Best Practices for Hiring a Diverse Workforce

To hire a more diverse workforce, you need to start by taking a step back and looking at your hiring process from start to finish, from advertising an open position to onboarding. You need to look at everyone who will come into contact with the job candidate to ensure they are all working together to convey an open and inviting environment. Here are some areas to look at.

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  1. Salary

It’s been a common practice for employers to ask candidates for their salary history during job interviews. They use it often to determine the salary for a new hire, simply bumping up the pay from the person’s previous job. But this is not a good practice in general and especially if you are looking to increase diversity in your workforce.

First of all, if you want to hire good people, you need to offer competitive salaries, regardless of what the person made at his or her last job. It should be based on the responsibilities of the position. This is particularly important if you want to attract minority workers, who often are underpaid.

  1. Company Culture

When recruiting job candidates, a business needs to highlight the company culture, which may help to attract a more diverse group of people. For example, you can list the different types of benefits it offers, such as paid time off, support for pregnancy or adoption, parental leave policies, disability leave, and other support services.

Employees of different ages, genders and backgrounds will all have different needs, so focusing on what you offerthese different groups may help increase diversity.

  1. Flexibility

You certainly need to have a minimum set of standards when hiring. But too often companies only consider people who have qualifications that fit the job description exactly. This eliminates many good candidates and it has a stifling effect on diversity.

You should cast your net wider, maintaining more flexibility when it comes to related experience. When hiring, you need to think not just about skills and experience but forming a team of diverse personalities and backgrounds. It is this diversity that will help the team perform better because the exposure to different viewpoints and perspectives will spark creativity and innovation.

When evaluating experience, look beyond the amount of time a person spent in a job to the value of the work they did, what they accomplished, what they learned, even if their tenure was not as long.

The same is true for education. Rather than requiring a specific set of educational credentials, companies should be willing to consider a combination of education and experience. This again allows for a broader reach and a more inclusive approach which will improve diversity.

Companies need to bring consistency to their hiring practices, focusing on a core set of skills and knowledge for each position. This focus will help to reduce more subjective judgments of hiring managers from creeping into decision making, the kinds of judgments that are more likely to be influenced by the biases of the interviewers, whether they are conscious of them or not.

These prejudices may undermine your efforts at diversity because they may be discriminatory against certain people or groups.

  1. A Group Approach

The group of people interviewing job candidates should itself be composed of people with diverse backgrounds. Hiring managers need to consult with a range of people in the company to get a variety of viewpoints and feedback on candidates. This too will help to winnow out hidden bias.

Hiring for diversity may take longer than it did before. If you’d like some help, contact the Helpmates branch nearest you to learn more about our own recruiting practices.

The Bottom-Line Benefits of Becoming a Fully Remote Company

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many people began working remotely to avoid becoming infected with the virus. They did it out of necessity. But companies and workers are seeing that working remotely has a number of advantages in addition to keeping healthy – benefits that can help to boost the bottom line.

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One study found that companies can save as much as $11,000 a year per employee by allowing them to work from home half of the time. Here are a few more advantages for businesses from transitioning to a remote workforce.

  1. Saving on overhead

If you have a workforce that is fully remote, there is no need for a brick-and-mortar building. That is a huge savings in itself. You also save on all of the associated costs of having a building – utilities, rent, maintenance, and parking, to name a few.

You also don’t have to worry about furniture, desks, and computers.

  1. Fewer absences

Working at home offers employees greater flexibility to take care of personal matters without having to take off from work. If a worker needs to attend an event at his or her child’s school, for example, he or she can go to the event, return home – and possibly work beyond “normal” work hours – without having to ask for a half-day off from work.

If a worker has a mild illness, a cold for example, they are more likely to get work done at home, rather than taking time off from work out of fear of spreading the illness to coworkers.

  1. Greater productivity

Research has shown that employees who work remotely are more productive than those who work at the office. They don’t have to take the time for a morning and evening commute. They don’t have to deal with the interruptions that are common to office workplaces.

