If you’re old enough, you might recall a time when companies hired minorities based solely on affirmative action. Many didn’t agree with this approach, and others saw it as the right thing to do but not necessarily good for their business. Done properly, diversity recruiting is essential for successful modern businesses.
In a global economy, increasing your workforce diversity is a core factor in developing your company’s competitive advantage. Employees from a variety of cultural backgrounds bring with them new perspectives, skills, and most important, new ideas.
Blending the previously untapped resources of diversity recruiting to your organization enhances the strength and depth of your workforce’s competencies. Hiring to build a culturally diverse pool of ideas maximizes your competitive advantage. Considering the following five areas of diversity recruiting will help you develop a strategic approach.
Understanding Your Current Culture
Before you can affect any organizational change, you must understand the current situation. You have to ask and answer questions about your company’s current culture. Is your workforce diverse and do existing groups align with your community environment? Does your workforce, especially management, present an open and welcoming attitude or are they closed off and biased? Will cultural acceptance occur easily or with pain? What is your company’s current turnover rate of minority employees, and why?
Reach Out to All Groups in Your Community
Diversity recruitment begins by recognizing the uniqueness of each group. Resist the temptation to lump all minorities together. Familiarize yourself with a variety cultural needs and norms. What are their unique values and how well do they line up with your mission and vision? What will it take to incorporate the new groups into the culture?
Build relationships with people and organizations within your community that can help you understand and identify candidates. Work with educational institutions, industry associations, local political leaders and anyone that is an influential presence in the community. These relationships will serve your recruitment needs for many years.
Provide Diversity Training to the Existing Culture
Prepare the organization for diversity. Begin with managers at the highest level. Their actions will model expected behavior. They will demonstrate how employees should treat and value each other. Make sure the training includes an explanation of why diversity recruiting is good for the business. State the facts. Diversity recruiting is not an affirmative action policy, but rather a strategic business action.
Finding the Right Candidate
Recruiting in the traditional sense is about identifying and attracting talent. When you add retention to the mix recruiting becomes about much more. First, you have to ensure that each candidate is treated equally regarding fairness during the process. You want each candidate to experience the process in a positive way. The people involved in the hiring process on the company’s behalf must be unbiased.
Retention and the Bottom Line
Hiring costs have skyrocketed making retention crucial. After hiring, you need to develop each employee to the fullest and help them become acclimated. The orientation process should clearly explain expectations, how recruits will measure their progress, and who they can turn to with questions along the way.
If you would like more information on recruitment, please check out our Recruiter's Toolbox.