3 Ways To Recruit in a Multicultural Job Market

by Jobbatical February 27, 2018

Today’s post is brought to you by Payal Bhatia, an international headhunter with more than 12 years in the executive search industry.

With increasing globalization and a highly diverse world population, it is no longer a question of when a country’s workforce will change. It already has. Over the past twenty-five years, there has been a massive increase in women, people of color, and immigrants in the workforce.

At this point, diversity is no longer just a “nice idea,” but instead a business imperative for firms who want to stay competitive and creative and secure a significant market share. For this reason, employers are asking themselves “How do we recruit, engage, and retain a diverse workforce?”

Talent retention is becoming a problem for employers. Photo by KI Petro / Shutterstock.

The more competition there exists for a group of candidates, the more recruiting effort is necessary to appeal to and hire them. Regardless of a person’s cultural, ethnic or religious background or gender, elite candidates want elite jobs.

With these principles in mind, here are three ways employers can execute recruitment effectively in a multicultural job market.

1. Understand the real importance of diversity.

Usually, companies make two common mistakes when it comes to thinking about diversity.

  • First, too many businesses only consider the visible dimensions of diversity — primarily race and gender. This is known as “company photo diversity”, meaning that visually the team looks diverse, but actually, everyone may be thinking the same way.

Unfortunately, this approach stems from a very narrow definition of diversity and offers little or no value to the organization regarding new ideas, creativity, and innovation. For real diversity to exist, you must recruit people whose differences include geographic background, sexual orientation, ability (and disability), thinking and communication style, religion, and work style.

  • Secondly, when it comes to answering questions about their diversity, companies often point to all the numbers. However, these numbers don’t always accurately reflect the diversity that may or may not occur at higher levels, moving up the management ladder.

As an employer, you want to ensure that there is a value of diversity at all levels and that all employees are encouraged to move up in the ranks. Working with an international recruitment agency, or a diversity-promoting job board like Jobbatical can help guarantee this happens.

Before you start recruiting, it is essential that you and your company understand the real value of diversity. You need to be able to show and tell potential employees how it has successfully worked for your firm.

2. Thoroughly assess your needs.

Once you have a deeper understanding of diversity, it is time to create a culture within your organization that is continually adapting and learning. To thoroughly assess your needs, ensure your team is following these steps:

  • Clarify your definition of diversity — ensure that it encompasses both the visible and the invisible dimensions of the concept.
  • Conduct a culture assessment of your organization by utilizing interviews, focus group discussions, or surveys.
  • Then, use feedback from customers and pinpoint the unmet needs of any potential market groups.
  • Establish a strategy and implementation plan for a diversity/culture change initiative. Keep in mind that any culture change must be driven by senior management, and incorporated into the whole organization.
  • Analyze all systems and processes including recruitment, employee engagement, retention, promotion and performance evaluation.

3. Approach recruitment differently.

The first two steps are focused on looking inward at your organization because, ultimately, you aren’t going to attract diverse high-level candidates if your company culture is all wrong. However, how you approach recruitment should also be strategic.

Conduct interviews with a diverse panel to ensure multiple perspectives. Photo by Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.

If your firm is serious about implementing a diversity/culture change initiative, then you must recruit from a diverse pool of candidates. If you always hire from the same places, using the same methods, you will always get the same people. Here is a selection of ideas you may find worth considering.

  • Organize for your recruiting teams to visit colleges that historically have large numbers of people from different ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds, women, and people with disabilities.
  • Cultivate relationships with diverse community organizations and let them know about opportunities in your company as they arise.
  • Create an information process that informs all of your employees about open positions and is easy to apply through.
  • Consciously reflect on any biases you may have about other cultures, communication styles, and decision-making processes.
  • Conduct interviews with a diverse panel to ensure multiple perspectives.
  • Work with a professional headhunter.
  • Include diversity as part of your mission statement, display it on your website and communicate the same in all of your corporate marketing material.
  • Identify stereotypes of people in your industry and then develop strategies for changing those perceptions.
  • Include more inclusive language and visuals in rulebooks, employee orientation, and recruitment materials.
  • Establish processes to make everyone feel welcome and included in your firm. Don’t be afraid to use the media to convey to potential employees that you are a welcoming, inclusive employer.
  • Provide a mentorship program for employees to mentor those who are from a different cultural or ethnic background, or gender.
  • Offer cross-cultural communication training to help staff work well together.
  • Utilize surveys and interviews with staff across demographics to determine their needs, then create a strategic plan for retention and increased recruitment of underrepresented groups.
  • Conduct exit interviews as a way to identify patterns and themes if they exist.
  • Train your recruiting team in diversity and inclusion awareness.
Get back to the basics: if people feel valued, they also feel motivated. Photo G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock.

To be a successful business in today’s world, an environment of inclusion is necessary. People want to work in settings where they feel valued and integrated into a company’s mission, vision and business strategy. They want their skills and knowledge to be recognized, appreciated and utilized.

When this happens, employees are more engaged in contributing to an organization’s success and will, therefore, go the extra mile to share ideas and innovate. Here is where the visible and invisible dimensions of diversity can be utilized as resources for business success and growth.

Not quite sure where to start? Jobbatical connects you with top tech, business, and creative talent around the world. Start here👇



Payal Bhatia is an international headhunter and business partner for RM & Associates in the MENA region specializing in the FMCG, retail, telecom, and engineering sectors.

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