Recruiting a Diverse Workforce

Over the last 25 years, there has been a huge increase in women, people of color and immigrants in the workforce.
A diverse workforce is critical to stay competitive and innovative.

A diverse workforce, therefore, is not just a good thing; it’s a business imperative.  While it’s one thing to attract a diverse workforce, it’s another thing to retain the workers.  Here are some pointers to do both effectively.

Create a diverse pool of candidates

You can start by diversifying your traditional sources of job candidates. Consider researching and developing a list of colleges that traditionally have large numbers of women, people with disabilities, and people from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds. Develop relationships with these schools.

Develop relationships with diverse community organizations

Consider participating in or sponsoring events such as Juneteenth, Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year and Disability Awareness Month.
Sodexho, a food and facilities management services company, teamed up with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Sodexho Pan Asian Network Group to set up scholarship for Asian American college juniors who also are involved in community service.

Create an environment of inclusion

In an inclusive environment, people feel valued. They feel integrated into the organization’s mission, vision and business strategy at all levels. When employees’ skills and knowledge are recognized, appreciated and utilized, they are more engaged in contributing to the organization’s success. These employees are more willing to go the “extra mile” and share ideas and innovation. The visible and invisible dimensions of diversity that they bring are used as resources for success and growth.

Consider creating a process to inform all of your employees about open positions, and make it easy to apply. Be open to giving opportunities for excellence to people who are different than you. Become conscious of any biases you may have about other cultures, communication styles and decision-making processes. Identify stereotypes of people who work in your industry and develop strategies for changing perceptions. Use more inclusive language and visuals in rulebooks, orientation, and recruiting materials. For example, when discussing positions that have traditionally been filled by a particular gender, use pronouns that are non-gender-specific.

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