By Salvador Ordorica, CEO of The Spanish Group LLCa first-class international translation service that translates more than 90 languages.
Increasing diversity in the workplace is becoming a top goal for businesses across the United States, and for several good reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that increasing diversity in the workplace is the right moral move. Helping our businesses be more like the people they serve promotes equality across society. Another reason why companies should encourage diversity is that they can also derive real and tangible benefits from it.
It has been shown by various companies that more innovative and more productive, offering a degree of versatility you wouldn’t otherwise have. In addition, some recent reports have shown that: various companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee†
But how do you find and attract more diverse candidates for a job? I will share with you a few tips that have helped my company build a diverse and effective workforce.
Here are three simple strategies you can apply today to build a more diverse workforce.
1. Source contributors from different places.
This may seem obvious, but many companies never consider that since they limit their searches to a small segment of the population, their workforce may only represent that small segment.
Try to mix up the sources from which you get employees. You may need to look for groups (both offline and online) that bring together skilled employees relevant to your industry. For example, you can join a Women in Science social group and post feelers there for qualified candidates.
• Ask for referrals from various employees.
Another way to find quick, quality contacts is to start a referral program (or simply ask your various employees for qualified contacts). These collaborators can also be helpful in sharing the news that you are seeking candidates with wider networks of which they are a part.
• Customize the stats you screen for.
In the same vein, you should also re-examine what metrics you use to screen candidates. We live in a world where you can learn and become proficient in some unorthodox ways, and you should try not to be prejudiced against those who don’t fit into a specific mold from the start. Think about who, how and what you screen for, and evaluate if it’s dictating your hires in unintended ways.
2. Start targeted internship programs.
Internship programs are a great way to recruit, train and work with different candidates from different backgrounds. There are countless benefits to running a successful program like this, not least by helping your brand build better, long-term relationships with the communities you choose to interact with.
• Mentoring programs can also be helpful.
Creating mentorship programs that help you build better internal connections within the company can help you retain it. A good mentorship program can also help you more easily identify leadership candidates among your current employees by seeing how they interact with those they mentor.
3. Keep your details after the appointment.
This is more of a long-term solution, but one of the major business problems I’ve seen is retention. One of the reasons you may struggle to maintain a diverse workforce is that your retention levels may be lower in certain demographics than others. You need to start keeping track of post-hire records at many touchpoints and really see how your candidate choices affect turnover in your company. From then on, you can take steps to resolve any issues.
Keep in mind that there are many variables that can come into play in a decision to leave a company, from internal culture to a lack of promotions or better offers elsewhere.
• Create statistics to hold leaders accountable.
The more data and metrics you can collect, the more comprehensive you will be about your business and the better you can set realistic goals. An advantage of this is that you then have hard numbers to assess different managers and their efforts to increase diversity in their departments.
The more you can support your decisions with diversity data, the better. You want to be able to say with confidence “we increased our workforce diversity by this percentage in the past year” whenever the topic comes up.
There are countless ways to increase diversity, and the method that works best for you depends a lot on the unique aspects of your business, the industry, and the area you’re in. For those companies that are able to maintain the level of diversity among their workforce, they are likely to see some tangible and intangible benefits emerge.