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Wanted: Diversity policy for hiring staff

Wanted: Diversity policy for hiring staff

Only 37 per cent of organisations in New Zealand have this policy in place, according to Hays.

Genuine workplace diversity won’t be achieved if organisations can’t even take the matter seriously enough to put a policy in place

Only 37 per cent of organisations in New Zealand have a diversity policy in place for hiring new staff, and of these almost four in ten (39 per cent) either don’t know if it is adhered to or admit that it is generally not adhered to, according to recruitment firm Hays.

Meanwhile 40 per cent of organisations have no diversity policy in place for hiring new staff, and 23 per cent are genuinely unsure if they have such a policy in place.

“Clearly we still need to have conversations around diversity – after all not only are we yet to achieve real workplace diversity but a significant number of employers either don’t have a diversity policy in place for recruitment, or don’t know if they have one,” says Jason Walker, managing director, Hays New Zealand.

“Despite all the talk, genuine workplace diversity won’t be achieved if organisations can’t even take the matter seriously enough to put a policy in place then educate hiring managers about it and its practical application,” says Walker, in a statement.

Hays also conducted the survey in Australia, and the results show Aussie firms neighbours are performing slightly better when it comes to diversity policies.

In Australia half (52 per cent) of organisations have a diversity policy in place for hiring new staff. Of these, 32 per cent don’t know if it is adhered to or admit that it is generally not adhered to, which while still a concern is not as high as New Zealand’s 39 per cent.

While a policy is one important element in creating a diverse workforce, it will not succeed in isolation, says Hays.

It recommends organisations to focus on the following areas to promote diversity:

Culture:This includes a culture that is inclusive and supports diversity, with a leader who is publicly committed to diversity, and a public face in support of diversity that is a true representation of the actions taken internally.

Voluntary targets: From shortlist to workforce targets, many people argue that the greatest diversity results will be achieved when set quotas are in place.

Accountability: One thing all organisations that are known for diversity have in common is their regular monitoring and reporting of diversity progress.

Education: Education at all levels can improve awareness on diversity-related issues, and provide training for hiring managers on how to recruit for diversity. Unconscious bias should also be addressed.

Development programs: Development programs aimed specifically at minority groups can support employees from specific or underrepresented backgrounds.

Premium salaries

Hays reveals these findings in its latest Salary Guide, which it says is based on a survey of 419 organisations in New Zealand, representing 245,716 employees, as well as placements made by Hays.

Hays says there is a steady demand for candidates with cloud experience.

Salaries within IT infrastructure remain fairly stable with declines for some roles and increases in niche areas namely network designers, DevOps experts and virtualisation specialists.

"We have seen a major shift to the more scalable and flexible platforms from leading software companies such as Oracle, Adobe and Microsoft.

"As a result, employers are more focused on retaining technical web developers and mobile developers who understand digital processes and the end user experience, as well as possessing strong technical knowledge in development. Contractors are still being frequently used to increase project speed and to support internal teams."

In the next 12 months, Hays says it expects companies to increase their use of digital tools such as big data and analytics for customer engagement programmes.

"Successful candidates must know how to use big data to identify trends, risks and opportunities and specific business actions. The use of virtualisation, cloud technologies, open source data tools and applications that combine data sets to create value are also on the rise," it states.

"Those with skills in these areas are able to command premium salaries."

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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