Is AAP part of your hiring strategy?
Affirmative action is the primary source of workplace diversity. The government’s commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) put in place by President John F. Kennedy in the early 60’s, promising that hiring would be done "without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin." Since then, several amendments have been made to this original commitment, tailoring it to veterans, those who have disabilities, and more.
With the government’s commitment to equal employment opportunity, as well as laws and acts springing up to ensure that all job seekers are on an equal playing field in their search, hiring a diverse workforce isn’t necessarily something that you should be forced to do; it’s essential to ensuring your employee base is the best it can be, leaving behind any bias or preconceptions.
Why is it essential to have a diverse workplace? The obvious answer is that your company is required to meet compliance standards to ensure that no discrimination is present in the workplace, whether it is based on sex, age, race, etc. For federal contractors doing business with the government, in particular, ensuring that you are following these standards is essential in OFCCP compliance.
Make it a point to review OFCCP compliance laws to truly appreciate the idiosyncrasies of each individual act that guards against discrimination. This includes following procedures to ensure that state employment agencies are informed of job vacancies, so that these postings reach potential employees. You will also need to stay on top of OFCCP reporting by maintaining hiring data that is ready to be reviewed in the event of an audit. The most effective avenue to take is working with job boards that focus on OFCCP compliance.
Outside of meeting mandatory guidelines, how do you make affirmative action part of your recruiting strategy? The key is to make a diverse workforce want to join your company, utilizing corporate branding. Your company’s website is a perfect vehicle. It will be the first access point that many potential hires reach. Make it a point to emphasize the need, desire and commitment your company places towards diversity. Your mission statement, employee testimonials, to the community programs you support should reinforce your commitment to affirmative action initiatives.
Your organizational and employee development plan should also factor in diversity hiring initiatives. These plans should serve as tools that will assist you in building out hiring strategies for each corporate objective, including diversity that you are trying to achieve. As part of this plan you should also include the company-wide materials – both external and internal, training resources and programs that need to be implement to build on your affirmative action planning.
Ultimately, having a diverse workplace should not be considered a must have, but an employment endeavor that will benefit your company. Having a diverse staff shows its members that each is a valuable asset to the company, regardless of race or gender. And having a culturally diverse staff is larger than simply filling a quota. Employing a diverse workforce guarantees that you will have access to the most talented workers, as well as continually attracting a more diverse clientele in this global economy.