International HR Day 2022: Shaping the New Future

International HR Day 2022
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

International HR Day 2022: Shaping the New Future

As a provider of HR solutions, we love honoring hardworking HR professionals. International HR Day is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

This year, the theme of International HR Day is “Shaping the New Future.”

“We are leading a future that will be more inclusive, flexible, participative; one which will benefit workers, organizations and society as a whole.” European Association for People Management, creator and sponsor of International HR Day

Because we serve small businesses, I’d like to focus on how small business HR teams can shape the future. In our country, there are over six million small businesses that collectively employ more than 61 million people. In fact, companies with 500 employees or fewer make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses.

How to Improve Diversity Hiring in Your Small Business

Small businesses have a brighter future when they are diverse and inclusive. But for most small orgs, it takes work to build a team that reflects the demographics of their community. It certainly doesn’t happen by chance.

Improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in a small business requires a commitment to hiring a diverse workforce and engaging them once hired. Even though small businesses don’t have the resources of large orgs, there are many things they can do to meet diversity goals.

small business diversity

Photo by Yan Krokov on Pexels.

Here are some tips for increasing DEIB in talent sourcing:

  1. Understand that diversity goes beyond ethnicity and gender–consider socioeconomic group, age, family status, work experience, and location (if you have remote jobs, you can hire from diverse communities outside your city or town)
  2. Hire for skills, not just degrees and make sure job descriptions don’t include unnecessary requirements
  3. Post jobs on diversity job boards and track applicants by source to better target ad spend
  4. Actively recruit veterans and consider candidates with a criminal record (if it’s appropriate for the job role)
  5. Form relationships with placement teams at colleges and universities that serve minorities
  6. Use structured interviews to level the playing field for interviewees
  7. Diversify recruitment panels to expand the collective experience of hiring decision makers and reduce bias
  8. Train managers on how to avoid hiring bias
  9. Seek referrals from employees from underrepresented groups
job fair

Job seekers attend a job fair in New York City, USA.

Of course, once you’ve hired a diverse team, your work isn’t over. You won’t retain them if you aren’t intentional about creating a culture where they can thrive. This is the “belonging” part of DEIB. An inclusive culture comes from the top down. Leadership must set a good example day in and day out that line managers can emulate for their teams. Consider diversity training. The HR team can own diversity initiatives, manage training and measure progress.

diversity, equity and inclusion

How to Foster Inclusion in Your Small Business

Here are tips for fostering belonging for all employees at your org:

  1. Sponsor Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
  2. Scrutinize promotion criteria and practices to make sure everyone has an equal chance for advancement
  3. Celebrate all holidays, not just traditional ones
  4. If you have a hybrid work model, default to “remote-first” processes so those working remotely (often women, single parents, minorities and those with disabilities) have an easier time participating in meetings
  5. Seek employee feedback on how to improve inclusion–an anonymous suggestion box in your HR portal may prompt employees to be more candid and frank with their suggestions
  6. Frequently recognize all employees for their contributions
small business diversity

Photo by Greta Hoffman on Pexels.

Leadership and HR must be proactive in engaging and supporting all workers–especially those from underrepresented groups.

Everyone is responsible for owning culture, but HR professionals are uniquely positioned to do more. HR professionals can do this strategically by ensuring cultural components are operationalized throughout the employee lifecycle, ranging from talent selection tools, onboarding, performance expectations, recognition programs, etc. With culture reinforced every step of the way, it becomes ingrained. Lindsay Gainor, Kent Power (in Forbes Small Business)

The Swipeclock team wishes you success in your DEIB efforts. Happy International HR Day!


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Simplify HR management today.

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