| 5 min

01. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Series: Building a Diverse Workforce

We are going to drop you into a story that takes place at a fictitious SMB. While the main goal of this story is to provide ideas around having a diverse workforce, we will touch on a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) themes.

Published: Apr 22, 2021

Following a diverse path.

Treading a familiar path when recruiting limits your talent pool. The word diversity is on everyone’s radar right now, but do you and your team understand what you could be missing by hiring from the same old sources? Here’s some food for thought:

The most racially diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse competition on profitability. And, companies with more than 30% women executives were more likely to outperform companies where that percentage was 10%-29%. In turn, these companies were more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives, or none at all. McKinsey, Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, May 19, 2020

Consider what might happen when an SMB has little to no awareness of the rich talent diversity can offer. Which path will you choose?

Building a Diverse Workforce

TriNet’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion series is designed to provide ideas around having a diverse workforce. You will see avenues the characters can take in the conversation below. These are just a few potential paths we believe to be helpful and are not meant to be considered as the only possible outcomes. Feel free to navigate to a different path at the bottom of the page.

The main things you need to know are:

  • This fictional SMB is not far into its corporate DEI journey.

  • The story includes real-life content.

  • The story takes place in early March 2020.

A token what?!

Amy closed Pat's office door and whispered, "Wait—does this mean that my department has to hire a 'token Black dude'?"

Pat grimaced and let out an audible sigh. Pat has grown accustomed to this type of response from some co-workers over the years. As a leader in the accounting organization, Pat has experience managing teams and handling tough conversations. The company does not have an HR (Human Resources) department and so Pat has been informally assigned several HR tasks simply due to Pat’s strong leadership and interpersonal skills.

"Amy, all I said was that I'd like to diversify how we go about finding the best talent. There is no requirement to hire any particular race or gender. But we haven’t tried anything new. We keep hiring the same type of talent from the same places. I suggested we try targeting diverse job boards or to make an effort to engage the career services departments at schools that are geared towards the education of historically underrepresented groups in higher education such as HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) or Women’s colleges and universities. We want to give more diverse candidates the opportunity to be considered for openings at the company. Paying attention to our recruitment methods, including where we source our talent, is not a requirement to hire any particular race or gender."

Pat's input appeared not to have registered with Amy. It was important to Pat to not come across as “preachy” or “reprimanding”. Pat considered which direction to take the conversation.

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