Sourcer or Sorcerer? Developing a Diversity Sourcing Program

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Feb 12, 2013

In today’s market, there is a gap between open job positions qualified candidates. Further still, the customer landscape is becoming more diverse and as a result, companies have to focus on the needs of their customer base. Do you know why your company wants a diverse candidate pipeline?  I mean really really know? Management and sourcing teams should be able to answer that question.  If not, stop sourcing and schedule a meeting with your boss to find out if they need a sourcer or a sorcerer. Diversity programs for diversity’s sake are worthless therefor if you are sourcing for a company that does not have a complete strategy is pointless. Period. Before you get fired for not doing your job or telling your boss they are wasting time however, please read on.

Without detailed benchmarks of the “who, what, when, why and how” for your plan to hire diverse candidates, you are setting yourself up to fail. How will you know if you are doing a good job? How long do you need to look for diverse candidates?  Is the plan going to be rolled out by department or just companywide? (Good questions right!?!?)

It seems companies are missing the whole point of diversity! In theory, a diverse workforce seems like a good idea but, like I pointed out in my last article, “Must be able to drive a zoo vehicle,” your company may not be ready for an initiative. It may be time to evaluate the program that has been started.

It is human nature to have biases or prejudices based on our own personal experiences. Personally, I refer to it as B.I.A.S. – Because.I.Am.Scared.  Biases are developed out of fear. It is natural to feel intimidated, afraid threatened or even frustrated and angry when dealing with people different then “us.” It is even more frustrating when a company wants to recruit underrepresented candidates to a company that does not value new ideas and are already change resistant.

What programs have you put in place for your diverse employees now? Please don’t tell me, “We have a women’s group, an Asian professionals group a group for black accounts etc. STOP Adding special work “groups” for minorities is even MORE insulting and I will tell you why.

  1. You are not being inclusionary in fact, it is the definition of exclusion! (PS how many of you with special groups have a special group for white men to join?)
  2. I am already a blind (for example), why do I need to hang with other blind people?  I want to know what the seeing world feels about blind people!
  3. We cannot get the benefits of a diverse workgroup if the special interest group, by name, excludes others who may want to participate.
  4. You are now showing racist tendencies by putting labels on people.
  5. It can become a “how they company treats us bad” club and breed negativity.

I mean really people. The point is to bring people together, squash the taboos and learn to respect people for who they are.  In order to do that we need a proper sourcing strategy and complete transparency with the business needs of the company.

It is necessary to do a thorough assessment of the current company landscape that includes the opinions of ALL of your employees, diverse or otherwise. Start including the inclusionary mindset today in your business dealings so that your company is a comfortable place for your new anticipated diverse workforce. Analyze how your organization is structured and the processes and policies that are currently in place.

Drop everything; find out what definition of diversity your company is using. Find out the anticipated outcome. If you do that, you can truly source diverse candidates. If you know where you stand with your company’s diversity plan, congratulations! Get to sourcing! If you need help, Ask Jackye!

If your company wants you to recruit diverse candidates for diversity’s sake and you have no idea why they even want diverse candidates, they may call you a sourcer but what they want is a sorcerer.  If YOU need help you can Ask Jackye, but you may also want to call David Blaine….

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