Role of Diversity In Personnel Selection

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 625 , Published on 01 February 2017
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In the times of globalization, organizations require that people who are from diverse backgrounds should interact in an efficient manner. People have stopped living in an insular environment as they are working in a global economy which constantly competes within a global fabric. In order to remain competitive, both non-profit and profit organizations should be more diversified. But the management has an important issue at hand, that is capitalizing and maximizing the workplace diversity. Workplace diversity, in essence, is the focus on the similarities and differences which people from diverse backgrounds bring to a firm. As the societies are becoming increasingly multicultural, the success of organizations depends on how well it recognizes the demand for an immediate step for managing the workplace diversity, along with the willingness to allocate resources to it in the workplace.

According to Brainerd, managing human resources effectively has a direct impact on the success of a business. Emphasis should be placed on policies of a human resource such as reward systems, human resource flow, employee influence, and work systems to develop adaptable, flexible, and committed employees. This study will focus on the strategies that can be used to face the issues of work diversity on human resource management. Further, it will also discuss their various advantages and disadvantages which would be substantiated with relevant examples and facts. Lastly, a conclusion would be provided to help organizations improve the human resource management involved in work diversity.



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Scheme

The society of Human Resource Management has identified that diversity is not just regarded as gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity and it should follow the three main objectives:

1.Create a work culture that enables every person to contribute their maximum to the firm.

2. Leveraging similarities and differences in the work environment to gain strategic advantage.

3. Motivating people from diverse backgrounds to work together in an effective manner.


According to Eagan and Bendick 200, even the top MNCs lack in efficient diversity strategies in their overseas operations. Managers should be aware of the necessary skills that are required for creating a flourishing and a diverse workforce. Managers should have knowledge about discrimination of people from different backgrounds and its consequences. Line managers at every level should realize their role and importance in diversity management.

Koonce 2001 says that they managers should recognize their individual cultural prejudices and biases as diversity essentially means that each individual has something unique to them. They should even be ready to change the firm to manage diversity to be successful.

Suggests that a manager should emphasize on personal awareness to have better diversity management. For this reason, firms need to establish, implement, and sustain the training process as a mere day's session can't completely bring a change in the behavior of people.

Managers need to be aware that fairness should not always mean equality and diversity management should be an affirmative step and a more than equal opportunity of employment for all.

Koonce says that coworkers should be provided with a safe environment to communicate with each other to improve diversity management. Managers should mentor programs in order to provide associates such opportunities. Business meeting or social gatherings can be conducted where employees can exchange dialogue and be given a chance to raise a point or give a feedback.


Advantages

The strategies employed in the above scheme have their advantages which include people who attend the awareness training have a better understanding of diversity which brings a sense of cohesiveness in them, which further enhances both the individual and the firm's productivity. Also, associates have a positive attitude towards each other. As a pool of different language is created, it gives a competitive edge to the company which helps them compete with firms on a global level. Furthermore, the organization is able to cater to a wider and a diverse customer base. As diverse minds work together, problem solving enhances as people collect new ideas which help them coming up with better solutions. Further, the communication skills of people are improved which helps in building synergy in teams. this leads to innovative processes which ultimately benefits the entire team. As a wider customer base is reached, the market share of the company is bound to increase, propelling it to be successful. It also saves the amount that is to be spent on litigation expenses.


Disadvantages

The disadvantages of diversity management are that if training is made mandatory, the employee can have a feeling that he or she is forced into linking his/her associate's background. Also, it can mean that the organizations focus more on the work diversity rather than an individual's performance. It can be a cause of friction between the company leaders and the hiring manager as the latter may hire an employee only due to his diverse background even if he lacks the necessary skills. People who are from non-diverse backgrounds may feel a lack of opportunities for themselves. They may feel that as they are not from diverse backgrounds, they have only limited chances of getting hired, despite possessing the required skills. This can result in a decline in the company's output as well. Appreciating diversity in the work environment can also lead to overhead expenses such as, hiring interpreters on-site or getting the material printed in various languages for the accessibility and readability of all employees.


Solution

In order to avoid discrimination while recruiting the personnel for the company and yet have a diverse staff, it is necessary for the recruiter to not adopt any bias. The recruiter should give priority to the skills of the people and then check their backgrounds. Diverse backgrounds can act as a leverage for those people who have the same set of skills and are at par. For instance, if two candidates are equally capable of being selected as they are equally efficient and have competitive edges, then the one with the diverse background should be chosen. This way diversity would be added to the personnel by not neglecting the real talent. This way, people will try to be more efficient and will improve on the skills they already possess, which will eventually benefit the company.


Conclusion

The stress on the businesses is increasing as they are becoming competitive on an international level, they are aware of the growing need of human resource management, and the composition of changing labor. Due to these reasons, Human Resource diversity management has improved and gained pace. The study has cleared that there is an endless need for managing diversity effectively and HRM plays an eminent role in this aspect. Positive outcomes can be yielded by employing better HR practices in the organization. If diversity management is ineffective in HR, it would probably result in demotivation, conflict, low organizational performance and a high turnover of employees. For the aforementioned reasons, diversity management should be a top most priority in HRM practices in all the international firms. Most firms see diversity mainly as recruiting ethnic minorities and compliance of people with certain legal requirements, and for this reason, HR diversity strategies should be improved. These strategies should lay emphasis on how to make the best use of diversity and how to appreciate it. The study suggests that the top management, at the strategic level, should have a philosophy of recognizing diversity and should foster such an organizational culture. Also, they should allocate leadership and resources to implement these policies. Contrary to that, at the tactical level, firms should employ HRM strategies using EEO and AA. At the operational level, companies should focus on educating employees, communications, networking, and flexible employment. To encapsulate, HR diversity management should actively involve line managers at all levels of the organization to provide a better work culture.


This article has bee authored by Mehak Garg from LM Thapar School of Management


REFERENCES

1. Ragins, BR 2002, Understanding Diversified Mentoring Relationships: Definitions, Challenges, and Strategies, in Mentoring and Diversity: An International Perspective, eds.

2. Clutterbuck, D & Ragins, B, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, pp. 23-53.

3. Bennington, L & Wein, R 2000, 'Anti-Discrimination Legislation in Australia – Fair, Effective, Efficient or Irrelevant?', International Journal of Manpower, vol 21, no. 1, pp. 21-33.

4. Boselie, P, Dietz, G & Boon, C 2005, 'Commonalities and Contradictions in Research on Human Resource Management and Performance', Human Resource Management Journal, vol 15, no. 3, pp. 67-94.


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