Diversify in Every Direction

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Firms that are strapped for staff may want to bear in mind the changing demographics of the U.S., and start looking for employees in talent pools they haven’t tapped before.

For Best Firms to Work For like Castro & Co., Gelman, Rosenberg & Freidman, and KatzAbosch, all in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area, that can mean recruiting at “HBCUs,” or historically black colleges and universities, and working with the National Association of Black Accountants. (http://www.nabainc.org/)

Atlanta’s Smith & Howard also recruits with NABA, and adds the Association of Latino Professionals for America (http://www.alpfa.org/) and Ascend (http://www.ascendleadership.org/), which focuses on Asian-Americans, to the mix. What’s more, the firm reported, “We created a program – SHARP -- for minority metro Atlanta high school students to introduce students to a career in accounting and/or finance. We began the planning phase in 2015. The first conference will be held in 2016 where we will host approximately 20 students and introduce them to the different career paths available to them with an accounting and/or finance degree. In addition, we will present a scholarship to a junior and senior student to be used towards college expenses.”

In addition to racial diversity, many of the Best Firms to Work For are working on gender diversity, as well, with efforts that range from making a point of mentoring rising female leaders to full-fledged women’s initiatives, like the Women Empowering Women program at Ohio’s William Vaughan Co., which “fosters the development of our women team members during each stage of their careers,” the firm said. “The program enables women at WVC to cultivate and enrich their vocation and improve their business development skills through professional activities, mentoring, networking and educational programs. By doing so, we create a positive work environment and thereby attract and retain women professionals.”

It’s worth bearing in mind that diversity isn’t just about race or gender, and that you can draw great employees from a wide range of talent pools. Some firms are making a point of reaching out to retired staff members with part-time seasonal work. And Kearney & Co. reported that it “has had relationships with the AARP, as well as the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services” to create opportunities for elderly employees – and it has also put a strong focus on recruiting veterans.

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