So… it’s 2021 and you’ve spent the majority of 2020 working from home. Keeping your normal business activities going is challenging enough under the circumstances. How do you juggle your organization’s new commitment to diversity and anti-racism?
…you’ve spent many budgeted dollars and resources updating job descriptions, releasing statements addressing societal inequities, and updating your website to include your Diversity and Inclusion plan of action… but what now?
… Aha! I know – reach out to a staffing firm you trust and tell them that all your current opportunities need to be filled by diverse candidates – more specifically BIPOC candidates.
Let me tell you why.
I’ve had the privilege of recruiting for the nonprofit sector since 2005. And while I like to pretend everything has been ice cream cones and green lights in terms of fair hiring practices, that simply isn’t true.
I’ve witnessed a large disconnect between words and actions in regards to diversity recruitment, right within the sector I have serviced for so many years.
If you’re asking me to find you a diverse candidate to be the admin assistant (the lowest paying job at your organization) but your board is made up entirely of white men, then you have to wonder if you really want your nonprofit to be part of the solution, or if you’re simply checking the “diversity” box.
In order to commit to changing the systemic internal bias that sits deep within the organizational chart of your nonprofit you have to start thinking in terms of changing your company culture, getting a pipeline of qualified diverse candidates to fill your upper-level positions, taking steps to retain those candidates and making them feel welcome and valued for their diverse perspectives and ideas.
Creating that long-lasting change requires more than telling a recruiter like me to hire BIPOC candidates for you. I am an expert in recruitment, not an expert in diversity and inclusion… and so, ding ding ding… that is a great place to start. Invest in hiring a Diversity and Inclusion trainer or consultant. Someone to help your nonprofit create long lasting procedures not just for the staff, but most importantly the CSuite and the board. While this won’t happen overnight, it is a step in the right direction.
Don’t be discouraged! There are important adjustments an organization can take with immediate impact:
- Look at current openings and reconsider what positions truly require a college degree.
- Advise hiring managers to consider applicants that seem to not have the best tenure on their resume.
- Find inspiration in what other organizations are doing; I found this article resonating: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-hiring-managers-hr-teams-can-retain-black-brown-employees-johns/
Disclaimer: This blog post was written specifically out of my knowledge of the nonprofit sector and charter school recruitment space in NYC and the Metropolitan area.