Even after 7 years of working in the Indonesian recruitment market, it still amazes me the number of companies that request a specific sex, religion, or ethnic background, when looking to hire a new member of their team. I have discussed the trend with a number of companies over the years and the response seems to either focus on “feeling comfortable working with people with a similar outlook” or based on stereotypes. While I believe the customer is always right, I do try and encourage companies to explore a more diverse recruitment policy, as I feel they are isolating themselves from some outstanding talent.
I have made an effort to try and build a diverse team in Monroe Indonesia, as have the other offices in the region. This quest for diversity came at the end of my first 18 months in Indonesia, when I noticed the team in place where all from Java, all Muslim and most were even from the same university. My initial attempts to create diversity were challenging, as there was resistance from within the team, as well as those I was trying to bring in. Staff turnover increased during this period but I will felt the benefits were worth the pain.
The reason I was willing to go through this tough time was because in my experience, employees with diverse backgrounds bring unique experiences and different points of view to a company. Being able to tap in to this pool of experiences and differing views can benefit the company by increasing a teams ability to adapt to changing conditions and deliver better results. A Diverse workplace also provides opportunity for employees' personal growth. Being exposed to new ideas, cultures and perspectives can help individuals to gain a clearer view of their surroundings and their place in the world.
I am pleased to say the results of creating a more diverse working environment have been worth it. Our current team is 57% female and 43% male. 20% of the team are non-Indonesian, 17% are Chinese Indonesian and 63% Indonesian. In addition 70% of all Monroe Indonesian employees have lived overseas in a culture that is different to their own.
This diverse workplace has lowered employee turnover and ultimately contributed to the growth of the company. Most importantly it has created an environment that is energetic and welcoming of new ideas.