Today I’m sharing a post written by the wonderful Amy Collet, creator of Bizwell.org. With more and more freelancers doing their thing in 2021, this article helps businesses understand how hiring freelancers can help diversify their workforce.
Diversify Your Workforce By Hiring Freelancers
If you’re a business owner and looking to expand your workforce, there are plenty of ways to do so that will help bolster your local economy. Hiring freelancers is a great option, giving you the opportunity to diversify your team. You can also implement internship programs that will help mentor young people and develop leadership skills for your team.
Growing your team with diverse freelancers
While many businesses tend to go with big-name agencies when filling roles such as marketing positions, it’s a better idea to look for freelancers to help with projects. One of the best ways to connect with potential freelancers is through online job boards, which will allow you to pursue potential candidates whose experience lines up with your company’s needs. You’ll also have more control over choosing the right person for the job.
Along with the bonus of helping your local economy, freelancers provide you an opportunity to diversify your workforce. You can find candidates with varied life experiences, whose diverse perspectives will likely add insight and creativity to your projects. Whether you’re aiming to hire more women, people of color, or differently-abled people, your company will benefit from diversity.
One thing to keep in mind as you hire a more diverse staff is implementing inclusion training for your team. Be proactive, and start with your leadership team: aim to have your leaders diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, education, and age in order to incorporate multiple perspectives in decision-making and project management. Encourage discussion on inclusion throughout the year, rather than a once-off training during orientation. And, if necessary, make changes to your company to improve its practices and make it more inviting to all.
Something else to think about is supporting your local workforce. Instead of going with big name agencies for services you need, why not hire someone close to home? For everything from creative and professional copywriting from iScribe Creative to podcast editing services, look into local talent! You’ll feel good about the choice, and you might even get better quality results for less money.
Making your workplace inviting
If you’re diversifying your workplace, be sure your physical office or location is appropriate for differently-abled workers. There are some simple steps you can take to do this, including installing accessible features around your office such as wheelchair ramps and investing in assistive technology.
Assistive technology has come a long way in recent years, with big-name tech companies offering plenty of options for differently-abled users. Be sure to research what options are out there for your staff, whether it’s incorporating speech-to-text transcription, harnessing voice recognition technology, or adding screen readers for visually impaired workers.
Create new opportunities
One excellent way to grow your team in an inclusive way is by offering positions to people who are normally excluded from the workforce. Consider creating roles that would be appropriate for senior citizens or veterans. These positions could be for delivery driving, customer service, or sales—be sure to advertise to these groups specifically in order to invite applicants.
While many seniors choose retirement, it’s increasingly more common for older people to return to the workforce. Whether it’s out of necessity or just to stay busy, many seniors are looking for ways to make money. Employers stand to gain from hiring seniors: studies show our ability and motivation to learn new skills has no age limit.
Mentor through internships
Another way to diversify your team is by creating internship programs for young people. Not only will you benefit from youthful energy in your company, but you’ll also be providing a young person with real-world work experience.
If you do offer internships, be sure that you develop a clear program so your intern can learn and grow during their time in your company. Delegate someone on your team to be their mentor and role model, and give them real responsibilities to help them learn.
As you consider ways to grow your team, be sure to look for freelancers to diversify your workforce and to have more control over finding the right candidate. Diversifying is important, and it’s best to incorporate inclusion training to help your whole team change and adapt. Make your workplace accessible to differently-abled staff, and look into hiring people typically left out of the workforce, such as senior citizens. To further add to your team, hire interns and delegate mentors to create a learning environment for young people.
Thanks for sharing your work Amy!
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