Where are you the most at ease? The mountains? The beach? How about a big city? All carry different perspectives. The people you meet at each are as different as the landscape. A mountain man or a beachcomber is going to stand out (and not in a good way) as soon as they hit the bright lights of Broadway.


The same applies to your credit union. Not only do your surroundings make an impact to the people walking through your doors but whom they will meet does as well. If your staff is exceedingly friendly yet all look alike, will a potential member feel like they have just wandered onto the beach when they are clearly dressed for the mountains? Recruiting for workforce diversity vaults your credit union into a safe place, which welcomes everyone who walks through your doors.


How do you ensure your work zone accepts everyone who walks in?  Make it comfortable for all. Don’t just scatter a few shells amongst the greenery or bright lights. Work hard to have a welcome mat that means something. Diversity adds value to your credit union. To gather and retain a top pool of diverse talent, understand the demographic changes in the workforce. Build and then nurture relationships with minority organizations. Become the employer of choice for a diverse staff. Get involved—attend functions where relationships are founded on important causes. Then measure your effectiveness in your recruitment efforts.


How do you specifically recruit diverse employees? Establishing relationships with minority colleges is a place to start. Holding a job fair on their campuses takes the next step. Tap your previous contacts with minority organizations. Take care to advertise on all known websites where resumes can be found. Post on the National Diversity Newspaper Job Bank (www.newsjobs.com), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Urban League, Emerge, The Advocate, or Hispanic Times.


One important consideration is to include everyone. If you take your credit union from a mountain retreat to a bustling city, you include one group but then exclude your current members. It will be a challenge to not alienate your current staff while making a push to staff up with other ethnicities. Involving everyone in your quest to diversify and the process to find the right mix of employees goes a long way to making the journey a great one.


Take the plunge, or a hike, or a trip to the big city. Expand your comfort zone. Use your current staff to build a force to welcome everyone who walks through your doors.


For further reference:


League of United Latin American Citizens, 1133 Twentieth Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20036; 202-408-0060; www.lulac.org. The nation’s largest Hispanic membership organization seeks to improve the status of Hispanic persons in the United States.


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 4805 Mount Hope Drive, Baltimore, MD 21215; 410-358-8900. This is one of the oldest and largest organizations serving African Americans.


National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, 8701 Georgia Avenue, Suite 200, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 301-650-2440; www.nafeo.org. Organized to help ensure full use of the resources offered by the predominantly black colleges. This organization is adding a job bank to its web site.


National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations, 1501 16th St., NW, #1053, Washington, DC 20036; 202-387-5000. A nationwide membership network of agencies, organizations and professionals involved in service delivery, research and training opportunities for Hispanic communities in the areas of health, mental health, human and youth services and advocacy.


National Economics Association, c/o Dr. Alfred Edwards, University of Michigan Business School, 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; 734-763-0121. Concerned with encouraging blacks to enter the economics profession. Conducts research on the economic problems of the black community, publishes a quarterly, biennial directory and a job placement bulletin.


National Urban League, 120 Wall Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10005; 212-558-5300; www.nul.org. Seeks full civil rights for minorities. Operates job training, placement and executive exchange programs, among others.


National Diversity Recruitment Services – www.HireDiversity.com


Diversity Employment Exchange – www.diversityee.com


Diversity Services – www.diversity-services.comBlack Voices – www.blackvoices.com


The President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities – www.pcepd.gov

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