Weaving Diversity into Your Workplace

Time and time again, diversity candidates report that they can sense which companies are pursuing a sincere commitment to building a diverse workforce—and which are not. This sincerity, and the commitment underlying it, are absolutely critical to hiring the best candidates.
Here are some thoughts and best practices on how to weave diversity into the fabric of your organization:
Emphasize competence-based credentials rather than past experience. Encourage the placement of interns and co-op students who are members of diverse groups. Establish formal relationships with schools that have great diversity in their student body. This measure will ensure that you are always cultivating talent for your future talent pool.
Make sure that all levels of management have received diversity training, or they may not be in a position to give a fair evaluation during the hiring process. Cultivate organizational partnerships with groups catering to the needs and interests of people of color, women, and the disabled. When using an interview panel, make sure that it is culturally diverse to minimize potential bias. Be sure that the qualifications established for a given position are really ones needed to do the job, and are not ones based on historical assumptions.
Understand your own beliefs and attitudes about the positions that you are filling and the populations that you
are targeting. Be aware of how this could affect both the way you write job descriptions, as well as how you screen and interview.
Incorporate non-traditional networking channels to produce a diverse applicant pool. A strong, diverse, informal network is a critical part of any successful diversity recruitment effort. Encourage seniors, people of color, women, and people with disabilities in your organization to assist in providing names of possible recruits.

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