Most organizations benefit from having team members who offer diverse talents and perspectives. For example, a recent college grad may have fresh and exciting ideas but an experienced consultant can take those ideas and mold them to fit the organization’s needs. It takes both to move the organization forward. But diversity and experience level isn’t the only kind that can make your organization more successful.
There are several underrepresented groups in the labor pool that you can recruit to bring new perspectives and useful skills to your workplace. With so many organizations having hiring and employee retention issues, creating strategies for both recruitment and retention is becoming even more crucial.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss five kinds of job candidates that can bring new talents and ideas to the workplace. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how these job candidates can benefit your organization and what you can do to recruit them.
Immigrants and refugees
Formerly incarcerated applicants
Let’s get started.
Hiring And Employee Retention Issues Easing Prospective Candidates
Boomerang employees are the people who have worked with your organization before and are now returning. These employees already have a history with your organization. They know the internal processes, have prior working relationships, and can settle in more easily and quickly than a new hire.
Plus, you already know how these employees perform so you also lack the stress that comes with brand-new hires.
When employees return to a former place of work, they bring with them new skills and strengths that they can share with their team. Since these employees are already familiar with how to work in your organization, they know exactly how their new skills will fit into the office dynamic.
These employees may also require less training and development, which may result in cost-saving for your organization. They can also train in their new skills, which ensures your organization as a whole benefit from their return.
To hire boomerang employees, don’t be afraid to reach out directly. If they left on good terms, they may be open to maintaining a good relationship with their previous place of employment.
Keep up-to-date with their current employment and skillset through sites on LinkedIn, and when the time is right, shoot them a message inviting them to catch up.
Boomerang employees, as job candidates, may appreciate the thoughtfulness you show by noticing their progress. So, acknowledge their increased skills when you bring up the next step in their career
With the economic changes caused by the pandemic, many people retired earlier than planned. As inflation increases and a recession looms, around 3% of retirees are returning to the workforce. 1.7 million Americans “unretired” this year after reassessing their financial needs.
Retirees can provide a wealth of experience and developed skills. They have a proven work ethic and likely trained others in their time, so they can greatly benefit teams with new hires.
Putting your retirees on newer teams can help spread their skills and experience depth to employees you want to keep long-term. And skill-sharing can improve retention rates, as new employees will have a mentor to turn to with questions, helping them feel more comfortable and supportable in new roles.
A mentorship program can benefit both the mentor and the mentee, ensuring valuable knowledge remains in the organization even after the retiree leaves.
To find retirees looking for employment, consider posting job ads and placements where the retirees will likely see them. This may include printed flyers, newspaper ads, or social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
This category of job candidates, i.e, Veterans, are excellent hires because of their proven work ethic, resiliency, reliability, and discipline. But many veterans experience difficulty entering civilian careers because of the lack of employment options. This can be due to disability or gaps in their employment history because of military service.
But veterans can improve retention by providing a stabilizing influence. Team members know they can rely on their veteran teammates because they are OK with leaning into problems to find solutions, rather than running away. Veterans rely on work ethic and discipline to get things done in a structured and efficient manner. Having a team member who confronts issues head-on should be attractive to employers seeking problem-solving recruits.
Hiring veterans may also benefit your organization because of tax credits. Veterans count as a targeted group that can help you qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit(WOTC). Not all veterans fall into this group. Veterans who qualify must be disabled, facing long-term unemployment, or even both.
You can find veterans looking for work by checking out your state’s job placement for veteran resources. Get on board with similar resources that show your organization is committed to helping veterans transition into the civilian workforce.
In addition to finding valuable employees, you will also show your appreciation for our troops for offering job placement and attractive benefits.
Immigrants and Refugees
The most significant advantage to hiring international employees is the global perspective they bring to your organization. All businesses can benefit from diverse points of view, and adding immigrants to your team is a great way to bring variety to your collaborations.
But immigrants and refugees have more to offer than just their outlook. Many people from outside the United States also offer valuable language skills that can help you scale your organization to meet the needs of a wider client base. And many also have experience from careers in their previous countries, which could include highly sought-after STEM skills such as engineering or software development.
There are some challenges to consider when recruiting from this demographic. Both immigrants in general and refugees, in particular, can face some barriers to employment. For example, some employers may hesitate to hire non-citizens because of concerns about labor law compliance. Every employee in the United States has to fill out Form I-9. This form and required documents like a passport verify the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States.
For immigrants, things work a little differently. Non-US citizens must apply for a work visa if they want to remain in the country long-term and work. Employers can sponsor this kind of visa, so don’t be discouraged if your ideal candidate doesn’t have a work visa yet. Work visa sponsorship requires you to fill out a set of documents from the department of labor. The United States citizenship and immigration services or USCIS will review your submission to see if your hiring needs and candidate qualify for an allotted work visa.
The legal requirements for hiring immigrant job candidates may seem scary, but that’s not the only barrier immigrants face. Organizations may reject a qualified job candidate whose primary language is not English because of an unimpressive performance in an interview.
You can avoid this by keeping your application process for such job candidates as simple as possible, especially in the initial stages, and making sure all the steps in it are directly related to the job duties. This will not only keep you compliant but also help you select candidates who will be great fits for the open position whether or not they’re experts in interviewing.
Formerly Incarcerated Applicants
Our final group of job candidates, i.e, formally incarcerated applicants also face many barriers to employment. The most impactful of these is the effect of background checks on employers’ hiring decisions.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, employers are legally allowed to ask job candidates about their background or conduct a background check, within some limitations. But employers can’t use information from a background check to discriminate against an applicant, whether intentionally or unintentionally, based on their race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, genetic information, or age.
37 states have also adopted so-called “ban the box” laws, which encourage or require employers to consider a job candidate’s qualifications before asking about their potential criminal background. But the employment gaps on a formerly incarcerated applicant’s resume can be a red flag to employers, preventing the candidate from passing initial screenings even without a background check.
Still, many organizations have begun to embrace second-chance hiring, and with good reason. About 70 million Americans have a criminal history, which makes these job candidates a huge part of the labor pool.
But even more important, formerly incarcerated workers often make top-notch employees. A recent SHRM survey found that 75% of HR managers believe workers with criminal records are at least as dependable as those without criminal records. And almost as many believe these candidates are at least as good as traditional hires at retaining their jobs.
Of course, the nature of the past crime does matter, for example, it would be irresponsible to hire a person with multiple DUIs to be a school bus driver. But in many cases especially for non-violent offenders a commitment to increasing opportunities for the formerly incarcerated may be just what it takes for your organization to build and maintain a complete and productive team.
So, in this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about recruiting and hiring these five underrepresented kinds of employees. Even if you’re not currently struggling with recruitment or employee retention issues, these types of job candidates are great options to keep in mind for filling future positions as they arise. These employees provide valuable skills and experiences to your organization. It may also be the missing link on teams that aren’t filling the potential. As always, remember that “your role is as strategic as you make it.”