How Government HR Can Create a Diversity and Inclusion Program Part III

Written by Jonathan Wiersma

How to Incorporate Diversity into Your Hiring and Retention Strategies

In Part I of this blog series, we discussed the importance of your local government’s human resources department establishing a diversity and inclusion (D&I) program. Not only do such programs foster a culture of inclusion and acceptance among employees, they build administrations that are reflective of the communities they serve. In Part II of this blog series, we provided step-by-step instructions for how to define the goals of your D&I program, implement a successful initiative, and measure its success. Part III of this series focuses on ensuring you continually maintain a diverse and accepting workforce through strategic hiring initiatives.

Ensuring Ongoing Diversity Hiring

You want the best possible employees working to serve the needs of your community. As discussed in Part I, a critical aspect of a successful administration involves ensuring your workforce is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who each bring essential opinions, backgrounds, and experiences into your collaborative workforce. To ensure your staff remains diverse long term, your HR department must incorporate into his recruitment, hiring, and retention strategies initiatives that will foster diversity. Consider the following:

  • Continue to Provide Manager Training. One-time D&I education and training will not be enough. Make regular education sessions for hiring managers part of your ongoing training efforts. As managers turn over and new staff members become leaders, everyone will need to understand and be reminded of the importance of inclusiveness and the value that diversity brings to your administration.
  • Continue to Provide New Hire Training. As part of your onboarding process, consider including information about your D&I program and offer an introduction to inclusion and sensitivity training for all new hires.

Local Government Onboarding eBook and Checklist

  • Target a Diverse Population in Your Recruitment Efforts. Make sure your job ads are reaching a wide variety of applicants by leveraging as many channels as possible, including your local government website, social media, job boards, LinkedIn, and other sources.
  • Manage Referrals. Candidate referrals from existing employees are often a reliable source for applicants, but review referrals with a keen eye. Individuals sometimes refer like-minded individuals. While this is a benefit when the applicant shares the employee’s dedication, community-minded spirit, and attention to detail, it may also inadvertently result in a pile of referral applications that don’t reflect a diversity of cultures, races, or ethnicities.
  • Share Your D&I Commitment with Applicants. As discussed in Part II, as part of your efforts to communicate your D&I program to your community, make sure your job applicants understand you value diversity as well. According to research conducted by Glassdoor, 67 percent of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor to them when considering companies and job offers. Consider adding a statement about your commitment to diversity in your job ads, your application template, or your human resources website, and discuss during candidate interviews as well.
  • Include D&I Factors in Your Performance Management Procedures. As part of your continual performance management efforts, encourage managers to set goals and monitor their efforts to hire and promote staff strategically to help foster diversity in their departments, and act as leaders in fostering a culture of acceptance and appreciation for everything that makes us all unique.

A successful D&I program can offer community-wide benefits to your organization; from helping to ensure your administration champions the needs of all its citizens, to maintaining your position as a top employer in both the private and public sectors. With clear goal-setting, collaboration, and community buy-in, it will not only be easy to implement a successful D&I program, but you will be able to maintain an accepting and diverse workforce long-term.