Hiring Underrepresented Workers

My name is Janet Volpe and I have been working at Employment North for 16 years. Over the years I have learned a few things. One of them is that the labour market needs do not stay static – that is, times change and employers, cultures and hiring techniques change along with them.

Today I am going to mention why employers should hire workers who are underrepresented in the labour market, creating a team of diverse backgrounds. Building teams from qualified candidates regardless of their gender, background, race, religion, or sexual orientation as well as those who have gaps in their work history, workers with criminal records, older workers, and women working in non-traditional employment such as the skilled trades is a step towards true equality in the workplace. Diversity in the workplace is the idea that your team should reflect the general makeup of the society around you.

Why should employers hire underrepresented workers?


  • According to recent statistics, diverse companies are 8 times more likely to outperform their less diverse competitors financially.
  • 3 out of 4 employees prefer to work for diverse companies. Employees feel valued for their individuality and unique contribution so are more likely to stay on for longer, reducing staff turnover. For example; statistics show that staff retention rates are 72% higher among people who have a disability.
  • Increase in marketing opportunities: If potential employees or customers see that a company represents a diverse workplace, it makes them feel like they can relate to the company more. Hiring mature-aged, differently-abled, or ethnically diverse people encourages applicants to apply, promotes a positive reputation, increases marketplace awareness, and generates a more diverse client-base.
  • Inclusive hiring enables businesses to fill needed roles with skilled, qualified people who are the right “fit.” Industries in Canada and other countries are facing labour shortages and expect these to continue over the next 10 years.

In these days of unanswered job postings, the frustration of having new hires not show up for their first day, having to cancel contracts because employers do not have the staff to fulfill them, how do employers find employees who are reliable?

Here are a few methods for employers get access to these untapped markets:

  • Mention in your job posting that you are open to hiring people from diverse backgrounds. Focus job postings on the skills required for the job.
  • Get a reputation for being an employer who welcomes staff who reflect their customer base.
  • Provide diversity training to your staff. Employers often find staff by asking their existing employees for referrals. Staff who recognize their employer as inclusive are more likely to recommend their family and friends.
  • Use Employment Services. Share job postings with programs or employment agencies that work with candidates who are underrepresented in the labour market. Share your desire to build an inclusive workforce with the Employment Service.

At Employment North we have the motivation and ability to help employers build an inclusive workforce that will lead to successful on-boarding and retention of staff. Our Employer Liaisons can help create job postings, host Job Fairs, find candidates and provide resources for employers seeking people for their teams.

Call Employment North Gravenhurst for more information 705 687-6350.