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REPORT: The Future of Diversity & Inclusion in the Contingent Workforce

63% of professionals surveyed expect contingent diversity & inclusion initiatives to become a higher priority in the future

Over the last few months, the world has changed, and with it there has been an even greater realization that diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts are important for all workers, not just some. HireTalent and Consciously Unbiased, in association with Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), release “The Future of Diversity & Inclusion in the Contingent Workforce.”  The research report combines the current climate of the contingent workforce, the desired state and how to measure results to show the impact made.

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In the survey, nearly two-thirds (64%) of HR, procurement and other workforce professionals surveyed believe D&I efforts for their employed workforce are a priority, while only a quarter (26%) believe so for contingent. Meanwhile, given the current cultural shift due to recent social unrest, 63% of respondents expect contingent D&I to become a higher priority in the future.

CEO of HireTalent and founder of Consciously Unbiased, Ashish Kaushal, notes, “We wanted to build the playbook to share for the greater good of our industry and society as a whole. If you want to win the ‘war for talent,’ if you want to continue to evolve and have a contingent workforce that reflects the diverse world in which we live, if you want to create a culture where people of all backgrounds can thrive and grow with your organization, rolling out contingent D&I programs will be a key to success.”

After nearly a year of analysis by SIA, the findings are clear that it is possible, with the right action steps, to make a real impact on advancing diversity and inclusion within the contingent workforce.

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“Through this research, it’s clear that HR and procurement leaders aren’t interested in check-the-box solutions; leaders are focused on making measurable impact, holding suppliers accountable for diversity hiring, rethinking how diversity data is captured, and making D&I a business goal just like any other,” says Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). “Our research found that the lack of a proven business case for D&I in the contingent workforce was one of the biggest barriers for adoption.”

While the business case for D&I initiatives is strong, most of the previous research focuses on only the employed rather than contingent workforce. Advancing D&I across your entire workforce is not only the right thing to do, but the report finds that it is also good for business. In fact, leaders in D&I among contingent workers agree that they reap bottom-line benefits, such as being 27% more likely to agree that their ability to attract talent is a competitive advantage, 24% more likely to agree to achieving a high return on investment (ROI) for contingent work, and have a 19% greater access to highly-skilled talent.

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