As I kick off a new year of business for Total Engagement Consulting, I will start where I left off at the end of 2012. As the year came to a close, I seemed to be involved in various items around the hot growing area of Supplier Diversity. As companies and governments seek to find the widest selection of qualified suppliers to deliver cost-effective and innovative products and services, it makes great business sense to focus on a supplier diversity program that throws out the net to encompass the widest possible range of suppliers.
In Mid-December, an online SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) article was published where I was one of a handful of industry experts extensively quoted. Here is a link to that article, “Diverse Suppliers Can Lead to Diverse Talent” by Rebecca R. Hastings. NOTE: you need to be SHRM member to access the article, one of the benefits of joining SHRM! Ms. Hastings also provides a lot of useful data from an Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and ties the data in nicely to her main points
The main theme of this article is that supplier diversity efforts do have a strong connection to similar efforts to recruit and retain the best employees via the widest possible diverse pool of candidates. Some of the particular points that I made in my interview with Ms. Hastings which were included in the article included:
• Though the diversity procurement function may reside in an organization’s procurement function or human resources function, the two areas must team closely together in these efforts.
• Companies should promote their diversity procurement efforts to be able to get the best suppliers from the widest possible pool.
• Federal and state government efforts around supplier diversity have really helped the economic development of minority-owned businesses.
• When employees know that their company is reaching a diverse range of suppliers, that will have a positive impact on their productivity, engagement, and recruitment.
Early next week I will publish part 2 of this series which will include useful links to other recently publish articles around supplier diversity.