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Recruiting Culturally Diverse Talent

Recruiting is one aspect of management, but it is one of the most important tasks you will do for your organization to compete in the global marketplace. If you do not recruit the right talent, no amount of good management and training will turn poorly selected staff into valuable members of your company. Cultural diversity adds a critical variable. Previously, diversity was about quotas and headcounts. Now diversity and inclusion initiatives have moved from a compliance issue and “it’s the right thing to do” to a strategic business advantage that stretches across international borders.

Recruiting Culturally Diverse Talent

As a hiring professional in the new global market, you must be aware of and exhibit the sensitivity and skills to identify attitudes, values and expectations in the cultural context of your recruits. You must be able to recognize cultural and generational differences in the interview and know how to use them to work effectively and accomplish your business goals. Intercultural awareness gives you the ability to set the performance bar higher on two dimensions: quality of life and business success. There are numerous concepts of communicating across cultures today. When selecting candidates in the workplace today, you need not only be aware of cross-cultural differences; you must be able to integrate these differences into the organization and its hiring practices.

You must then ask.. .How does diversity and inclusion strategies affect the hiring process? You follow a certain structure and technique in the interviewing and hiring process, but do you ask yourselves if your current frameworks translate across cultural lines?

What is Your Culture?

To succeed you must first develop an awareness of our own culture, before you can be sensitive to other individual cultures and know how to transfer that sensitivity to your firm. It is an integrative way of thinking, which values everyone in the organization. Seek to create processes that open communication among people and creating opportunities by acknowledging that people are different and barriers do exist.

Understand what cultural diversity is. Recognize that cultural diversity is inclusive of international backgrounds, employee personality, work style, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, ability, education and other dimensions. Culture is a shared system of meanings that is rooted in basic assumptions which inspire your norms and values and essentially translate into your behavior and defines how others experience you at work. In an organizational context, it indicates what you pay attention to, how you recruit and manage your workforce and what you value.

The “onion-approach.” Look at the cross-cultural interview like an onion. A thorough and well conducted interview process helps you to peel off onion layers one by one and learn more about a candidate’s different experiences and determine whether a hopeful will be able to contribute to your function. Having a cross-cultural mindset is representative to being a truly diverse and global organization.

Enable yourself to recognize cultural differences. Raise your own cultural awareness. It allows you to compare different communication styles effectively. As an interviewer or hiring manager you should ask yourself what are your basic values, beliefs, assumptions and worldview and how do they correspond to the candidate’s cultural background? What is your company’s business culture? What are the dominant management styles, expectations and how do they correspond to the expectations of the prospective staff employee? What is the firm’s hierarchical structure and what is the decision-making process?

Recognize your competitive edge. Understanding cross-cultural difference inherent in a diverse workforce means to awaken an appreciation of both the candidate’s and interviewer’s cultural conditioning. To develop your intercultural awareness you need to be able to recognize the behavioral expectations of different generations and learn to apply them to your organizational context. Intercultural awareness helps you to recognize and appreciate a variety of attitudes, values and expectations. This awareness will give you the competitive edge required to establish a rapport with your candidates and select them effectively.

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