Diversity Recruitment – How to Recruit, Engage and Retain a Diverse Workforce

The United States population is undoubtedly diverse. In the last 20 years, there were huge increases in the percentage of women, immigrants, and people from various ethnic groups and different cultural backgrounds. Fifty percent of America’s workforce is now of another ethnicity or culture! In some areas of California, multicultural workers comprise 70 percent of the workforce. In Oxnard, or Santa Ana, California, Laredo, Texas, El Paso, Texas, and other U.S. Cities, multicultural workers account for 90 percent of the workforce. There are staggering increases-700- 900%-of multicultural populations in Tennessee, Georgia, Iowa, and other places.

For government and corporations to be competitive, innovative, and to secure and keep a market share, it is imperative to recruit, engage and retain a diverse workforce. Building a diverse workforce brings the energy and the creativity to the workforce. An environment of inclusion, where people feel valued and integrated into a company’s mission and vision regardless of their cultural backgrounds will lead to greater productivity. The dimensions of diversity are used as resources for success and growth by government and corporations.

To be able to create a diverse pool of candidates, a company has to go to where the candidates are.

Colleges historically have large numbers of women and people from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Career days at middle and high schools in racially diverse areas is another outlet to discuss the benefits of working for your organization and your industry-get people interested in the field before they go to college.

Suppliers and vendors that champion diversity should be encouraged and are likely to help funnel a steady number of high-qualified and diverse candidates.

An internal system that informs employees of available positions would help spread the word and attract new candidates. The hiring process would need to be simplified to encourage new prospective employees.

It goes without saying that hiring should be based on qualifications and not on comfort level. But it is easier said than done. Humans tend to empathize with those they feel close to, those that resemble themselves. This notion needs to be understood intellectually, but also be practiced daily in the field.

The definition of effective leadership qualities needs to be reviewed. One has to be mindful of biases about other cultures, communication styles, and decision-making processes to not interfere with a recruiting and the hiring decision.

One way for an organization to develop an in-house diversified pool of talent is to continually mentor people who are from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds and to incorporate ideas from other cultures to solve problems and be more innovative.

The recruiting process is the gateway to the company. Conducting interviews with a diverse panel will encourage other perspectives, and lend for better interaction with candidates. The recruiting teams who have been trained in diversity and inclusion awareness are willing to go beyond their comfort zone to attract the best candidates.  Diversity training will mitigate and reduce the impact that biases and stereotypes have on the work environment. Cross-cultural communication training helps staff work well together and be more effective. Outside recruiters hired by any company should not only have a positive track record, but also have a diverse workforce themselves.

A carefully designed media, public relations and advertising strategy is imperative for an organization to attain diversity and sustain a diverse work force.

Diversity should be part of the mission statement and should be prominently displayed. New diversity initiatives, internal changes made regarding diversity and diversity goals that have been met by an organization should be widely communicated to identify the company as a good place to work. Recruits will look for alternative employers when companies do not state and show a high value for diversity.

Relationships with ethnic community leaders and community organizations will generate good will and demonstrate that the company values the community as a source for hiring future employees. Also, potential qualified candidates will not shy away or be intimidated, but will be motivated to apply and pursue careers in companies and organizations perceived to be a “friend of the community.”

Advertising in ethnic media not only allows an organization to communicate directly (and at a reduced cost)with a targeted demographic, but it also brands the company as a friend of the community. It makes it tangible, attainable and encourages candidates and their influencers to be more receptive towards it as a potential employer.

Relationships with diversity-related organizations like African American student unions, Hispanic and Latino student organizations, and Asian-American university scholars, as well as with ethnically diverse professional associations and organizations, such as Asian MBA and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce can be invaluable tools to communicate with a professional and diverse population. Ultimately it will lead to an increase flow of qualified and diverse candidates walking through the company’s front door. Don’t let your biases exclude excellent candidates.

