Last year, I attended the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s State of the State address. The keynote speaker was Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin. As Gov. Fallin spoke about our state, she excitedly focused on our 5.2 percent unemployment rate, which is among the lowest in the nation. She was boastful in how awesome we were doing in comparison to other states. As everyone clapped, I begin to get irritated, (even a little angry) because that number is not representative of all the residents in our great state.
As luck or opportunity would have it, people in the audience could write down a question for the Gov. and have her answer it in front of the capacity-filled crowd.
So, I asked: “How can we (as Oklahomans) be proud of our 5.2 percent unemployment rate when if you are a person of color, LGBT, have a disability or are a Veteran that number almost triples?” I thought there was no way on earth, they would ask my question but I threw it in the hat anyway.
Guess what? They asked her my question! She immediately became visibly uncomfortable, fumbled over words and finally spat out, “Employers, you have to stop discriminating!” She made a few other inconsequential comments that I cannot remember but then the show rolled on without a hitch.
There were a few tweets and Facebook posts regarding the question and statement. Hiring inequity is not being addressed and probably will not be on a state level. This issue is not distinctly Oklahoma’s issue, but a nationwide problem. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 50 percent of diverse individuals are less likely to be hired, even with a degree. We are on a mission to Fix the 50.
For this problem to take center stage where it rightfully belongs, people will have to feel the economic pinch. There has to be a correlation between business and economy. I believe it’s show time. Not because people are suddenly flabbergasted about hiring inequities but because they see the world changing.
Diversity recruitment has become one of the hottest topics in Human Resources.
The U.S. Census Bureau has been telling us for years that demographics are changing and that the U.S. would soon become minority majority. People and more importantly, companies are starting to realize that this prediction is indeed coming true as five states (California, New Mexico, Washington DC, Texas and Hawaii) are already minority majority.
What this means for companies is that their consumer base is changing. They know that in order to keep selling their products and services they have to appeal to their customers who look different than they did even five years ago.
The Pew Research Center released a study that said, “1 in 6 people are marrying outside of their race.” That statistic alone gives you some indication of what we should expect in the very near future.
The changing consumer base is the main reason that diversity recruitment has become a hot topic. Employers need employees who reflect their customers. They need to know how to not only reach diverse customers but also engage them. Who better to help with this task other than those who can relate?
Even though the words diversity recruitment are buzzing around, many companies still fall far behind in their efforts to recruit a diverse workforce. Some do not understand how to engage diverse people while others have poorly designed recruitment initiatives.
Without a diverse workforce, companies will become obsolete. No one should be hired solely for his or her diversity but they should not be hindered because of it either. We have to level the playing field.
Allow me to introduce you to the most innovative platform for diversity recruitment on the market. Excuse my shameful plug but we have unparalleled software designed to address this very issue. www.DiversityConneX.com is the answer for companies who want to address this issue and hire professional, diverse talent.
DCX uses innovative matching technology to connect diverse professionals to career opportunities, board positions and internships by matching them based on their skills, values, workplace culture preferences and diversity.
Our system provides you with four different ways to find your (employee) fit with multiple options to recruit diverse professionals and post career opportunities, internships or board positions. They are Culture Fit Assessment, DCX 360⁰ Fit Tool, DCX Explore and DCX Express. The assessment focuses on Diversity, Culture, Character, Competence and Compensation.
The diversity section identifies the comfort a candidate needs to have with certain groups to thrive in your culture. Character will assess your ideal candidate’s personality, attitude and disposition. Competence drills into the skills, knowledge and experience a potential candidate would need. In culture, you are able to identify the environment a potential candidate would need to fit within and compensation allows you to specify the pay, vacation, promotional opportunities and more.
If all of that sounds awesome, our features are cool. We have worked to help eliminate name discrimination by allowing candidates to log on anonymously. So if your name is Muhammad, Chenique or in my case Charisha, your profile and resume is reviewed based solely on your skills. We also have tribal and security verification with mobile uploads and Fit Fraud that will alert a company if a candidate tries to change their profile or assessment too many times.
Once you post a position, you are able to sit back and watch diverse talent pour into your inbox with a Fit Score to let you know how well they will acclimate to your environment and vice versa.
Now, my commercial is over.
Please join us as we, along with our member companies, Fix the 50! We should all address the employment disparity felt by diverse individuals because it will soon affect all of us.
Steve Murdock, a demographer and professor at Rice University said, “The future of the United States, like the future of states like Texas, is tied to its minority populations. How well they do is increasingly how well America will do.” I believe we can take that statement a step further and add, how well we build diverse workforces is tied to our economy, which unequivocally will measure how well our business industries perform.