Executive Coaching Articles

Minority Talent Development – Win the Human Capital War

There’s a talent war going on. One of the most precious resources for a company is the total of their human capital. As companies work to find and develop their talent, they need to expand to new places.

One place for businesses to put greater effort into is that of minority talent development. Many companies say they seek minority employees but can’t find qualified ones. When this priority becomes important enough, companies can create a rich diversity in their workers. They will find that diversity adds to the bottom line of the company as well.

Diversity enriches businesses as it:

  • Helps the company understand and respond to clients and customers from different backgrounds.
  • Inspires creativity. Different cultures and ethnic traditions bring unique perspectives that invite new ways of problem solving and innovative thought.

What steps can a company take to increase their minority human capital? How can they recruit, develop talent, and create an organization that values and supports minorities?

  1. Move beyond Your Comfort Zone.

When you want to recruit minorities, you need to go where you are most likely to find up and coming talent. If you look only in the workforce, you have stiff competition from other companies.

Make minority recruiting part of your business model by going to the best minority colleges and seeking the top students. To gain the edge on the competition and get that early top talent, you need to go where they are.

  1. Recognize the value of Cultural Capital.

Many minority women are active leaders in their communities, churches, and local organizations. They spearhead drives, encourage youth, speak at schools, and influence community change. Frequently all this leadership talent is hidden from recruiters or the companies where these minorities work.

Imagine the benefit to the company if the talent developed in the community could be put to work in the organization. The more companies recognize and understand the efforts of their minority workers off the job, the better they will be at using the strengths and talents of their current employees.

  1. Pack the middle with minorities.

If you want to increase your minority percentages, don’t hire a token at the top. The middle management is where most of the hiring takes place. Minorities may know other talented minorities and can offer a more comfortable place for new minority hires.

Joe Watson helped the Virginia state government get increased minority representation in the Warner administration. He said, “If you want to make a company more diverse more quickly, you have to hire diverse people into middle management, where the majority of hiring is done.”

  1. Make the right match.

No matter how skilled and qualified the worker, if they don’t mesh with the culture of the organization, the new hire will not succeed.

As a company looks to develop minority talent, they must pay close attention to the match between the work style of the recruit and the culture of the organization. When done correctly, the dynamics produce bottom line profits.

As companies seek to compete in the human capital wars, they will come out ahead by looking to find and develop minority talent.