The benefits to a diverse workforce are many. Broad and varied perspectives, increased respect for the company brand, and appeal to a wider consumer base are just a few of the benefits reaped by employers who are committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. Diversity is a vital component of successful companies, and it requires a thoughtful and intentional plan to recruit and cultivate a diverse and inclusive workforce. Similarly, when providing workforce development training and development programs, it is essential to develop a recruitment plan which recruits minority populations with intentionality and cultural awareness.
According to the article How to Increase Workplace Diversity in the Wall Street Journal, there are several practices which have proven successful in the recruitment of diverse populations and populations under-represented in the workforce.
- Provide diversity and cultural awareness training to your staff. Creating an environment which champions inclusion and promotes a diverse workforce will influence the recruitment of individuals for workforce training.
- Collaborate with local churches, community centers, or non-profits which serve diverse and minority populations such as the Urban League, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, or an LGBTQ Alliance. These organizations can help introduce you into the communities they serve and provide insight into the dynamics of the communities they serve.
In order to cultivate a culture of diversity within a workforce development program, it is essential to thoughtfully recruit and engage with diverse individuals and communities. Each community has its own personality, strengths, challenges and cultural norms. As you seek to engage with these communities, these aspects must be explored and taken into account when creating a blueprint for recruitment. When this is done, it not only helps to increase the diversity in the training program and/or employer. It also helps to retain those individuals and ensure they successfully complete the training program in which they are enrolled. While embracing and increasing diversity and inclusion within a workforce requires forethought, planning and intentionality, the benefits of a diverse workforce are well-worth the planning and effort required.