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Finding and retaining qualified staff continues to rank as a top concern and is keeping HR, CEOs and business owners awake at night. The market for both skilled and unskilled talent is increasingly competitive, and the going is getting even tougher for employers trying to attract employees in locations with low unemployment and shortages in affordable housing. So…. you ask, what does this have to do with diversity and inclusion? The answer is everything!

If you don’t have a diversity and inclusion plan built into your recruitment strategy, you’re missing out on a large “talent pool” of qualified, capable candidates.

Canada’s diversity is recognized as a strength that supports social and economic growth.

Here are some simple steps to help your organization tap into a more diverse talent pool!

  1. Explore

Take some time to learn more about diversity and inclusion. Canada’s diversity is recognized as a strength that supports social and economic growth. Spend some time reading about Canada’s best diversity employers and the successful workplaces they have created through promoting inclusiveness.

According to the HR Council and Statistics Canada:

  • The number of visible minorities in Canada is expected to double and account for approximately 20% of Canada’s population.
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada reports that the Aboriginal labour force is young and is growing at twice the Canadian rate and that the Aboriginal Peoples population in Canada will represent a significant percentage of the labour pool in some major Canadian urban centres, as well as smaller communities.
  • A Statistics Canada survey reported that: 90% of people with disabilities did as well or better at their jobs than non-disabled co-workers; 86% rated average or better in attendance; and staff retention was 72% higher among persons with disabilities.
  1. Assess

Identify systemic barriers. Assess your recruitment practices to see if there are barriers preventing you from accessing diverse and talented individuals. Systemic barriers may exist because of:

  • Policies within your organization – do your hiring policies support diversity and inclusion?
  • Recruitment and selection practices that have built in biases. For example, lack of awareness of biases and how these might affect judgement and decision making – tendency to hire “people like us”.
  • Where and how you market your job vacancies – are you reaching all of your community?
  • Lack of clarity on what the essential requirements for the job are – usually related to poor written, outdated or non-existent job descriptions.
  • Job postings that are not written in clear language and don’t accurately convey the essential job qualifications.
  • Skill and knowledge level of those responsible for managing the recruitment and selection process – are best practices applied in screening and interview processes?
  • Lack of diversity awareness and training in your workplace – is your workplace culture welcoming and open to diversity?
  1. Broaden Your Reach

Enhance your current marketing strategies and broaden your reach through recruitment advertising services that specialize in reaching diverse communities. Here are a few resources to explore:

  • The Canadian Abilities Foundation – a web site to help connect employers with disability organizations across Canada or WORKink – an employment site for Canadians with disabilities.
  • Aboriginal Careers – a specialized employment portal dedicated to assisting Aboriginal job seekers.
  • Equitek Employment Equity Solutions – a strategic diversity outreach network for Canadian businesses.
  • Local not for profit organizations that focus on providing services to diverse groups. A great resource to help you explore the types of organizations in your community is Charity Village, an on line resource for recruiting, news and information dedicated to the Canadian non-profit sector.

Your Engaged HR Assignment

Take a good look at your current recruitment strategy – Does your current process consider diversity? Start small by identifying any barriers that might be preventing diverse communities from applying, and work to eliminate those.

As always, if you need a hand developing policies that support diversity and inclusion, we’re here to help! 

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