The Untapped Resources of Finding a Diverse Employee Base
You want to have diversity in your workforce, right? Yes, and in today’s workspace there are a multitude of industries where great talent, both white collar (science, tech, engineering, math) and skilled labor (trades) are harder and harder to find, and there is a diverse population out there to hire from.
The unemployment rate continues to decline, currently 3.9 percent in the US (about 4 percent in Oregon), and employers are having a harder and harder time finding experienced employees, especially in the skilled trades; construction, HVAC, refrigeration, agriculture, food & beverage, hospitality. In certain demographics, even the most progressive and inclusive employers are vying for diverse and equitable labor, often times recruiting from out of state even.
There are untapped resources out in our workforce, those individuals who have experienced certain limitations to finding gainful employment, who simply want to be invited into your workforce. These potential employees are right here in your ‘backyard’. To top it off, the department of labor even offers the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, WOTC, to employers who hire people from diverse backgrounds. Here are just a few:
- Adults with developmental disabilities
- Youth entering the workforce without degrees
Anyone who does hiring, listen up. The list of available employees goes on and on. As you are trying to build your pipeline of potential employees, don’t forget these important groups of people—who are often highly supported by a team, yes, AN ENTIRE TEAM, of coaches, counselors, and advisors who will nearly guarantee a successful hire, or they will work endlessly to find another.
Let’s dispel a few myths.
I cannot hire a convicted felon.
Yes. This is something to consider, on both sides. Do you currently conduct background checks? If yes, great. Just remember that in many “ban the box” states, you still cannot, not, hire someone based on their conviction unless it directly effects the type of job they will be doing. For example, do not allow a person convicted of money fraud to be in a finance position. If however, you can see yourself giving someone who has been through numerous hours of counseling and job preparedness a chance to succeed, then you may also be able to brag that you are a “second chance employer”.
I don’t have time to train an adult with a disability.
No you don’t. Most employers need employees ‘yesterday’, and don’t have time to train anyone, not to mention someone who will need extra time for training. This is why there are amazing organizations who are able and willing to spend the time and budget training this perfectly qualified workforce. They will actually send a job coach onsite, for uncounted numbers of hours, to work side-by-side with the employee to ensure the successful readiness. (Yes, this means you have two employees for the price of one.) In fact, they will recruit and train entire teams of employees, prepare them for work for your company, and then work onsite with them until you give them the green-light that they are ready to go solo. If they call in sick, guess what, they will find a replacement.
I can’t find skilled labor.
Veteran’s. Tradeswomen. Apprentices. Youth. There is an untapped resource here of qualified skilled labor. These people are heading straight to their local resources to find you. When you are looking or employees, don’t forget it’s more than just Craigslist and Indeed when searching for skilled labor. Check out your local Veterans groups, tradeswomen associations, school-to-work alliances, and apprentice organizations.
It may take time to investigate and align your company with these groups, but in return you will have a handful of amazing resources who will continue to present you with top talent and find you your next great employee.
As part of our mission to provide excellent service , HR Annie Consulting in Portland, Oregon, seeks to bring together employers and employees to get the job done, together. If we only access a portion of our talent population, we are not our doing our job of successful recruitment.
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