Employers throughout the nation are beginning to announce plans for employees’ return to the office after two years of working remotely. Although dubbed the “Great Return,” companies that are already dealing with the Great Resignation may find the need to fill even more open positions as some employees choose to move on instead of moving back in. Employers looking to fill those vacancies should seize this as an opportunity to build a more diverse workplace for returning employees.

Companies that embrace equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDI&A) create a workplace where everyone can contribute and thrive. Employees who feel like they belong are more innovative, successful and productive — all of which contribute to a company’s overall success. A more diverse workplace also gives employees an opportunity for personal and professional growth, leading to increased job satisfaction and less job turnover. A recent McKinsey study also showed companies that had greater gender diversity on executive teams and greater ethnic and cultural diversity were more profitable than their less inclusive competitors.

Randstad can attest to the benefits of a diverse workforce. We consider our EDI&A principles a cornerstone of the organization’s success. Our commitment to those principles is reflected in our inaugural EDI&A report: the impact of a culture where everyone belongs, which shows Randstad USA exceeded 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Professional Services benchmarks for gender and ethnicity inclusion in our workforce. Women occupy 60% of leadership roles and account for 60% of new hires. Meanwhile, people of color represent 34% of Randstad USA’s workforce compared to the national BLS benchmark of 21%.

Businesses looking to diversify their workforce can use our report as a roadmap as they begin their journey. While every company needs to chart their own path based on their own cultures, Randstad USA Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Audra Jenkins notes in the report how important it is for companies to “weave EDI&A into their organizational DNA as they seek to build the more inclusive workforce of tomorrow.”

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Intentional effort. Inclusion and belonging will not happen overnight; they require an intentional effort coupled with goals and targets for improvement. For Randstad USA, the initial step in that effort our appointment of the first chief diversity and inclusion officer in the staffing industry. We have also established seven 100% employee-led business development groups that seek to create opportunities for successful diversity strategies and initiatives. Each group has their own executive sponsor and represents veterans, disabled workers, communities of color, LGBTQ+ employees, next generation leaders and women in the workforce.

As staffing firms, our influence extends well beyond out internal workforce, so our EDI&A work must as well. To that end, Randstad USA has launched several programs with the goal of elevating diverse and untapped communities. The Transcend program, for instance, was designed address the skill and talent gaps that limit employment opportunities in historically excluded communities. It provides a skills-first approach, leadership development and job placement opportunities to participants in diverse and untapped communities. This program is part of our larger goal of reskilling 40,000 people in the US.

It is through the Transcend program that Randstad USA is helping the OneTen coalition place one million individuals from underserved communities into “family-sustaining” jobs. We are proud to be part of the coalition of companies working to improve hiring, retention, upskilling and advancement of African Americans without four-year degrees.

Inclusivity in the workplace is important for companies to facilitate as well. Randstad USA is fostering that by constantly engaging our employees through monthly anonymous surveys to ensure authentic feedback. This enables all employees to contribute, making us a workplace where everyone has a voice and differences are embraced and celebrated. Those surveys indicate that most employees feel accepted for who they are and feel valued as a part of our organization.

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