Many successful companies agree that hiring the right people is a key component to building a thriving business. But who are the right people? And how does a company balance the need to hire the “right people” with a desire to be inclusive and establish a diverse workforce?
The solution is to focus on the credentials of the person, regardless of race, age, gender or nationality, explained Ori Murdock, senior client relationship manager for Houston-based G&A Partners, a professional employer organization that manages human resources, benefits and payroll.
But determining the best candidate for a position starts way before the first interview, said Murdock.
“It’s so important for companies to have a diverse recruiting strategy,” said Murdock. “Don’t only post jobs on job boards, but e-mail colleges, churches, different areas that will bring the best variety of qualified candidates.”
Murdock also suggests implementing an affirmative action policy, which she said that all clients of G&A Partners have.
When it comes to hiring a diverse workforce, it’s important to understand “diversity” is not synonymous with “minority,” said Katie Mehnert, founder of Houston-based Pink Petro, a new social channel for women in oil and gas.
“Diversity is age; it’s in nationality, it’s in gender, it’s in experiences …. If you’re going to employ a strategy for diversity in your corporate process, it has to start on the inside, and it has to start at the top of the house,” she said. “If there’s a belief from the leadership that you want to build a robust, diverse workforce, you need to do that by involving leadership, and work on that from the top down.”
Once a company has made a hiring selection, it’s important to provide employees with the resources and tools they need to succeed, like access to affinity groups or business resource groups that encourage employees to start mixing and mingling with people who are different from themselves, explained Mehnert.
“When you start doing that within the workforce, it creates a lot of curiosity and learning among employees,” said Mehnert. “It really makes diversity real.”
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This article was written by Rachel Brownlow, and was first published by the Houston Business Journal.