Unique Recruitment Ideas

If you’re trying to attract your ideal candidates, who already have a job elsewhere, you may have to think outside the box when it comes to your recruitment strategies.

That’s why many companies are embracing creative recruiting.

These recruitment methods can help your business stand out from the crowd and put you in touch with your ideal hires

  • Handout Recruitment cards: Print out business size cards for your employees with the company name, phone number and website on them and the words “now hiring.” Ask your employees to keep a stash of these cards on them wherever they go. Whenever they come across someone doing an exceptional job, whether it’s at a cafĂ© or the cashier at the grocery store, they can hand them a “now hiring” card. Once you have found someone with the right personality or mind set you can teach them the other essential skills that may be needed. You will be bowled over at the great employees you will be able to find from very diverse backgrounds using this approach.
  • Employee Referral Rewards Program: It can be very beneficial to hire someone that has been referred by a current employee. A current employee knows the culture of your company and can sense if a person will be a good fit with your organization and team. Offer incentives to employees to refer others.
  • Billboards: Renting a billboard on a busy road near your location is a great way to inform people that you are currently hiring. Make the imagery fun and memorable to catch people’s attention. Keep the wording to a minimum and make the web address easy to remember so that once people are back at their computer they are able to look up the website.
  • Look for talent in an unlikely places: The Director of Talent Acquisition at Quicken Loans (which is regularly listed in Fortune’s 100 best places to work) believes that the secret to their recruiting success is by looking for great people in unexpected places. For example, the company once organised a ‘blitz’ on local businesses, retail stores and restaurants, asking employees to go out and interact with workers and offer interviews to any that were exceptional or stood out from the crowd. Quicken believes that ‘Too many companies focus on industry experience when they recruit… We can teach people about finance. We can’t teach passion, urgency and a willingness to go the extra mile.’

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Equality and Diversity Policy

Managing equality and diversity in the workplace can prove difficult, particularly when drafting an effective equality and diversity policy that can respond to the shifting challenges presented by an increasingly globalised business world. Navigating differences of experience and expectation presents a unique set of hurdles, particularly when companies are striving to remain competitive. Crafting an appropriate policy can help employees understand their own place in a company and marketplace, as well as serving as a touchstone to help companies manage diversity responsibly.

The politics of globalisation and the realities of the United Kingdom’s changing cultural demographics mean that companies must now handle a diverse set of applicants and employees. An equality and diversity policy should help guide hiring practices by acknowledging and, as far as possible, facilitating a level playing field for applicants. Diversity can appear in many guises and forms, which are important to recognize and anticipate.

Increased access to higher education has diversified the field of qualified applicants in most industries. As workers from previously unrepresented economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds enter the workplace, good policies should stress that application and hiring procedures do not discriminate against those from diverse backgrounds. Fostering a sense of awareness of diversity in the workplace can also have a meaningful impact on recruitment strategies. Companies that strive to maintain a sense of equality as well as a sense of diversity may broaden their areas of recruitment, and should examine their methods of evaluation to ensure that they do not discriminate against any set of applicants.

Disabilities, injuries, and poor health should also be tackled by an equality and diversity policy. Companies should recognize that workers often possess a diverse set of skills, and that physical impairment may not impact job performance. Usually, small adjustments can be made to the workplace that facilitate working with a disability. A policy should help codify a company’s responsibility to make sure its facilities accommodate workers who have a variety of physical needs. Ramps and elevators, for instance, can make the workplace wheelchair accessible.

A well crafted policy should also help address any significant disparities in gender when hiring employees. Although a company may not receive applications from qualified men, women, or transgendered individuals in equal percentages, a policy should codify a commitment to equality in hiring practices and workplace conduct.

Dealing with diversity in order to maintain equality demands flexibility from a company. No document can anticipate every scenario that may arise, but a good one can lay the groundwork for future solutions to future problems. Serving as a guiding set of principles, a policy can integrate itself into a company’s identity, as embracing equality and diversity become vital to remaining competitive in today’s marketplace.