Attracting and retaining talent has been the number one issue business owners talk to me about when discussing struggles. It isn’t a secret we are at record-low unemployment rates and companies are struggling. Even so, there are segments of our population overlooked for these open positions. How can your company attract this untapped talent? Even though our unemployment rate in Iowa hovers around 2.4%, did you know the unemployment rate for African Americans in Polk County is 16.7% according to the One Economy study. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 18.7% of persons with a disability were unemployed. There are a large number of individuals with disabilities that could work, but are under or unemployed.
Did you know 15% of the population in Des Moines are foreign-born? Many of them are highly-educated in their home countries, but experience brain-waste when they come to the U.S. because of unfamiliarity with systems and lack of licensing and credentialing services. A number of individuals in this segment are underemployed and a great source for talent.
How can you tap into this talent? The Diversity & Inclusion Council with the Greater Des Moines Partnership published a guide to help businesses tap into this talent. A download can be found here. This is a great place to start. I would also encourage you to connect with some of our members who can also help. A list can be found below.