Diversity planning begins with broadening the base of candidates from which to select employees. Organizations often rely on a few high-yield talent sources such as popular job portals, campus recruitment, social media and employee referrals to find candidates. While candidate volumes tend to be high, the talent pool may be largely homogenous as these sources tend to generate similar kinds of candidates. For example, employee referrals tend to bring forward candidates who are very similar to the employee. Looking for candidates through new sources can help bring diverse talent into the mix.
Today’s talent pool is increasingly diverse in multiple aspects. Organizations have benefited from casting their net wider to include candidates in the below categories¹
Differently-abled candidates are often competent but unable to find the right opportunities in companies that can accommodate their needs. Organizations such as EnAble India are working to address this gap through their online job platform for differently-abled candidates². Employers can work with such hiring partners who conduct pre-employment training and provide candidates who are job-ready. Once such employees join and find the organization inclusive, they can tap into their network and make referrals of similar candidates.
PASSIVE / NEED FLEXIBILITY
These are qualified candidates who may not be actively looking for a job but may be available to take on roles provided they have some flexibility to manage their other commitments. Part-time roles can bring in much needed talent. JobsForHer is a connecting portal that enables women to restart their careers after a break and achieve their full potential through full-time, part-time, work-from-home, freelance and volunteer opportunities³.
In India, the barrier for employees on a long break to return to work is enormous. Often, all these candidates need is a chance to return to work. Recruitment practices tend to weed them out at early stages, but keeping them in the pool may prove to be greatly advantageous as they are keen to prove themselves and often take the initiative to re-skill and up-skill themselves.
The retired workforce comes with long-standing expertise that is unmatched. Finding competent retirees can add much-needed perspective in a largely millennial workforce. Age diversity is often neglected in organizations. Former military personnel of all ages are a rich source of talent as well.
Keeping a company alumni network active provides access to high-performing former employees. They have the added advantage of having company context and perhaps come with a renewed perspective if they have worked elsewhere in the meantime.
Companies are starting to recognize that candidates with neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia and Tourette syndrome among others can be productive members of the workforce. Vindhya E-Infomedia is a successful BPO company with more than 1600 employees, of which 62 percent are differently-abled⁴. This includes employees with physical limitations, blindness, cerebral palsy and autism. SAP Labs has worked with EnAble India to integrate persons with autism⁵.
*Read our Inclusion Handbook 2019 for more information on how to diversify your talent sources.
About the Author and Serein
Nikita Agnihotri is Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with two Masters’ degrees specializing in Psychology from India and New York. She is a researcher with almost 3 and half years of experience in both academic and applied research settings. Reading about why some people feel they are not valued, or that they do not belong in their own organization, paved her way in the field of diversity and inclusion. She successfully defended her thesis on how organization-based self-esteem impacts voice behavior amongst employees at corporate workplaces. She has been involved in a variety of projects in applied psychometry area, from conducting criterion validation analyses for competency scales, using classical test theory for item analyses to developing items, writing white papers, creating marketing factsheets and assessing psychometric properties of a diagnostic tool for inclusion at workplaces. Working as a Research Fellow at Catalyst Inc., New York, she contributed in the development of an online inclusion survey for corporates. She is a self-aware individual who has the potential to adapt to change, embrace it and work effectively in a team with culturally distinct individuals. She is passionate about applying her knowledge in improving selection systems by broadening the criteria used for selection decisions and following an evidence-based approach.
At Serein we believe that diversity and inclusion are the pillars of a good society. Issues of inclusion, diversity, unconscious bias and mental health can affect home and the workplace in many ways.
Having worked on gender and with many other forms of diversity we have come to realise that an empathetic approach to all builds inclusion. It also builds a trusting environment in society as well as the workplace. If you would like to learn more about diversity and inclusion trainings, inclusive leadership workshops or how to speak about empathy, emotional/mental health issues or conduct gender, diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias, mental wellbeing trainings in the workplace, do drop us a line at email@example.com
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