Innovation is the root of business development. It creates flexibility and an adaptable company culture that can quickly respond to the needs of the consumer. The consumer is changing.

Modern buying power is now in the hands of a younger and more global customer base. New data suggests that 64% of consumers consider making an immediate purchase after seeing an advertisement featuring diversity. Consumers seek out brands that embrace inclusion. They are voting for greater diversity with the most critical ballot around, money.

Social Change Enters the Workforce

For years there has been a movement for greater acceptance of gender roles, ethnicity, color, and a myriad of other demographic categories. The social justice movements of the last few years have placed an even brighter spotlight on the consumer’s importance on diversity. If companies do not react by changing their hiring and recruiting processes, they run the risk of losing a significant market share

In an effort to lessen the blow of social change on a company’s bottom line, steps must be taken. If you believe your company is biased towards a particular group of people, consider your hiring tools. Do you offer an electronic application process that immediately excludes certain people? Is a 40-year veteran too old to work at your company?

The Benefits Outweigh Old Ideas

Go back to the idea of innovation. Hiring a new team member outside of the typical internal system brings fresh ideas and understandings you can apply to your processes. Diversity of thought breeds creativity and drives innovation. It helps create modern solutions to new problems and meets customer needs in a data-driven climate.

Recruiting to a broader group of candidates creates better customer communication. If you are a company producing women’s products, but your board is full of old men, odds are you are not offering the customer a proper voice in their product choice. Embracing the unique perspectives of people that reflect the changing demographics of the world is crucial to company growth.

Where does it Start?

Orchestras have a tradition of the ‘invisible audition.’ This is when a musician is never physically seen by those selecting their next member. Instead, they are judged purely on the talent and skill of their playing an audition piece.

Modern hiring managers and boards could learn a lot from this lesson. Instead of judging candidates on their appearance or pedigree, consider their individual achievements and credentials. You are only lessening the potential for achievement by not considering each and every applicant for the benefits they could bring to your company.

If there is a woman with more skill than the other male candidates, hire her. If there is a black man able to do things the other white candidates cannot do, hire him. Look past the status quo and networked connections of Ivy League playboys and take the candidate on their merits only. You have nothing left to lose but the market share of a more socially aware consumer base.

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