People working remotely usually work longer hours than those who work in an office, and they enjoy the work more. Because they have greater flexibility and freedom, they are happier in their work, and this positive outlook increases productivity. One study has found that happy workers are 13 percent more productive than those who are not.

  1. Less turnover

Lower employee turnover is another fringe benefit of having a more satisfied workforce. Because those who work remotely are happier in their jobs, they tend to stay in them longer.

This can save a company a lot of money. Hiring new people is expensive, as much as $4,000 per person. Plus, there is the time involved. You need to advertise jobs, review applications, schedule interviews, and onboard the new people, along with any other training that is needed.

Moreover, higher turnover can have a big impact on productivity. When people leave, projects are interrupted. New people need to brought up to speed on what is being done.

Managers also like remote workers: 79 percent of them in a 2019 survey said that remote it’s a great “non-monetary” way to retain employees. Moreover, remote workers say they are more likely to stay with their current companies than people who do not work remotely.

Humans are social creatures and about six months into a lot of remote working,  some employees are saying they look forward to returning to the office,  at least part-time. But most are saying they don’t want to return full time.

The next few months will really show how  much your workers do – or don’t – want to work from home but if you’re wondering if a fully remote workforce is the right move for you, there definitely some financial benefits to it.

Whether you decide to keep everyone working remotely or you want them to return to the office full time, the recruiters at Helpmates can help you source, vet and place terrific workers. Contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you for more information.

Does Your Business Really Have a Healthy Culture? Questions to Ask Yourself

A healthy culture at your company is critical today because you can neither attract/retain top talent, nor maintain high productivity, yet culture is often something that companies pay little attention to, regarding it as nonessential.

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Turning a dysfunctional culture around isn’t easy, but unless you do so, you’ll have a lot of unhappy people working for you (until they leave). And in a world where social media plays such a big role, news of your unhealthy culture will spread quickly, scaring off potential job candidates.

Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your company’s culture issues.

  1. Do you even have a culture?

Some companies don’t. In one recent survey, only a little more than 10 percent of workers responding said they actually understand what their company culture is. Another study revealed that only about 41 percent of employees know what makes their workplace unique.

You can outline the culture you would like to have, you can even believe that you have the culture you want. But to find out the culture you actually have, you may need to survey your employees.

  1. What are your foundational values?

Have you clearly defined them, and are your workers aware of them? Do they guide the operation of your company? For example, if you have defined one of your values as innovation, how well do your employees collaborate and share ideas to foster innovation? Or if one of your foundational values is diversity, how well is it actually represented in your company?

  1. Are you honest with job candidates about your culture?

In their eagerness to land new talent, some hiring managers tell job candidates what they want to hear. In their efforts to sell the company, the managers may exaggerate a little or shade the truth. This is a recipe for failure. Managers need to be honest and up front about what the company is really like. Otherwise, the new hire will leave when they discover things aren’t as they thought.

In fact, about one-fourth of all new employees leave their job in the first three months. The main reasons for this are misunderstandings about the nature of the job and the company. If a lot of new people are leaving the company, you need to find out why.

  1. Do your business partners reflect your values?

Companies rely on independent contractors and consultants. Do these business partners share the foundational values of the company? If not, this could create friction in working relationships, and even worse, possible exposure to legal action.

  1. Are employees engaged?

If there is a good alignment  between the values of the employees and the company, workers will be more satisfied with their jobs and more engaged, resulting in better performance all around.

One of the aims of company culture is to instill a sense of purpose and meaning in the work of employees. Posters with motivational quotes just won’t cut it. Employees stay at a company because they feel that they are making a contribution, that their work matters and that their career will flourish and they will grow at the company.

To create the culture you want, you need to survey your employees about their perceptions and share the results throughout the organization. To move forward, you need to establish a collaborative process for creating the culture you and your employees want, involving input and buy-in from workers throughout the company.

Are you looking for employees that will thrive in your particular culture? Contact Helpmates: we’ll help you source, vet and place workers who “get you.”

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