to I&D will take it new levels when it comes to attracting candidates. No matter how senior or confident, any prospective candidate is going to be attracted to an organisation where they feel they will be welcome and can be themselves.

A challenge that many employers face is that whilst they have taken big steps when it comes to enhancing I&D internally, they still struggle to attract a diverse candidate pool when advertising vacant positions. Finding a way for the I&D that already exists within your organisation to translate into your employer brand could have a huge impact on the people that are attracted to your vacancies – especially, where candidate competition is at its fiercest.  

Happy people talk, unhappy people shout

One of the key advantages of a diverse and inclusive workplace is the impact it has on your employees’ happiness and satisfaction at work. Creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable as their true selves and welcomed throughout has a huge range of positive effects, some of which we’ll cover further down.

Happy employees become great advocates for your organisation and can play a huge role in your employer brand, both officially and unofficially. In an official capacity, giving your brand a genuine human voice can build trust and familiarity amongst those considering you as a potential employer.

On top of this, people who are happy in their jobs tell their friends, family, previous colleagues and anyone else who will listen. Think to when you’ve had someone you know banging on about how great their job is – it’s because they feel like they belong. Year after year, employee referrals stand amongst the top sources of employment – especially as referral bonuses become increasingly common. Your happy people could therefore become a one of the most powerful components of your employer brand as a result of your approach to I&D.

However, as ever, this goes the other way. You’ll have heard the phrase “a happy customer will tell 10 people, an unhappy customer will tell 100”. The same goes for your employees. How often have you listened to someone you know complain about their job, their boss or workplace in general? A lack of commitment to I&D, especially in today’s climate, could quickly spread like wildfire – causing lasting damage.

Your achievements speak for themselves

As mentioned above, there are numerous benefits of an inclusive, and therefore happier, workforce. Amongst them, and possibly most prevalent, are the impact on productivity, creativity and innovation – all of which have been proven to increase in parallel with I&D.

Countless studies have shown the benefits of diverse teams  –  including a 60% improvement in decisions making*, 83% increase in innovation** and 21% increase in profitability***.

This not only helps your bottom line but can also significantly enhance your reputation. Your achievements play a key role in your employer brand. The best people typically want to work for the best companies in their field. Now, assuming that you want the best people – your I&D strategy could be the key in helping you get them.

So, next time you’re reviewing your employer brand or considering the next phase of your I&D strategy remember – no matter how good ‘Band on the Run’ might be, surely we’d all rather listen to ‘Rubber Soul’

*Cloverpop – “Inclusion + Diversity = Better Decision Making”

** Deloitte, 2013 – “Waiter, Is that inclusion in my soup?: A new recipe to improve business performance”

*** McKinsey & Company, 2018 – Delivering through Diversity