Many employers are focusing on increasing the diversity of their workforce. The diversity of your workforce includes a variety of demographics, attributes, and communities such as gender, visible minorities, aboriginals, persons with disabilities, education level, languages spoken, family status, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc.  Employers benefit from increasing the diversity of their workforce as it fosters innovation, creativity, and even greater profitability.

Diversity and inclusion can be accomplished by analyzing how diversity plays into your recruitment practices, processes, and systems.  In a hot labour market, like St. John’s, where competition is high for skilled labour, expanding your skilled candidate pool is a very attractive proposition.  Below are some suggestions on how to expand your access to a larger labour pool when recruiting.

  • Increase awareness.  Increasing the diversity of your workforce involves reaching out to a diverse candidate pool.  Employers should consider where they advertise vacant positions; and whether these are effective channels for reaching out to new or increasingly diverse talent. Sourcing candidates needs to extend beyond standard online and sector specific job boards. For example, positions can be advertised on community boards, associations that serve diverse communities, language schools, community newsletters, employment service centres, settlement service agencies, and other community outreach groups and open houses.
  •  Establish relationships with organizations that work with diverse communities.  There are a number of organizations that work with new Canadians, and other diverse communities to help integrate them both personally and professionally.  For example, the Associations for New Canadians (ANC) offer a number of employer paid and unpaid programs under its Bridge to Work Service, which provides the employee with an opportunity to gain Canadian work experience while the employer gains access to a skilled temporary employee.
  • Tap into volunteer resources. For non-profit, government, and educational organizations that have a volunteer base, ensure volunteers are aware of any paid job vacancies that open up at your organization.  Volunteers have the added benefit of knowing your organizational structure, but may be unaware of job openings. For non-profits especially, this is important when dealing with foreign workers as they are not always aware that the non-profit sector offers paid employment opportunities.
  • Market Diversity as Key Focus Area.  Projecting an image that welcome diverse candidates to apply for jobs at your organization is critical for increasing the diversity of your workforce.  This can be done by building a diversity strategic plan, having a diversity and inclusion policy, including diversity and inclusion policy statement on all job postings, and tracking your progress towards realizing diversity goals.