How to hire people who do not look like you
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail Doctor’s blog.
Why should you hire people who do not look like you? Because while it is human to hire people with similar backgrounds, it can be based on unintentional bias.
Further, making shoppers feel welcome in your store starts with the people you choose to hire. When people see themselves in your marketing and on your salesfloor, they feel safe and included.
How to hire people who don’t look like you:
- Advertise for jobs in new markets. Go to college career centers and explain you are looking to represent your local area. Get your Chamber or Downtown Association involved to end racial bias.
- Get some bias training. Be open to the idea we all have these inclinations or prejudices for or against people different than us.
- Encourage online applications. One of the biggest sticklers is when a part-timer handles a walk-in applicant. Later, when asked who turned in the application, the part-timer says, “Yes, they didn’t look like a fit.”
- Have the same requirements for everyone.
- Monitor the pictures used in marketing materials. Project an image of your entire community, not just you.
- Choose your philanthropic partners with an eye for mirroring your community and the goals of inclusion.
- Go beyond just selecting products you like. Learn each vendor’s story and how their mission and initiatives fit into your inclusive world.
You can have a meeting where you tell your crew that you’ve been thinking about the harm racism has caused in our society and tell them you are going to make an extra effort to hire people not like yourself.
Behavior training with role-playing can also help your crew practice not passing judgments. Many times they don’t even realize they are passing these judgments unless a conversation is had and training is put in place.
It is up to each of us to try to understand everyone better, but particularly those who have a different skin color. It is not their job to educate us; it is ours to educate ourselves.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: What hurdles prevent stores from hiring more diverse staff? What advice would you have about reducing any implicit biases managers or staff may have about applicants or customers different than themselves?