As communities evolve and diversify, hiring practices should, too. Such is the message from recruiters and non-profits alike.
“We call it a ‘diversity first’ mandate,” said Keri Gavin, a partner and director of the global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practice at executive search firm Hanold Associates.
For example, employers wanting to foster an inclusive corporate culture can begin by reaching out to HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) while specifically stating their desire to hear from a broad talent base on platforms such as LinkedIn. After posting a job, recruiters might want to look specifically for candidates of color for a certain period of time—say, the first five, 10 or 30 days, she said.
“That’s how you can tap diverse candidates who would qualify for that role—be more intentional.”
Signing industry pledges, getting certified as an inclusive business and showing badges on your website are additional ways to show commitment to diversity. Nonprofit organizations supporting older workers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are offering such opportunities for businesses.
Older and wiser
“What is smart for business? To have people of all ages and intergenerational teams. The more perspectives you have at the table, the more productive and profitable you are.”– Janine Vanderburg, J.D., director, Changing the Narrative
In fact, workers 50+ may increase business revenue by 3% and reduce turnover costs while bringing guidance, expertise and balance to an organization, according to Leveraging the Value of an Age-Diverse Workplace, an AARP-sponsored report published by the Society for Human Resource Management. In addition, AARP reports that only 29% of workers over 50 say they’re looking for or open to a new job versus 49% of those under 50.
More than 1,000 U.S. companies have signed AARP’s employer pledge, which affirms the value of experienced workers and diverse organizations. Companies involved in the program use the pledge’s seal on their recruitment materials and website, network with like-minded companies, attend online career fairs and connect with job seekers.
Employers should use inclusive language and photography to put the pledge in context. In job descriptions, explicitly state you are eager to hear from seasoned job applicants and avoid terms such as “digital natives.”
“You need to make sure you’re not off-putting to older workers,” Vanderburg said. “What kind of images are on the recruiting page of your website? Is it just young, hip people or do you show a diversity of ages?”
The private sector—steering social change
Local organizations are likewise resources for employers wanting to hire LGBTQ candidates.
“We are educating the business community on being inclusive in the workplace,” said Angela Hughey, president of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based One Community, which is working to advance workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and public accommodations for the LGBTQ+ community.
About 3,300 Arizona businesses have signed One Community’s Unity Pledge. Hughey’s organization also runs an institute for the private sector. Upon completion, companies earn a recognized certification—a sign to LGBTQ+ candidates that they are welcome to apply for jobs.
Hughey credits Texas Competes—a coalition of businesses and pro-business organizations—for making an economic case for LGBTQ+-friendly practices in the Lone Star State. The group posts logos and names of companies that sign its pledge on its website.
“It is important to create an inclusive culture internally, but also to be out with how inclusive you are,” Hughey said.
“The most dangerous place for a business to be is quiet and on the sidelines—because that is also an action.”- Angela Hughey, president of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based One Community
“We’ve always believed that the business community would be the solution for diversity, equity and inclusion,” Hughey said, “To level the playing field for historically underrepresented communities, not only LGBTQ+ but also Black people and people of color.”