Diversity: Stop Talking and Start Hiring

On Thursday May 20th 2010 Hire Velocity & AllianceQ hosted a webinar to discuss diversity in the workplace and the steps a company should take to build  a great diversity candidate pool.

First, let’s analyze your company’s level of sophistication with diversity recruiting.  We’ll use the analogy of snow skiing skill levels.

Beginner– This entails defining diversity within your organization whether it gender, lifestyle, or ethnicity. Such a simple question has the ability to lead your organization to success or downfall.

Intermediate- This consists of three important questions: 1)  Where and why do we need diversity?, 2) What are the demographics?, 3) Are the needs and demographics aligned? At the intermediate level, your organization is thinking in terms of long term success.  Knowing where your organization is in terms of your diversity strategy is key to establishing the staff you need.

Advanced- This level is where you are putting your plans into action. You are actively finding talent and pipelining talent.  The most action is happening at this level. You are finding out what is working for your company and what isn’t by y identifying the organization’s failure points and correcting them.

Expert- This is the final level where you are able to define and measure ROI. The ultimate goal of your organization is to be at this level.  This is where you have answered all the necessary questions and performed all the tasks.

Most would think organizations would consider themselves advanced or expert. Not to our surprise, our live poll showed 30% of webinar participants were beginners and 48% intermediate. With organizations finding themselves at the beginner or intermediate level, there is a definite need for help.

Below are some important tips from the webinar to aid in diversifying your organization:

Do some investigation: Establish relationships with those who are happy in their current organization. Establishing the relationship can lead to potentially having them join your team at a future time. Take advantage of situations that may lead them to leave their current position, such as not gaining a promotion or a poor quarter in sales.

Be willing to train: While the diverse candidate you are looking for may not have the exact background you want, keep in mind that doesn’t mean they can’t meet your expectations. Be willing to train those who have potential and be flexible with your needs.

Be realistic with your expectations: Many organizations are looking for the quick fix. Often having this mentality will lead you to instant failure.  You need to understand this is a multi-year approach and time needs to be dedicated to develop the right candidate pool.

One new social media tool can be a great aid in diversifying your organization. LinkedIn has become a resource that organizations shouldn’t live without; it has become the life line needed to ensure you are getting the diverse staff that is needed. One major aspect of LinkedIn is that you have a photo of the potential candidate, and since the information is being published online, the chance of discrepancies is greatly reduced. It is a database full of potential candidates, and you can narrow your search to tailor your specific needs.  Oh and did I mention it’s free!

Using these tools as a map can lead your organization to a successful and diverse workplace. “Diversity is no longer the right thing to do.”  It is something that helps organizations grow and develop the strength they need to establish and remain.

Byron West – President at Hire Velocity

A seasoned recruiting entrepreneur, Byron West provides the vision and leadership at Hire Velocity.  While an EVP at TMP/Monster Worldwide, Byron guided and oversaw the Talent Acquisition team, consisting of 155 recruiting professionals, each equipped with the latest search engine technology. This business unit supported all professional and permanent placement services.