OHCA The Oregon Caregiver Spring Summer 2022

www.ohca.com SPRING/SUMMER 2022 The Oregon Caregiver 27 SPONSORED CONTENT A diverse workforce helps to increase the potential candidate pool and leads to better business outcomes, including in senior living and care. Having an inclusive team that reflects the diversity in the community will allow you to better relate to and serve an increasingly diverse resident population. Research also shows that inclusive teams enhance decision making, result in more innovative solutions, and boost team performance by bringing together different perspectives, experiences, knowledge, and ideas. Achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce is not easy. One way to achieve this is to expand the recruitment outreach processes and adapt screening and candidate selection processes to reduce bias, while at the same time avoiding several common legal pitfalls. What Does a Diverse Workforce Look Like? Traditionally, creating diversity has meant embracing differences among people with respect to age, ethnicity/race, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. However, diversity can also include different education, professional, and personal experience; different personality traits; or other factors that could bring a unique perspective to the mission, goals, and particular challenges of the organization. Legal Considerations Employers can get into legal trouble if they approach diversity initiatives the wrong way. Federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws generally prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on protected characteristics, such as age, race, gender, and national origin. Given the significant legal risk for those who consider protected characteristics when making hiring decisions, how can employers improve workforce diversity? The key is to focus on expanding the applicant pool; interrupting biases in the hiring process; and creating a culture, policies, and training and advancement structures that support development and promotion of diverse employees from within, but not to the exclusion of others. Adapting Recruitment and Selection Processes One of the biggest obstacles to building a diverse workforce is the tendency to gravitate toward what employers know and filter information through preconceived ideas. Unconscious biases can limit the ability to identify new recruitment sources and see the potential value of candidates with nontraditional backgrounds (individuals transitioning from other types of positions or industries), and unknowingly disregard certain groups of candidates. Below are ten ways to adapt recruitment and selection processes to reduce these influences and attract a diverse candidate pool without running afoul of discrimination laws. 1. Improve job advertisements. Studies show that the words used to describe job requirements and qualifications often resonate with a limited pool of candidates. Remove “gender coded” words (Gender Decoder is a useful tool) to generate interest with people of all genders. List only essential requirements without unnecessary industry jargon that allow for nontraditional backgrounds and experience. Highlight company benefits and advancement options that appeal to a diverse candidate pool. 2. Demonstrate a commitment to diversity in external communications. Marketing and promotional materials, social media activities, and online and public presence should feature a diversity of employees and residents (age, gender, color, personal style, etc.) and promote as well as celebrate diversity and inclusion. Include diversity, equity, and inclusion statements in job advertisements, on your website, and in marketing materials. 3. Broaden recruitment and networking resources. Move beyond traditional job boards and recruitment resources to include those targeted to people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ individuals, and other underrepresented groups. If Creating Workforce Diversity the Legal Way By Christine Thelen, Melissa Berry, and Gabriela Sanchez, Lane Powell PC Research shows that inclusive teams enhance decision making, result in more innovative solutions, and boost team performance by bringing together different perspectives, experiences, knowledge, and ideas. CONTINUES »