Insights and resources for employers and professionals.

Why Your Business Should Consider a Talent Supplier Diversity Program

Talent supplier diversity programs can have wide-ranging benefits for companies competing in today’s limited and unpredictable hiring market. There are many reasons a company should consider making talent supplier diversity a priority within their organization, ranging from “It’s the right thing to do” to “It can boost your bottom line.”

What does Supplier Diversity actually mean?

Generally speaking, supplier diversity refers to a business strategy that ensures the use of diverse suppliers for the goods and services of the organization. By creating a diverse supply chain of partners, you support businesses owned by underrepresented groups and encourage the growth of diversity-owned enterprises.

What is a Talent Supplier Diversity program?

A Talent Supplier Diversity program encourages the award of contingent workforce contracts to minority business entities owned by traditionally underrepresented groups, such as small-business, minority-owned, and women-owned enterprises.

Dahl Consulting (DAHL) is an equal opportunity employer and a certified Women-owned Business Enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). We are committed to engaging in inclusive hiring practices and connecting our employment opportunities with a diverse talent pool of individuals who represent the communities we serve. Additionally, we support and practice engaging with other diversity-owned partners and suppliers. Learn more about DAHL’s wide array of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

How does a Talent Supplier Diversity program work?

Creating and maintaining a Talent Supplier Diversity program requires time and resources. Exploring best practices for Talent Supplier Diversity programs is a good idea to ensure you start your initiative on solid ground. Effectively diversifying your supply chain of employment partners requires strategy, transparent communication, and commitment. If you want to create a new Talent Supplier Diversity program or build on an existing one, consider reviewing the following 5 steps:

  • Examine your current policy. Does your organization already use diverse suppliers for your contingent workforce or hiring? If so, dig into the numbers to see how much you are spending and in which categories. By examining your current policy and investment, you can better understand what systems are already in place and begin to formulate your goals.
  • Define your goals. Your Talent Supplier Diversity program should align with your organization’s mission, vision, and values. Create a clear, written policy that outlines your short-term and long-term goals, how you will reach them, and what certifications you will accept from your diverse suppliers of contract employees.
  • Prioritize involvement. Your Talent Supplier Diversity initiative must be supported from the C-suite level to the newest employee to be most successful and effective. It’s best to plan how you will integrate your efforts throughout the company during your planning stages. A few ways of creating visibility for your program include:
    • Creating training and education programs for departments
    • Establishing accountability measures for company leaders
    • Having open discussions about your Talent Supplier Diversity goals during procurement meetings
    • Adding Talent Supplier Diversity metrics to the company dashboard
  • Identify diverse suppliers. An easy way to identify diverse suppliers of contract employees is by including diversity-related questions in your talent supplier onboarding process. You can also employ third-party databases to help you find diverse suppliers, or partner with certification agencies such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council. If you have the resources to mentor emerging minority-owned businesses, consider investing in your future supply chain. Offering financial or technical education, networking opportunities, or support from your business can help minority-owned enterprises grow, enduring your access to diversity suppliers that provide contingent workforce solutions in the future.
  • Analyze results. Use data to track the success of your program and report your results to all stakeholders. By benchmarking your results against past performance, you will identify opportunities to improve your program.

What are the benefits of a Talent Supplier Diversity program?

Is your organization wondering if it should create a more inclusive supply chain of hiring partners? There are many benefits of Talent Supplier Diversity programs, ranging from social responsibility to increased business profit. Consider the following advantages of a more diverse supply network for contract employees:

  • Help fight social injustice. Talent Supplier Diversity can be part of a company’s efforts to do the right thing and make the world more inclusive. Many minority-owned businesses face obstacles when launching and maintaining their businesses. Widespread Talent Supplier Diversity programs can help level the playing field for diverse businesses and contribute to:
    • Economic opportunity in disadvantaged communities
    • Creating and preserving jobs for minorities
    • Encouraging the growth of businesses

Some large companies require their suppliers to create their own Talent Supplier Diversity programs, spreading the impact and increasing the support for underrepresented businesses.

  • Attract top talent. Generations entering the workforce place great value on diversity. With Gen Z being the most diverse generation yet, workers want to see themselves represented. They want to work for diverse, equitable, and inclusive employers. By using diversity-owned suppliers, you are sending a message to job seekers that they will be welcomed and valued in your organization.
  • Widen your candidate pool. By considering diverse suppliers for your contingent workforce, you increase your options and promote healthy competition, potentially driving costs down and improving product quality.
  • Create a more resilient supply chain. More sourcing options make your supply chain more flexible and resilient. Smaller suppliers are often able to meet tighter deadlines than larger, less flexible organizations. Having plentiful and flexible options can give you edge over your competition, especially during uncertain times.

Keys to Talent Supplier Diversity program success…

Creating a successful Talent Supplier Diversity program can be challenging and requires an investment of time and resources. Consider the following ways companies can meet these challenges:

  • Follow through. Companies with successful Talent Supplier Diversity programs treat their diversity initiatives as essential not token efforts. Paying lip service to diversity and inclusion practices while not following through will be noticed by employees and partners, ultimately reflecting negatively on their brand.
  • How can you ensure your diversity spend is going to verified minority-owned talent suppliers? Any company that is a federal contractor must comply with requirements and regulations that have specific reporting requirements. Checking those reports can ensure that your diversity spend is well-allocated. Larger companies sometimes form diversity oversight mechanisms or employ a third-party agency to validate supplier certifications.
  • Sourcing diverse suppliers. Sourcing minority-owned workforce vendors that can meet your requirements can be challenging. Companies with thriving Talent Supplier Diversity programs sometimes seek out fledgling, diverse suppliers and create training programs to help them meet their supply needs. Others partner with local councils or chambers of commerce with existing mentoring programs to help them identify diverse suppliers of contract employees who can meet their requirements.

Looking to partner with an employment partner who is minority-owned and firmly committed to working with other diverse talent suppliers? At DAHL, we focus on growing relationships through diversity and inclusion. We lead with our values, partner with diversity-owned partners and suppliers, and expand our outreach in the communities we serve through active networking, philanthropic sponsorship, and volunteer activities. Increase your diversity hiringcontact DAHL today!