How to Integrate DEI into Your Recruitment Process

In the modern club, operational excellence extends far beyond pristine fairways and luxurious clubhouse amenities.  In recent years, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) best practices have emerged as critical drivers of success. No longer a buzzword, DEI is a driving force behind innovation, creativity, and resilience with teams. Recruiting and hiring a diverse team offers a kaleidoscope of perspectives that transcend the fairways. 

By welcoming varied viewpoints, clubs can enhance member experiences, foster innovative approaches, and align themselves with the broader demographic shifts in the golfing community. The golf industry’s expansion hinges on embracing diversity as a competitive advantage, allowing clubs to tap into wider audiences and usher in expansive growth. 

An authentic commitment to diversity begins right from the hiring phase. Actively seeking diverse talent and recalibrating recruitment strategies can be further bolstered by forging educational partnerships to discover hidden talents. Everyone in club leadership–spanning from Board Members to General Managers and Superintendents–play a pivotal role in setting the overarching tone and ensuring that every corridor of the club resonates with acceptance and inclusivity. 

Transformation is an ongoing journey, and continuing education is its backbone. Regular workshops and training sessions can bring issues of diversity and unconscious biases to the forefront. By equipping HR Managers with the necessary tools and training, clubs can safeguard a harmonious and inclusive atmosphere. 

Every team member, regardless of their background, plays a vital role in the success of the club. Acknowledging these individual contributions is more than just a kind gesture–it’s an affirmation of the club’s ethos. Celebrating diverse achievements can promote unity and drive collective growth. 

Clubs that embody inclusivity offer a true reflection of the vibrant world outside their gates, standing as models of adaptability and resilience. Our mission is to guide you in aligning excellence with diversity in order to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future in the golf industry. 

Here is how you can take DEI into consideration during the recruitment process:

  1. Broaden your horizons: Cast a wide net. Ditch traditional recruitment avenues and explore diverse job boards, minority-focused career fairs, and partnerships with institutions serving diverse populations.
  2. Write inclusive job descriptions: Emphasize your club’s commitment to inclusivity and ensure that job descriptions are gender-neutral and free from jargon that may deter diverse applicants.
  3. Conduct bias-free interviews: Invest in training for interviewers to recognize and counteract unconscious biases and stereotypes. Implement diverse interview panels to ensure a variety of perspectives are represented.
  4. Offer flexibility: Recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cater to everyone’s needs. Whether it’s flexible working hours, time off for religious holidays, or offering parental leave, be sure that your policies accommodate diverse lifestyles.
  5. Create a welcoming environment: Beyond recruitment, your workplace culture should welcome and support diversity. Regularly check in with staff, solicit feedback, and be willing to make the necessary adjustments. 
  6. Promote personal growth: Highlight avenues for growth within your club or organization. Show diverse employees a future where their contributions are valued, and advancement is a tangible reality. 

In Wisconsin, golf course maintenance departments provide full-time and seasonal work for a diverse workforce across the state. Talent acquisition is conducted through collaborating with local municipalities, school systems, workforce development boards, and community programs. We helped the Wisconsin GCSAA create a Labor and Staffing BMP to establish practices to encourage DEI initiatives. To learn more, please visit here.

While the path to true inclusivity may be challenging, a commitment to DEI isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s smart business. Such a commitment sets clubs distinctly apart, ensuring that they remain relevant, progressive, and at the forefront of industry excellence. 

I encourage you to dive in, reflect and take actionable steps towards DEI. Let’s lead beyond the grounds and create club cultures where every individual can thrive. 

About The Author

Tyler Bloom is the founder of Tyler Bloom Consulting. A former golf course superintendent and turf professional, Tyler’s love of all things golf began at the age of six when he stepped onto the course for the first time. 

Tyler has an Executive Certificate in Talent Acquisition from Cornell University and a degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State University. With 20 years of experience in the golf and turfgrass industry, Tyler has worked directly with reputable club leaders at some of the most prestigious clubs to place over 100 professionals in executive and management level positions throughout the United States.

Are you ready to build a top-performing team that drives results? Our proven framework, methodologies, and implementation is based on our personal track record of developing world-class teams. In addition to talent acquisition, we provide leadership development and ongoing consultative services for the golf course and club industry. Our team has personally coached and mentored dozens of future golf course superintendents across the United States.