As published on The Freelancer Club.
05 November 2020 by Gabriela Dittrichova
As 2020 draws to a close, half of the UK workforce is working from home (ONS). Thanks to remote work, companies suddenly have access to a wide-ranging talent pool. Having multiple opinions, ideas and cultures represented within a company not only improves productivity and boosts innovation but also creates ways to attract a broader audience. Therefore, paying attention to diversity and inclusion when hiring (not only) freelancers is crucial to business success. DIVERSITY MATTERS Diversity is not just a buzz word or something a company should be aware of. Diverse teams come with a multitude of commercial positives. From sharing knowledge to broadening perspectives, the more diverse a workforce, the greater the competitive advantage. A healthy representation of gender, age, culture, ability, background, religion, sexual preference and ethnicity not only brings new ideas but also provides different views and approaches. As a result, your product or service will not only be more competitive in the market but will also appeal to a broader audience. NEW PERSPECTIVES Sourcing top talent from various backgrounds is also beneficial when it comes to fighting bias. We all tend to lean towards people who are similar to us, which can result in like-minded teams. People who think like you are great for support, but they will hardly push us and inspire us to think outside the box. Whereas when you have individuals from various backgrounds, they make you see problems and challenges differently. Put simply, diversity can open your eyes, increases empathy and enables you to 'speak' to a wider customer base. FASTER INNOVATION Sharing knowledge, skills and expertise can have a positive impact on productivity too, as evidenced by this research in Science Direct. Sharing knowledge and experience can create an interesting conversation and speed up the innovation process (read more in the Harvard Business Review). The more varied ideas, opinions and outlooks that are brought to the table, the better the result. Therefore, inclusion in the workforce is essential also for innovation. INCREASED LOYALTY According to Deloitte, many employees perceive inclusion and diversity as key when choosing their client or employer. It is clear that companies should hire based on people’s skills and abilities as opposed to personal preferences or bias but it's not always the case. If a manager succeeds in creating a diverse team where everybody feels recognised for their efforts, the team members are more likely to stay motivated and remain committed in the long term. It's no different when hiring freelancers. In fact, hiring a diverse range of freelancers is a great way to introduce specialists with varied mindsets into existing teams.
If you succeed in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, you can be sure that your staff retention rate will also increase. If workers feel valued, they are more likely to stay with the company in the long term and carry a sense of pride in working for the employer (as per the Salesforce research). Consequently, this saves money on recruiting and increases motivation. FRESH PERSPECTIVE As many companies are forced to cut their budgets, freelancers offer an efficient way to hire a professional for a set period of time or workload, without having to provide a long-term contract. Freelancers represent a broad pool of experience and can bring in a fresh perspective to a project. A freelance creator has likely worked on other projects outside the company and can therefore bring in a new point of view, share their expertise and say what has and hasn’t worked in previous projects.
In many professions, freelancers work remotely, which is one of the advantages of our new working structure. In other words, you can choose the best combination of skills and price for your project. To find the freelancers who represent the best value for money, check out the Freelancer Club job search or download the app.
If you want to elevate your business or become a leader in your field, make sure you have a diverse team to help you achieve your goal. By ensuring people on the team feel respected, valued, and their voice is heard, you can create a safe and healthy work environment where everyone can thrive. This will give you a competitive edge, boost your profit and attract the top talent. Are you ready to diversify your workforce?