Ask Jackye! What Is Diversity Sourcing?

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Sep 27, 2011

This is your opportunity to ask Jackye Clayton any questions you have about diversity sourcing and recruiting. Jackye is an advocate of incorporating diversity into your overall recruitment strategy and will happily take your questions and respond to them here on SourceCon.

This week’s question is about defining diversity, understanding its importance, and how to go about implanting an effective diversity sourcing plan.

“What is diversity?”

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines Diversity as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: Variety; especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.

  • Diversity is “the ways in which we differ as individuals or organizations and the commonalities and similarities that justify and motivate diverse people and entities to work collaboratively together, in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.”
  • Diversity includes attribute differences such as age, gender, ethnicity, and physical appearance; as well as personal differences such as thought styles, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, belief systems, sexual orientation, and education. 

Note: Appreciative Inquiry, Sue Annis Hammond – What is working?

You can also look at this article posted by Kay Kelison recently right here on SourceCon for an accurate description of what diversity is.

Why does cultural diversity matter?”

When you have a diverse company culture that allows employees the ability to grow, your productivity can grow also because internally the team with have the understanding, acceptance, and information needed to make better business decisions.  Once people can appreciate discover, and learn about individuals who are different than themselves, the internal workplace will be a true reflection of the external world. Also, employee retention will be better because people will feel respected and valued.

“90% of job seekers think diversity programs make a company a better place to work” -Survey commissioned by The New York Times

“How do you start an effective diversity sourcing plan?”

1)   Start a plan to keep planning!

This is a malleable plan of action that will have to be worked and reworked.  There is no silver bullet.  Begin to schedule regular meetings to assess how you are progressing. Make sure that whatever you are working toward the goals are in line with your company’s mission and business goals.

2)   Assess your current environment.

  • How are sourcing candidates currently?
  • What are the processes you have to go through with each candidate?
  • How are job descriptions written?
  • Who has the final say?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask but there are certainly others.

3)   Join the key players and internal partners together.

Talk about what is going on! Discuss what your company is seeking through targeting diverse candidates. Suggest having an internal advisory board with diverse members!

4)   Start a diversity training initiative.

If you are reading this, obviously you are looking for a little help with the whole diversity thing.  If you need help understanding, odds are that others in your company need to grasp this concept as well.  Maybe offer “Diversity Isn’t a Bad Word!” training!  MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH BEFORE PRESENTING!!!  Remember, not all training classes are created equal!

5)   Metrics! If you measure it – it will come!

Read “Diversity Recruiting Metrics” by Dr. John Sullivan.  This is a great article!

6)   Keep on Keeping on!

Keep a pipeline of diverse candidates!  Sometimes we find great candidates but do not have a position for them. Well keep these people on your short list of people to contact when a position comes up.  Also, ask these folks for recommendations.

7)   Don’t Be a Sheep

Did you know that sheep will do whatever the other sheep are doing? Even if it is a bad decision, the others will follow.  If another sheep jumped off a cliff, would you?  You would if you were a sheep. Take a different path than you would usually to find candidates. Do some research and go where no other sourcers have ever gone before…

This should be enough to get you started!

Have any more questions?  Just Ask Jackye!

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