Hiring for diversity: 9 ways to retool your process

If you want a diverse team, you need to look different. This means changing both the way you search and the way you appear.

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That’s why Heather Terenzio, Co-Founder and CEO of Boulder-based Techtonic Group, built a paid engineering apprenticeship program. “We look for diamonds in the rough,” she says. “People who are baristas or who might have an English degree.” Techtonic partners them with a master engineer and hires them out as a team to work on the hiring company’s projects. Eventually, the master leaves and the apprentice – hopefully – stays.

This was exactly the solution Tim Enwall at Misty Roboticswas looking for to solve his ‘skyrocketing salaries’ and diversity problem.  “When I realized Heather was talking about a paired apprentice program, I knew this was a great idea.” If you are plumber or an electrician, you work with a master on real world problems.

“Initially we hired a master and two apprentices to work on our mobile app and software ATIs,” he says. This brought two women onto his team, one with an MBA and one who had worked in retail.

“You get pretty educated shadowing the master,” he says. They are both fantastic employees. More than that, though, their presence inspired Enwall’s existing team. “These jobs were life altering for these women,” he says. “That made my people want to teach them. It feels great to know you are changing someone’s life with skills you took for granted.”

It worked so well, Enwall plans to keep hiring from the Techtonic Group. And Terenzio is expanding the program to more cities next year.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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