If you find yourself working as a human resources manager, you may find that while your workplace is open to diversity, it doesn’t actively seek it. This is especially true in rural areas, where the population is less diverse. As a human resources worker or company counselor, it’s up to you to convince your bosses to approve a program to actively seek a more diverse workforce. Do some prep work and convince your employers that you know what’s best not only for the company, but for the community as a whole.
Pursue Higher Education.
The best ammunition when it comes to asking your company for anything — either something personal like a raise or a promotion or something for your department like a campaign to hire a more diverse pool of workers is education. Pursuing an online degree such as a master’s in psychology with a specialization in workplace diversity is perfect for the task at hand (you can enroll in classes today).
Your professors and classmates will help you research the facts behind diversity in the workplace and provide you with techniques for recruiting more diverse and qualified workers. You’ll have access to the most recent data concerning diversity and business, and you may be able to transform a thesis project into a presentation for your employers. Plus, since classes can be done online, you can easily fit the degree in around your schedule, taking classes early in the morning, during your breaks, in the evening or mostly on the weekends — whatever’s most convenient for you.
Discuss the Benefits of More Diverse Workers.
As you’re earning your degree, start thinking about what you’re going to say to your employers to convince them to give you the time and budget to recruit a more diverse pool of workers. For example, focus on how diversity in the workplace leads to:
- More perspectives (different backgrounds lead people to think differently)
- A better economy (the more people who are working, the better the economy does as a whole, which is always good for business)
- Better productivity (A study by the University of Florida suggested employees who are used to respecting differences because of diverse colleagues are more likely to cooperate and compromise)
There’s plenty of data to back up your points, so do your research and lead your argument with statistics and surveys. For example, the Center for American Progress cites a study stating 85 percent of companies agree that diversity plays a crucial role in innovation for their company. The Center goes on to discuss the economic benefits of diversity, too, reporting the increase of women in the workforce over the past 40 years has contributed to a quarter of the current gross domestic product.
Present Your Plan.
Along with a list of reasons why your company needs to be more mindful of diversity when it comes to recruitment, you’ll need to present your plan for attracting more diverse applicants. Managers don’t just want to hear the company has a problem — they want to hear your proposed solutions to the problem. Assemble a plan to tackle the lack of diversity in your workplace. Design a comprehensive employee search campaign that includes:
- Connecting with local organizations, such as churches, universities, and job centers, in more diverse areas of the community.
- Making your company a more attractive place to work so people will relocate to your area from more diverse areas (offering more attractive benefits and a relocation bonus is a start.)
- Advertizing in more diverse areas outside of the local community in the hopes of getting more diverse applicants to come to you
- Sponsoring minority students at local colleges with scholarships.
- Offering diversity and sensitivity training for current employees to encourage the transition to a more diverse workforce.
If you present your research and plan of action effectively, your bosses will start thinking more about actively recruiting minorities in the workplace. Soon, you will be able to collect data from your company demonstrating your argument. Because diversity provides so many benefits for the workplace, it’s not enough to be open to it — the best companies seek it.