Diversity hiring isn’t just something that happens in the workplace. It must be intentional and strategic.
For many startups, just keeping their head above water can be challenging. One way to incorporate diversity hiring in your startup is to create a company culture dedicated to diversity from the very beginning.
In this article, we recognize that nearly all startups feel they are behind on diversity hiring. And with the recent anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States, we want to discuss a few things startups can do as well as a few tips for job seekers.
For Job Seekers
Asian Americans are part of the fastest-growing racial group in the country. By 2065, Asian Americans are expected to represent 14% of the United States population. Yet, nearly 50% of the Asian community’s estimated 615,000 unemployed were without work for six months or more through the first quarter of this year.
So, how do we overcome this? It starts with the businesses, but if you are an Asian American, and you’re trying to land a job, there are some things you can do to ace the interview.
● Emphasize your skills. You want to really highlight your skills and your experience. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart from other candidates.
● Explain to the interviewer the impact you can have on their company. You might bring in new ideas they might not have thought about. When interviewing with a startup dedicated to diversity, know they are looking for diverse ideas. Don’t be afraid to share yours.
● Highlight the different viewpoints you may have. For example, your life experiences may be different from others, and they would be a benefit to the startup. Be sure and focus on how different viewpoints can complement one another.
How Companies Can Support Diversity and Inclusion
While there are many ways your startup can support diversity and inclusion, here are a few ideas to get you started.
First, focus on your company culture from the very beginning. It’s always easier to create just the right culture from the start than to change your company culture and try to bring people along with you.
Create a company culture that has inclusion built-in. This will also be attractive to new hires. Many future employees want to work at a business dedicated to diversity.
Next, create small groups to discuss strategies based on diversity and inclusion. You can mix up the teams, so your staff isn’t always meeting with the same people. Not only does this promote and build positive experiences, but it also promotes team building.
Another suggestion to build a culture of diversity and inclusion is to acknowledge holidays for all cultures. You can hold potluck parties to celebrate different nationalities and their traditional customs.
In addition, you can create focus groups with outside facilitators to help build your company culture. These same facilitators can also help you conduct and hold diverse interview panels where your team can learn and ask questions.
You might also consider breakout roundtable sessions. The leader of your startup can bring together diverse employees in a roundtable format to communicate their feelings and thoughts. The leader isn’t there to prove the employees but to listen and support their team and act as a sounding board.
Another thought is to create small focus groups to work on your diversity and inclusion hiring practices. They can brainstorm ways to hire a more diverse workforce, while the work on your company culture sets the groundwork.
Finally, consider creating a meditation or prayer room so employees can get away for some private time during the day. It should be for all to use.
There’s been a torrent of Asian hate and violence against people of Asia descent for nearly a year in the United States.
Your startup can approach the Asian-hate topic with your current Asian American employees. Ask them how they feel you’re doing. Encourage them to share on how you can have a more diverse hiring platform.
Get their advice on how you can bridge the gap and offer inclusion.
Lastly, when working on diversity hiring, be sure the information on your website, social media, and printed materials reflects your diversity commitment. Include pictures that also reflect your goals.