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Where to Look for Diverse Talent

Embracing diversity in your workforce has benefits for everyone, such as creative problem solving, new ways of looking at work and promoting an acceptance of differences. By engaging people from diverse backgrounds, your organization shows that it values and reflects the communities it serves.

Find, attract and retain diverse talent and, in turn, build a more inclusive workplace.

First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) candidates

Having a unique cultural background, Indigenous people may bring a fresh perspective to your workplace. A number of resources are available to employers looking to hire First Nation, Inuit and Metis (FNMI) candidates. The network of Indigenous Works offices helps link Canadian employers with FNMI workers.

You can also post a job on AboriginalCareers.ca, a Canada-wide FNMI career portal, or check out Aboriginal Link, an organization with sector- and region-specific databases of urban, rural and remote centres that allow you to connect with 1.5 million FNMI people across Canada.

Workers of a gender not normally considered in your field

If you are looking for ways to change up your organization, consider hiring employees of a gender normally underrepresented in your industry. You can find information about recruiting women for trades at the Edmonton-based Women Building Futures, an Alberta leader in trades training for women that specializes in recruiting women into the heavy industrial workforce.

If your workforce is mainly female, look for men. For example, you could also consider hiring men in roles such as nurse or administrative assistant normally filled by women.

Younger or mature workers

Look at the average age of your workforce. Could you benefit from specifically targeting other generations?

Younger employees could potentially offer energy, ambition, new ideas and ability with technology. Connect with younger candidates by getting in touch with YouCan Youth Services in Edmonton or the City of Calgary Youth Employment Centre. Both organizations help youth who are transitioning into employment or back into education. Universities, colleges and technical schools are other great places to recruit new graduates looking to begin their careers.

If your workforce is already youthful, don’t overlook the benefits of bringing in mature workers, who can offer experience, stability, a guiding hand and mentorship. The Mature Worker section provides more you find information about mature workers.

Persons with disabilities

Send a strong message of inclusion by hiring and supporting employees with disabilities. A person with a disability, whether mental or physical, could be an excellent candidate for your work and may need only minor accommodations or possibly none at all.

To tap into this market, start with EmployAbilities, an Edmonton-based community organization dedicated to serving people who have disabilities or who face barriers to employment. In Calgary, Calgary Alternative Support Services offers the same service. Both organizations’ website offers career information and employment placement services.

The Persons With Disabilities section also provides useful information and links to other resources.

Newcomers to Canada

Newcomers with credentials and training from outside of the country can be a highly-skilled addition to your workforce and may bring new ideas to your company.

If you’re interested in hiring newcomers, consider using an immigrant-serving agency that may already have done some pre-screening. A good place to start is the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies, which can put you in touch with agencies across the province that help newcomers find work.

If you need help understanding foreign credentials, contact the International Qualifications Assessment Service.

An inclusive workplace

Your workplace is on its way to becoming a more inclusive environment when all the people on your team know they are valued and feel they belong. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to building an inclusive and respectful workplace, but it often includes accommodating specific needs of staff members, reviewing policies on benefits for partners or spouses and ensuring your staff understands that bullying or discrimination in the workplace will not be tolerated.

Hiring staff members from diverse backgrounds may take no extra effort and can help you find skilled employees and could provide a fresh perspective to your business. Organizations that celebrate and embrace diversity and difference send a strong message not only to their employees but also to their customers and the communities they serve.

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