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Many managers and business owners understand the value of hiring a diverse group of employees, but aren’t quite sure of the steps that need to be taken towards reaching their goal of an inclusive and diverse workforce.
Finding and retaining employees that represent a wide range of diversity regardless of whether the job is an entry level or senior level job takes time and commitment on your part.
I think that many businesses understand that having a workforce that is made up of a variety of different people, who bring different skills and perspectives is important.
But there can also be an underlying assumption that diversity should be forced, meaning that, not having a multicultural workforce is some type of a “problem” that needs fixing, or, there is an emphasis on hiring a certain percentage of diversity candidates in order to fill some type of quota.
This can lead to hiring a candidate just because they are diverse, but not because they are the best candidate for the job.
We all want to feel valued for the skills and experience that we bring to the table. No one wants to be made to feel that they are being hired in order to satisfy some type of “goal” that the company has to diversify its workforce. There are many very talented people out there of different races and ethnicities that are exceptionally qualified job candidates.
In addition to the tips that I’m about to share with you, if you approach filling your job openings by clearly understanding the job that you are trying to fill and what your ideal candidate needs to possess in terms of skills to fill that job, that’s half the battle.
Be sure to have a job description or summary which highlights the specific skills and experience, that you need so when you actually interview your candidates, whether the candidate is Asian, white, or disabled, you’ll have a blueprint if skills and experience to focus on.
Your overall approach should be to recruit strong candidates wherever they may be, keeping in mind that you can’t always use the same recruiting techniques if your goal is to consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual preference, or any of the other categories that make up what we call a multicultural workforce.
As I shared with you in the episode, “Best Interview Questions To Ask”, make sure that you are asking all of your candidates the right questions to better help you assess who is the best person for the job.
And be sure to ask everyone the same core set of questions.
Now, here are 4 actionable tips for you:
Take a look at your website and other marketing materials that represent your company.
If these materials don’t highlight individuals from different backgrounds, you’ll likely lose many potential candidates who will view the lack of diversity in your marketing materials to be indicative of the lack of commitment or interest that your business has for staff that are different.
Of course, if you’re company isn’t diverse, you don’t want to appear to be misleading by adding pictures to your marketing materials that aren’t representative of your company.
Ideally, you’ll want to use real employees so get your employees’ permission to feature them in your materials, or be ready to revamp your marketing materials.
Be proactive- when attending networking events or other business related events, make connections with the participants.
Take a few minutes to meet event attendees.
Move outside of your comfort zone and talk to people who are different from you.
Put together a 2-minute pitch about your company that will give the person a snapshot of what the company is all about.
If you have a job opportunity available ask the person that your networking with if they know of someone who might be interested, or if they could spread the word about the job opportunity.
Make sure that you leave business cards so that people can get in touch with you, or have information about your website and encourage people to take a look.
Take the approach that your goal is to build relationships.
Participate with associations or organizations whose primary focus is to work with underrepresented individuals. Participation may include attending networking events, sponsoring an association initiative, or providing helpful workshops or information sessions.
3. Reach diverse candidates early in the game by contacting administrators at high schools or middle schools in areas where the population is diverse. Offer to participate in the school’s career day. These types of events are the perfect opportunity to showcase your company and the type of work that your employees perform on a daily basis. Students will remember your company when they are looking for work.
Your company can also sponsor or participate in community events that attract a wide variety of people including diverse members of the community. Making your presence known in the community by attending events is much more effective than just placing an ad in a multicultural newspaper.
In the next episode of Employee Hiring and Managing Tips, I’ll focus 9 tips that will help you to retain the diverse employees that you have.
I’d love to hear about any ideas that you may have for finding and retaining diverse employees, or any ideas that you may have on future episodes.
Thank you for your support!
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