We hear it all the time—an organization’s greatest asset is its talent. So, it’s no surprise that recruitment and retention are among the most talked about topics in HR. Yet, the best ways to recruit diverse talent and the most effective ways to retain employees are ever-evolving. As a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firm, we are constantly developing new and innovative talent acquisition methods, because we know that a company with a diverse workforce is better positioned to serve its clients and communities.

John Wilson is CEO of Wilson HCG, a global recruitment process outsourcing, human capital consulting, and managed services provider. To see Wilson HCG’s own brand ambassadors in action, visit wilsonhcg.com.

John Wilson

The initiative for recruiting diversity needs to start at the top. Without having a leadership team that is involved and collaborative, it’s nearly impossible to get employees on board. Your executive team and all managers must take the time to find connections between employees, ask for feedback, and listen to ideas and opinions. When employees feel comfortable sharing, companies benefit from a rich diversity of ideas. So it’s important to foster an open environment. Employees who feel their ideas are valued will become ambassadors for your organization and bring in more people who want to contribute their own ideas.

To attract candidates who are a fit for your organization, you must pinpoint your company’s core values and define its DNA. Without this knowledge, it’s impossible to distinguish what sets your organization apart from other employers. Once you can define and communicate your organization’s core values, you can recruit candidates who share them.

Growing our diversity brand ambassador and subject matter expert (SME) committee has been key to our diversity recruitment initiatives. These diversity recruitment experts create partnerships with various diversity organizations; write for our blog, Human Capital Connection; network with other diversity thought leaders; and manage monthly internal diversity initiatives. Diversity brand ambassadors who can be the voice of your company will influence attitudes both internally and externally. These efforts grow diverse talent communities that you can leverage as hiring needs arise.

Now that you’ve hired the talent, how will you ensure they remain happy working at your company?

Employee engagement is a major factor in whether your employees stay or leave. While “engagement” may mean something different to everyone, I believe it comes to down to whether your employees feel appreciated, enjoy the work that they do, and share the company’s values and goals. Start by asking employees and candidates what’s important to them. Some may prefer flexible hours or the option to work remotely; others may want to be able to join committees that offer additional responsibilities; still others may want the opportunity to participate in job shadowing for career advancement. Whatever is important to your employees, you need to know about it so you can address it.

The ability to recruit diverse talent and retain employees is in your organization’s hands. The diversity of ideas will be perpetuated by the culture your company creates. Embrace diverse opinions and promote respect, and you’ll be well on your way to laying the foundation for a diverse workforce that will be appreciated by candidates and clients.

John Wilson is CEO of WilsonHCG, a global recruitment process outsourcing, human capital consulting, and managed services provider. To see WilsonHCG’s own brand ambassadors in action, visit wilsonhcg.com.