The Partnerships Pillar supports the creation of a Welcoming Workplace through the development of solid and mutually beneficial relationships with various community groups. All too often companies solely focus their change efforts internally. By connecting with community groups, your company can benefit from the expertise, guidance and support these organizations could provide as you work towards becoming a more welcoming place to work. Community groups are also an excellent way to connect with diverse populations; and, subsequently, these valuable relationships can help with your recruitment and hiring efforts.
Partners in the Community
It makes good business sense to develop relationships with various local community groups. For example, cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship with ISANS (Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia) could lead to the ability to tap into their expertise in connecting with and talking to potential workers who come from a wide range of backgrounds – ones that you may over- look on your own. In essence, they could become an important arm of support for your human resources efforts.
What can Community Groups do for you?
- Pre-screen people who want to apply to work at your company
- Support employees who need help around language or accessibility
- Get your job ads in front of the right people
- Give you a list of publications or media sources that will be useful as you become more diverse
- Help you learn how to create an unbiased process for recruiting employees
- Find someone from a community group to sit on your panels for job interviews
- Help you understand some of the challenges that people from diverse groups face
- Offer you training on how to be more culturally competent, so that you can understand and work with cultural differences
- Show you how to make your work environment more inclusive
A useful way to build a partnership that benefits your company and a community group over the long-term is to create a Partnership Agreement. This is an informal agreement that commits both parties to working together to develop a partnership. The agreement outlines each party’s commitment to the other and what each of you wants to accomplish by forming this relationship. Remember, a partnership is a two-way street. To nurture a good working relationship, don’t just call when you need something. Meet with your partners at least once a year just to keep channels of communication open and to review your respective goals.
If you are looking for additional resources take a look at our list of contacts and supports. On the list you will find names of organizations followed by email, phone and mailing address contacts. Included in this list are:
- Disability Organizations and Associations
- Diversity Focused Organizations and Associations
- First Nations Communities
- Key Government Contacts