Lakeside is committed to building a diverse workforce by having strong relationships with local vocational programs and continually recruiting.
Read more about our long term efforts for a successful, diverse workforce below.
By Randy Hayes
Our diversity journey has been a decade-long process. We believe that what we are doing is not diversity for diversity’s sake, but “sustainable diversity.” Meaning we are not just hiring people to meet some kind of number but hiring to ensure the long-term success of the employee. The first step is giving someone the opportunity, traditionally employee recruitment in this industry has been through family and friends of current employees. If you do not have a diverse workforce and continue only recruiting in this manner, you will never diversify your workforce.
We use the AGC’s “I Build the 419” employee leads, a strong relationship with local vocational programs, and continuous recruitment. Even if we are not in a “hiring mode,” we are still building a list of candidates for when we are hiring. It is a continuous process. I have handed out my business card to retail and fast-food workers who have the right attitude; you always have to keep your eyes open. The next, and in my opinion the most important step, is to pair that recruit with the right journeyperson that will take the time to explain how the industry works and be a mentor. Follow-up by management to make sure they have the tools for success is also important. Having an open dialogue and check-ins periodically from upper management show the employee the company truly does care and that can head off any potential problems. If there are cultural issues, they need to be addressed and resolved quickly. If someone has no ties to the construction industry, there are many things that people in the industry take for granted but may be completely foreign to a newer employee.
As diversity numbers improve, it can almost be self-sustaining. When a new employee sees the diversity on the job site, that helps improve their comfort level. This also gives new employees others they can relate to, ask questions to, and be comfortable going to if they have any issues. Leverage your success stories!!
As far as the numbers, our 8-month EEO average is at 14.7%. We have come a long way but still have work to do. My personal goal before I retire is a solid 20% EEO participation