Why diversity is crucial in a competitive job market — Sheryl J. LaPlace | Insperity

Sheryl J. LaPlace joins The Small Business Show to explain how diversity can help companies attract candidates in a difficult job market.

The job market has always presented difficulties for both employees and employers, but since the onset of the COVID pandemic, it has become significantly more challenging for businesses to attract and retain quality talent. To understand how the market has changed and the strategies needed to navigate this new landscape, it is important to consult with an expert on the trends affecting employment.

Sheryl J. LaPlace is a hiring expert and senior human resources consultant with Insperity, an HR firm with three decades of experience helping companies cultivate and support capable workforces. Since 2015, LaPlace has paid close attention to the employment landscape to give her clients the best guidance on how to run their HR operations. On this episode of The Small Business Show, host Shyann Malone sits down with LaPlace to discuss how today’s job market is unique, reveal what employees are looking for and offer strategies to help businesses find and keep quality candidates.

Key takeaways

1. While employers typically held more power than candidates in job markets of the past, LaPlace notes that employees now have more power than businesses since factors such as COVID have caused a labor shortage. As such, companies must now compete with each other if they hope to attract and retain workers.

2. To overcome challenges in today’s job market, businesses should pivot to skills-based hiring, which chooses between candidates based on their ability to perform the role, as opposed to their experience or education.

3. Diversity is one of the most important factors in attracting candidates in today’s job market. Not only do most employees prioritize diversity in the workplace, but businesses also tend to be more successful when their team members come from diverse backgrounds.

4. LaPlace urges companies to consider hiring from within to fill employment gaps caused by a restrictive job market. In these cases, businesses may need to offer more training or education than they traditionally offered for new hires so that in-house candidates can overcome gaps in knowledge or skill.

5. Hiring from within offers more than a means to fill empty positions caused by the competitive job market. LaPlace explains that in-house candidates are already familiar with the business’s goals and bring more insight into their customer’s needs than someone from outside the company.

"If you're going to thrive, or even just survive, being intentional about your diversity and inclusive efforts is key." — Sheryl J. LaPlace