Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The HR Pro: The Power of Diversity - ENTERPRISE

by John Stearns
Originally published: February 27, 2017

As immigration issues have exploded under the Trump administration and the question of diversity, or the lack thereof, confronts the Upper Valley, I am reminded of how the workforce can greatly benefit from diversity and inclusion.

Years ago, as an HR professional in charge of recruiting for a high-tech company, my goal was to hire the best available talent. Within that overall goal, my job also was to:

  1. Hire workers who live as close as possible to the company, primarily in order to reduce hiring costs.
  2. Hire U.S. citizens in order to avoid the significant amount of time and money required to hire and train foreign workers.
  3. Hire workers with the education, language and occupational skills needed to flourish in the high-tech market of mostly U.S. companies where we sold our services.
  4. Seek diversity (in gender, race, etc.) in our workforce to satisfy government mandates

At certain levels of the company, for a period of time, those goals were mostly attainable, although diversity always was an issue because, frankly, the Upper Valley wasn’t terribly diverse. However, because of that scarcity, the government generally cut us some slack.