Australia emerges as leader for DEI efforts: report

'Now's the time to properly embed your DEI strategy into your organisation's talent infrastructure and blueprint'

Australia emerges as leader for DEI efforts: report

Australian organisations are leaders when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but the spotlight on such strategies may be a little dimmer this year despite strong demand from many jobseekers.

These are the findings of Randstad Enterprise's 2023 Talent Trends Report, which surveyed over 900 C-suite and HR leaders in 18 markets, including Australia.

According to the report, 90% of business and HR leaders in Australia have confirmed that DEI is embedded in their talent strategy, higher than the global average of 81%.

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It found that 78% said DEI is extremely important for their workforce, while another 68% said it has a positive impact on businesses.

This is an improvement from the previous division among employers on the impact of DEI programmes in 2021. A Robert Half study previously found that while 42% of businesses reported being more diverse thanks to DEI, 41% did not feel any impact on their diversity levels.

DEI to be de-prioritised

Despite the recent reported benefits, however, Randstad Enterprise found that 46% of respondents suspect that DEI will be a few places down on their priority list this year.

This is despite the strong demand from jobseekers.

According to the report, 42% of respondents said the lack of talent is one of the "biggest pain points" and is having a negative impact on their businesses. This is the highest number recorded in the history of the Talent Trends Report, according to Randstad Enterprise.

And jobseekers aren't likely to come to them if they deprioritise DEI, based on the findings of Randstad's 2023 Workmonitor.

The report found that 44% of Australian jobseekers won't join a company that wasn't making an effort to improve its diversity and equity practices. Another 50% said they would leave their jobs if they didn't feel a sense of belonging.

Due to this, employers need to take the opportunity to strengthen their DEI strategies to attract specific skills and create a distinct brand amid a competitive market, according to Anthea Collier, APAC Managing Director, RPO & MSP; interim Country Head of Australia, Randstad Enterprise.

"Now's the time (when your competitors are potentially cutting budgets) to properly embed your DEI strategy into your organisation's talent infrastructure and blueprint, so you can access a broader and more diverse talent pool to help overcome the talent shortage and reap the rewards in retention," Collier said in a statement.

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