Help! How Do I Make My Work Center More Diverse?

Caru OOO,

I am an hiring manager (white, male) in a slightly different society. I’d like to help make it more diverse, but we only seem to get people who seem to be applying for jobs, and I have no idea how to get people who don’t seem to be applying for us. How can we be better at hiring so diversify our staff?


I screamed a lot about the still-unfortunate lack of diversity in my industry on the internet, which means I get variations of this question all the time from friends and collaborators and acquaintances and even complete strangers. As much as I like to be considered an expert on everything and everything, however, this particular line of inquiry is still a bit confusing for me. I don’t know if your field is like that, Mark, but the whites in mine are sometimes treated (by other whites) as if they have unlocked some mystical secret when they simply … assume blacks and browns.

I lick it a bit when people tell me that the assumption of people from a wide range of backgrounds is difficult, because it is not; it is only necessary effort. When whites say hiring more Black and Brown people for your strangely white office is difficult, the subtext is that it’s harder to find qualified Black and Brown people than white ones. But it’s just plain false. There are many qualified candidates who are not white for literally every job, and the only way to end up interviewing only white people is if you are not willing to put in the effort to get a more diverse pool.

I don’t mean to take you, Mark. I fully believe that you really want to make your business better by making it more diverse, and I promise to give you concrete advice on how to do so. But I think it’s important to understand the systemic issues at play before you get into the nitty-gritty command, because the assumption of diversity is a field that needs a lot more critical thinking, and you can’t get that one step at a time. from -step guide. I encourage you to first read extensively about workplace diversity both in your industry and more generally, and discuss what you learn with your colleagues.

Okay then, here are the tips for which you have really gone. I would start by trying to identify things that might discourage people from not looking to run. At the very least, of course, people are reluctant to submit their resumes because they are well aware that they usually don’t employ people who look like them. Who can blame them? Talk to your current employees about color (you have it) some, no?) on how the company could improve its working life, and make the changes it demands. (Reassure them that it’s not a trick question, but understand that maybe they won’t tell you anything, not because you’re really doing a good job but because research shows that people of color are actually penalized to advocate for diversity at work.) Look at your company’s retention rates for different groups of employees, and if they vary by race, ethnicity, or gender, think critically about why. Reflect on the differences between diversity, equity and inclusion and understand how to create an inclusive workplace. Then, when you identify the great candidates (more on that below), you can talk about all the positive steps you’ve taken to resolve your mistakes.

Once you’ve done all these steps, and not a second before, focus on active recruitment rather than just filtering through resumes that find their way to you. While publicly opening job openings is an important step toward a diverse workforce, it is not remote enough. You have to use the same networking tools that have historically kept companies strictly white and male to diversify them. This means asking all of your contacts what they recommend. (A big caveat: Do it no ask the right-wing people in your field for their recommendations, unless you know them well; you don’t gain the benefit of their knowledge, and making people feel overwhelmed doesn’t help at all.) It also means scouring LinkedIn, Twitter, message boards, or other places in your field where people gather for perspectives. Attending professional conferences and other events in your field can help as well, but there is no substitute for making this work more thorough.

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