Balancing the Workforce
How Intro has worked to foster diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within its workplace.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are something every business today strives for; however, DEI today is more than just a check-the-box exercise.
While our company is only six years old, our leaders have over sixty years of experience combined. This knowledge led to the implementation of a business model that is geared toward the future. Our executives devised a highly effective policy that emulates DEI practices most recruiting firms can only dream of.
Well-known benefits of diversity policies include greater innovation and creativity, broader skills, increased productivity, and ultimately higher revenues.
Although the benefits for our business and industry are countless, we see these initiatives as more than a profitable endeavour. Actionable DEI policies foster a commitment to ethics and social responsibility that is vital for the future.
The challenge for businesses
Economic pressures and uncertainty faced by recruiters across Australia in the past 12 months have made it harder for everyone to maintain their focus on investment in DEI both in-house and when recruiting.
In the construction and infrastructure industry in Queensland Intro found that organisations that continued operating during the pandemic kept internal processes simple and hiring managers tended to remain within their comfort zones.
As a result, many did not commit themselves to proactively engaging a diverse workforce.
For Intro’s recruiters that meant understanding and acting upon changes created by the pandemic, including maximising on industries that required leading talent now and supporting and engaging the current workforce to operate effectively and efficiently.
When our team assessed the situation, it became evident that simply ‘filling jobs’ was easy to prioritise, but diversity should not take a back seat, rather have dibs on the front.
Most of what Intro has accomplished has been due to investing in our own corporate culture – we strive to deliver best practice services and that includes being at the forefront of DEI initiatives but also being fair and just, always and by nature. Our organisations’ roots are planted in the supportive network and shared experiences of our head office team and this approach is reflected in our recruitment style.
Our main goal over the past two years was to continue devoting time, capital and attention to diversity and inclusion. We have a heterogeneous, yet integrated senior management structure and we are highly aware of using inclusive language to engage with our employees.
Our general manager and directors are actively involved in all facets of our business – they lead by example. Intro has shared work desks to break down the traditional employee and management disconnect. We are all equal and there are no ‘closed door’ conversations.
Mental health equity is business in 2021
Mental health conditions are known to be aggravated or exacerbated by the pandemic. From a strategic perspective, we made a commitment early on to promote mental health inclusivity and in practice, we prepared a mental health toolkit for employees which is now part of our new employee paperwork.
In the early days of the pandemic when we started working from home, everyone needed to balance family commitments with work and more, Intro’s general manager checked in with employees often. It was simply to see how they were feeling and to ask if there was anything Intro could do to improve their work experience. This regular ‘health check’ has continued and is providing a positive forum for employees to voice any concerns.
Our diverse workforce approach has benefited our candidates, clients and consultant team. By implementing a heterogenous management approach, mental health initiatives and inclusivity tactics we have seen:
Impact on our internal culture
- Our head office’s inclusive and equal culture has in increased individual team member confidence and performance, boosted employee engagement, increased efficiency and improved employee morale.
- Our head office has grown: this year alone Intro has increased our team size by 50 per cent. Now with double the employees, we see an energetic, collaborative team with an even greater depth of experience and knowledge.
- Our increased internal diversity has yielded measurable benefits. We have seen a dramatic improvement in our company’s ability to accurately assess and evaluate candidates, provide high-level service to our loyal clients, and additionally, has created a desirable, enjoyable collective work environment. In fact, we have seen our employees cooperate so efficiently; the month of June 2021 brought in our highest recorded margins in the history of our company.
Impact on our candidate culture
- Intro’s wealth of knowledge and experience has not only expanded our diversification but equipped us to do the best business in our industry.
- Our candidate and client pool reflect our commitment to diversity and inclusivity – we now have a 68,000+ strong candidate database after only six years of operation.
- Intro has received positive feedback from both our candidates and clients regarding our candidate culture and the supportive network we have worked hard to create.
- Our candidate satisfaction is evident with 40 per cent of our candidates being repeat applicants