Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update
For the first time last year we shared in a blog post our company’s work relating to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) (read it here). As a company we remain committed to improving our internal and external DEI processes. So we’re following up this year by sharing this update on the progress we’ve made over the past year, as we continued that work.
Our company’s DEI committee, made up of staff from a variety of roles and branches, determines and leads company-wide DEI-related initiatives. We believe strongly that intentional advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion in employment – especially at the community level – is critical to supporting a more equitable future.
Creation of a company DEI Statement for job postings
In 2020 we created our company’s DEI Statement via a dedicated sub-committee, over a period of 6 weeks (Our DEI Statement). In early 2021 we took that statement further, creating a version that was tailored specifically to be included on all of our job postings.
Our DEI Job Posting Statement:
“NW Staffing Resources is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We strive to reach diverse talent that represents the communities we serve and are committed to promoting inclusive work environments free from discrimination, harassment, and intolerance. Come join a team where individuality is valued and supported. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.”
Our goal with this statement was to make it clear that, beyond being an equal opportunity employer, NW Staffing Resources strongly values and supports diversity. And for our temporary employees we wanted to share that we work with our clients in promoting inclusive workplaces as well.
Staff DEI training
In February 2021 our staff enjoyed participating in our first DEI workshop series – facilitated by Amy Jeffers from Flourish Training. Amy has a background in leading organizational diversity and inclusion, including in the staffing industry, and she focuses on the neurology of equity and inclusion at work. We learned about why bias happens, and how to identify and address those processes in action.
Coming out of this training our DEI committee saw an opportunity to share this information (and more) with our new hires, as a standard part of our onboarding process. To better understand what a framework for that training might look like, committee members attended several additional DEI trainings. Work on this initiative continues to make progress.
Partnerships to support diversity in recruitment
Individual branches and recruiters have leveraged a variety of diversity recruitment partnerships, strategies, and resources over the years. Last year, our DEI committee began centralizing these efforts.
Our first step was partnering more closely with local Employment Department offices. We held two virtual hiring events with the Oregon Employment Department, and several branches participated in in-person job fairs. Our recruiters are now better leveraging Employment Department job boards, where we’re able to candidates that may not utilize job boards like Indeed.
Our next step is to reach out to local employment-related community service and veteran organizations to support their job placement efforts.
A related aspect of this initiative is our company-wide volunteer program. We believe that being involved, in a hands-on way, in our communities strengthens the trust between us and community members. It’s also just great thing to do! Last year we volunteered with two new organizations – SOLVE Oregon and Transition Projects. We look forward to expanding our outreach, volunteering for more local organizations this year.
Development of a second-chance recruitment plan
Formerly incarcerated individuals are a historically underserved group. Intentional inclusion in hiring policies can be life-changing for these individuals, and beneficial to the community as a whole.
“Second chances provide wins for the formerly incarcerated person who gets to experience the dignity of work; the community wins by reducing recidivism and crime; and employers win by gaining access to valuable talent. Everyone wins, so embracing this opportunity should be a no-brainer.” -Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, President and CEO of SHRM (source: SHRM).
While our company has always supported second-chance hiring, last year, in collaboration with HR, we rolled out a specific recruitment plan and held trainings on our individualized assessment and conviction related policies to support our branches. We’re proud to offer a second chance to candidates who are qualified for a position, and prepared to be a productive employee.
As we move forward, our work promoting diversity, equity and inclusion – both internally and externally – will continue to evolve. We’re proud of the meaningful changes we’ve implemented up to this point. We are looking forward to continuing to learn, grow, and do more to support our local communities.
Our DEI committee is eager to connect with new organizations that represent our communities. We welcome any groups interested in a partnership to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you an employer interested in implementing a DEI program for your organization, but don’t know where to start? Check out our article from October 2020 (updated in 2021): Diversity Resources for Employers.