Top Tips for Recruiting a Diverse STEM Workforce as a Small Business
There’s no doubt that a diverse workforce brings a host of benefits. To name just a few, your business gains competitive advantages, a reputation as a fair employer and a boost in creativity. Variety should be a focus of large and small businesses alike, but recruiting a diverse STEM workforce can seem overwhelming for small businesses. To that end, here are a few tips for small businesses, and many include the same principles larger businesses use.
As part of recruiting a diverse STEM workforce, you need to know what works (and what does not). So, as you recruit, keep track of where and how you have connected with and hired STEM candidates. For example, ask every candidate, STEM or not, where he or she heard about the job, and have your personnel keep records at recruiting events.
Prioritize Funds in Certain Areas When Recruiting
Research indicates that certain recruiting activities are more successful than others when you’re looking for diverse STEM candidates. The most successful method is employee referrals, particularly among women. This is because women are more likely to talk with a friend or co-worker about a possible job opportunity than to a recruiter or someone official. In addition, employees of your company know all about it: the culture, how it embraces diversity and so on. They are also persuasive ambassadors for bringing like-minded people on board. By no means should you limit an employee referral program to ïtraditionalï employees; expand it to include temporary workers, former employees, contractors, volunteers and even family members of these folks.
In addition to diverting recruiting dollars toward employee referral programs, use funds to emphasize diversity hiring on recruiting materials and your website. It is not enough to simply say you value diversity hiring; discuss specifically how having a diverse mix of employees is critical to your company’s strategy and bottom line. Explain how your organization accomplishes these goals; for example, outline a program in which your business promotes flexible progression paths so that no one, male or female, has to pick between family and career.
Require Consideration of a Diverse Mix of Candidates
Recruiting a diverse STEM workforce means that you have plenty of qualified candidates progress to the interview stage and beyond. Ideally, at least 50 percent of candidates at the interview stage would be female, and half of all candidates would be non-white.
Practice Diversity at All Levels
Part of recruiting a diverse STEM workforce is to serve as an example. When diverse candidates see themselves reflected in your company leadership as well at other levels in the company, they will want to work for you.
Connect with Relevant Schools
Your business should reach out to area colleges, universities and institutions to find the best and brightest diverse STEM talent. Activities to promote this goal include:
-Participating in career fairs
-Visiting career centers
-Hosting workshops or seminars at the college
-Partnering with schools for student internships
-Having a career day at your business
-Placing ads in college newspapers
-Attending alumni events
Hire Recruiters with Proven Track Records
Who better to go about recruiting a diverse STEM workforce than recruiters with proven track records Make a point of asking about diversity recruiting when you interview recruiters, and pair less-experienced recruiters with these recruiters for a mentorship.
Ask Better Questions
Many diverse STEM candidates bring strong technical skills to their jobs. However, they are often promoted into managerial positions, thanks to their cross-cultural and language skills. While this is by no means a bad thing, it may leave a gap in diversity at these lower levels. Be sure to plug in any gaps, and just as importantly, ask better questions when you interview candidates who want to make lateral moves. All too often, hiring managers view lateral moves with suspicion. Why would someone want to give up potentially higher pay to return to technical work Many folks simply miss the work they used to do before being promoted. Ask questions that go beyond a candidate’s most recent experience, particularly if the experience is related to management rather than on the skills required for the job in question.
Ask Women and Minorities to Write Job Descriptions
An experiment by Cisco more than 10 years ago is an oldie but a goodie. It showed that many women found job descriptions for positions at Google unappealing. However, when Google asked female employees to write these job descriptions, they became more enticing.
As your business works on recruiting a diverse STEM workforce and making all-star hires, turn to the resources at Mighty Recruiter for assistance.