How Small Business Owners Can Encourage Diversity in the Workplace
When activists talk about diversity in the workplace, they often focus on big business. From pundits and politicians to journalists and television commentators, much has been made of the lack of diversity in the business world. And while the concerns about corporate America are undoubtedly well-founded, there is another part of the diversity picture.
While the actions of big business are certainly important, the majority of people are employed not by huge companies but by small businesses. These small businesses should lead the way on workplace diversity, looking for ways to fill their ranks with the best and brightest without regard to gender, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
If you own a small business, you can be one of those diversity leaders. It may complicate the hiring process but promoting diversity in the workplace can be good for your small business – and society as a whole. Here are some ways small business owners can promote diversity in their workplaces:
Look to Nontraditional Hiring Sources
If you are focusing your hiring efforts in one place, you will probably attract the same kinds of candidates, time after time. If you want to encourage diversity and attract the most qualified candidates, start by going above and beyond what you have been doing.
A few simple changes to your usual hiring process could have a profound impact on the types of candidates you are attracting and the diversity of the workplace you create. If you do most of your hiring online, why not experiment with offline recruiting sources? This could attract not only older job candidates but those from more diverse socioeconomic backgrounds as well.
You can further diversify the job candidates you attract by reaching out to governmental agencies, job centers, and local high school and college campuses.
Reach Out to Diverse Communities
Attending job fairs and recruitment events in minority neighborhoods can also help you reach a more diverse group of candidates. Job fairs are popular with small businesses, but not all of these outreach events are designed with minority populations in mind.
If you want to achieve greater diversity in your small business, seeking out recruiting events in minority neighborhoods is a great place to start. You can attract a whole new group of job candidates and possibly find your next new hire.
Set Up an Internal Referral Program
Sometimes the best source of new talent is the talent you already have. Everyone working at your business knows people, from friends and former colleagues to family members and classmates, who would love to work in your small business.
If you want to bring those talented individuals into your business and increase the diversity of your workplace, setting up a referral program is a great place to start. With a referral bonus program in place, your existing staff will be incentivized to seek out the best candidates, reducing your recruiting costs while helping you diversify your workforce.
From investing in their local communities to working with community colleges to build a better workforce, small business owners can increase diversity. Yet many small businesses still lag behind their larger counterparts in terms of workplace diversity. If you are ready to turn things around and increase diversity in your small business, the tips listed above can help you get started.
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Founded in 2019, D.I.E is a unique operating organization for professionals working in Equal Opportunity, Diversity, Affirmative Action, and related fields. Building on his experience of more than two decades, founder Brian Figeroux, Esq. who has excelled in Civil Rights, Employment Law, Business Law & Development and served as advisor of several Chambers of Commerce in New York City, is taking his work expertise and knowledge to help the public and private sector. Mr. Figeroux endeavors to develop and devise programs where inclusion is instinctive, as Inclusion without Diversity is Inequality, and Equality makes both businesses and government more productive.