As a manager, you are constantly sourcing, recruiting and hiring new employees. Who you hire directly affects the diversity within your organization. This section offers specific suggestions for using an inclusive process to meet your organization's hiring needs.
Before you begin to recruit and hire new employees, you should develop a comprehensive workforce (or staffing) plan based on your organization's current business plan. The workforce plan may identify specific demographic groups that you wish to target because they are currently underrepresented in your organization's workforce. As part of your workforce planning, you also should do the following:
Participate in diversity training. You, along with everyone else who interviews candidates, should participate in diversity training to increase your awareness of personal biases that may inhibit a fair evaluation of all candidates.
Develop clear qualifications for each position. You should review all job descriptions to ensure that only the specific qualifications necessary to performing the position are included. Often, job descriptions are filled with superfluous credentials – for example, a master's degree -- that may unnecessarily restrict the pool of available candidates. In other instances, job descriptions emphasize specific types of experience, when competencies gained from other experiences would be just as applicable or useful.
Develop recruiting materials that reflect visible diversity. You should review all recruiting materials (brochures, videos, etc.) and make sure that a visibly diverse group of employees are represented. You also should include a statement of your commitment to diversity and inclusion in all recruiting materials.
Assemble a diverse interviewing panel. Because everyone brings their personal biases into the process of evaluating candidates, it's important to have as many employees from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible participate in the interviewing process. In this way, qualities that may turn off some interviewers may be explained as cultural differences that have no impact on the candidate's ability to perform the job.
Ensure that policies and benefits are attractive to potential diverse recruits. Different policies and benefits will be attractive to different groups. For example, women, and increasingly men, often select employers based on the organization's work/life balance policies. Family-friendly policies typically provide opportunities for flexible working hours, telecommuting, job-sharing, and permanent part-time positions. Domestic partner benefits can be offered to attract gay and lesbian employees. Floating holidays or personal days are appealing to non-Christian employees.
In order to increase the diversity within your organization, you may need to expand your efforts beyond your traditional sources of new employees. Some suggestions are provided below:
Encourage the placement of diverse interns and co-op students. Often interns and co-op students become new employees. At the very least, they become ambassadors to their communities. If they have had a good experience working within your organization, they will tell their fellow students and positively influence them in their selection of potential employers.
Establish relationships with schools that have diversity in their student body. As a manager, you can establish a personal relationship with the heads of engineering or computer science departments at colleges and universities with significant minority populations, and other institutions with high populations of students of color. You may fund a class project or other activity. By building a personal relationship, you will enhance the organization's profile among the student body as well as get the inside track on hot talent.
Develop relationships with organizations that cater to the needs and interests of minority and other diverse candidates. There are many external organizations that serve women, minorities, peoples with disabilities, gay and lesbians and other diverse groups. These groups work not only to increase representation in the workforce, but also to provide support throughout their careers. The organizations include the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers. You also can support their events/conferences as well as your employees' participation in these organizations. For more information, see the list of National Technical Diversity-Related Organizations in the Resources section.
Cultivate partnerships with community organizations. You should get involved with local and national organizations that serve diverse populations; for example, the Urban League, the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens, etc. In this way, you will increase your familiarity and comfort with people from different cultural backgrounds. For more information, see the list of community organization in the Resources section.
Utilize non-traditional networking venues. You should attend a wide range of networking events in order to reach as diverse an applicant pool as possible. In particular, you can attend events hosted by community groups, religious organizations, and local schools, colleges and universities.
Involve your employee groups in outreach efforts. You should build your personal relationship with employee network groups and then partner with their representatives in your outreach activities.
Instruct all recruiters, referral, and search firms to present a diverse candidate pool. As a manager, you need to insist that both internal and external recruiters present a diverse group of employees for you to interview.
Involve visibly diverse senior managers in outreach efforts. In order to send the message that all employees have opportunities to attain senior levels, it is important that visibly diverse senior managers are actively involved in recruiting activities.
Develop a comprehensive relationship model. If you are a senior manager, you can influence the corporation's philanthropy efforts. When trying to increase the diversity within your organization, consider linking scholarships to internships and providing mentors to interns and/or students.