Businesses of all disciplines are in a constant campaign to locate and hire the right talent at the right time. A commitment to ensuring that diversity is reflected in the makeup of staff can add a layer of complexity when introduced into the hiring process. Simple actions can be taken to streamline and simplify the diversity hiring and retention process.
Promoting employment opportunities appropriately is an important initial step. Position descriptions should have statements that sound energized and inspiring, encouraging a broad spectrum of applicants.
Statements in postings should:
• Promote the benefits of a fair and diverse workforce
• Ensure reasonable accommodations and accessibility
• Indicate flexible criteria for assessment of abilities and experience
Advertising in publications, professional and social organizations, and community organizations with broad minority outreach will enhance the pipeline to capture diversity. Selection panel members should have diverse credentials to incorporate varying points of view.
Consider alternative posting locations:
• Career centers at local universities and diversity websites such as latpro.com
• LinkedIn’s networking groups including Bay Area Black Professionals, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, or the National Association of Women MBAs
• A “Drive for Diversity” virtual career event
Assessing the candidate pool should continue with care. The recession has marred many resumes with gaps in service. This does not always diminish a candidate’s chances of employment as many minority job seekers have chosen nontraditional career paths to cope with the last ten years. Additionally, women and the disabled may also have career gaps in their resumes due to work-life balance issues.
Remember not to disqualify:
• Career pauses
• Nontraditional career paths
• Senior degrees obtained later in life
• Volunteer work/community service
• Several moves to different locations
• Nontraditional ways of obtaining skills and experience
• Non-criminal offenses on a background or credit check
Ultimately, valuable skills gained from alternative life experiences are transferrable into a business environment. Members of designated groups may face frequent taxing demands because they are under-represented and do not have the depth of support (whether financial, familial or otherwise) as others may have. This translates into a less than clear career history. Financial constraints due to the enduring recession may continue to hamper applicants until they are reestablished.
Keeping the Workplace welcoming:
• Consider Flex Time and Job Sharing roles for creative pairing of resources
• Enhance reward and recognition programs to include community volunteering
• Enhance and promote internal professional development opportunities
• Hold regular diversity training and workshops
• Host personal financial workshops for mortgage assistance, retirement planning, managing debt
• Create a company forum to promote diverse hiring and collaborative outreach
• Maintain an open and assessable management style in which employees are welcome to air grievances without repercussion
• Instruct through written communication to assist with language or cultural barriers
Implementing a Diversity Management Plan that includes workshops on a regular basis will underscore the executives’ commitment to developing and sustaining a diverse workforce. As many companies have experienced, a diverse workforce provides a company with headcount growth, tax advantages, and strategic initiatives.
Best wishes on a year filled with hiring success!