"Diversity is being unafraid to marry the unknown"
Published: 06 Dec 2016 By Grace Kimberley
Energy Jobline catches up with Torin Ellis, diversity recruitment guru and winner of Season 4 of “Top Recruiter: Reign of the Bosses” on what diversity means to The Torin Ellis Brand and how this differs between the various regions of the world…
We conducted a number of diversity interviews over the course of this year. What’s been particularly interesting is the common thought when it comes to diversity among these passionate D&I campaigners. This ‘thought’ is that implementing and supporting diversity in your organisation can only lead to strength and effectiveness.
Torin Ellis provided us with this same clarification and then some.
“For me diversity begins with thought and it’s about everything thereafter” Torin begins.
“That thought is the seed of how you process everything. It’s the beginning of what actions you take, it’s the spur of who you look to when you need to collaborate with someone, it’s how you approach challenges, solutions, developing products and services. That thought is the core of diversity before we get to the layers that are most often used as a reference point.”
“So it’s being unafraid for all of these known and unknown entities to marry one another, to mingle, to grow the relationship and make something magical happen. But diversity begins with thought.”
Diversity isn’t any one thing. The most common thought when it comes to diversity varies in different areas of the world.
“Here in the US, when we utter the phrase diversity the first thing that comes to mind for most people is skin tone. I believe that in Europe the first thought that occurs is ethnicity.” Torin continues.
“For us it’s a racial thing and then it becomes gender, then perhaps socioeconomics. The first one or two immediate influences in the US are different than the first in Europe or the Middle East and Africas.”
Whether some are ready to admit it or not, diversifying teams in or out of the workplace enhances outcomes and creates successful solutions. This has been consistently proven and Mr Ellis has had numerous encounters with just how influential diversity can be throughout his career.
“When we were in Paris filming Season 5 (of Top Recruiter), we actually had a situation where the candidate from the North American side was surrounded by male mentors.” Says Ellis.
“This group of males were all providing counsel, encouragement and insight from a male perspective. I noticed that in that environment, the candidate was becoming burdened. She was less than sure of the project she was developing.”
“I brought over one of the global advisors, which happened to be a female. I brought her along and immediately the energy in the room changed. We ultimately got to a faster, better and stronger result by simply inserting a female into the conversation.”
This is merely one example of where diversifying a group, even ever so slightly, can completely change and strengthen the dynamics of a team.
The instant obstacle with diversifying a business or organisation, is many businesses are unsure of where to begin. We asked Torin what his primary method for developing the diversity strategy of businesses is, to which he highlighted a number of key points about attracting diverse audiences.
“In North America, most organisations recruit from what we call a handful of academic institutions.” Torin says.
“Typically that falls between 7 and 50 schools. Organisations cannot continue claiming they can’t find talent, when there are more than 5,000 colleges and universities schools in the rest of the US that they refuse to refer to for graduate positions.”
“I’m simply suggesting that organisations will have to figure out how to allocate proper resources to include budget AND people. Graduation rates are at historic highs right now. How is it companies struggle to find talent when there are more individuals graduating than ever before?”
We still have one more article left to post on our talk with diversity leader Torin Ellis, so stay tuned for the next release!
Want to read more from Torin Ellis? Get your copy of Ellis’ latest book: “RIP the Resume: Job Search & Interview Power Prep” on Amazon today by clicking here.