selecting a diversity consultant
Eight Factors to Consider & Eight Questions To Ask
If diversity training is not already a part of your employee development
offerings it probably will be soon. If you send out a Request For
Proposals (RFP) for diversity training you will get a variety of
responses with costs ranging from $500/day to $15,000/hr.
How do you decide? How do you select from the many people available
and get the best return on your investment?
Key Factors to Consider
Consultant Experience. Research the consultant's experience
in your industry or with organizations similar to yours.
Consultant's Philosophy. There are many possible approaches
to diversity training. Be sure the consultant's philosophy is
similar to your organization's so that all materials developed
and all messages shared will be supportive of your organization's
Alignment. Find out if the consultant is involved in community
and personal activities which are in alignment with the message
they are presenting about diversity. This will increase credibility
and provide a deeper resource of information to enhance the
Consultant Skills. Assess the consultant or trainer's experience
with curriculum design, facilitation of sensitive subjects and
ability to think fast and adapt to unexpected situations.
Referrals and References. Don't skip the reference checking
process. Ask previous clients for feedback on the consultant's
Participant Feedback. It is reasonable to ask for samples of
feedback from participants. When possible ask to see copies
of a complete set of feedback forms from one or more seminars
or projects completed. This will tell you more than reviewing
an edited compilation of the best comments.
Your Targeted Audience. Determine if the consultant is a good
match with your targeted audience. Or, if the same consultant
will work with a variety of employees, be sure to select a consultant
who has worked in different industries and with different types
Culture. Don't forget to factor in your organization's culture
and style. You could hire a great consulting team but set them
up for failure if their style or material does not reflect your
industry and/or culture.
Eight Great Questions
In addition to the standard questions you would ask any potential
vendor or employee, you might ask one or more of the following questions.
How would you describe your philosophy regarding diversity
Why did you decide to design (or deliver) diversity training?
If I were to interview 100 people who had attended programs
you led in the past year, what would be the 2 or 3 most consistent
pieces of feedback I would hear about you?
Give me 3 examples of ways you apply your skills related to
valuing diversity in the community.
What would be the primary factors you would consider when designing
a seminar (or a keynote) for our organization?
How do you keep your material fresh and relevant?
What do you do to work through your own biases and your personal
issues related to diversity?
Describe a situation which came up in a diversity program that
caught you completely off-guard and then tell me how you handled
it. What did you learn from that situation?
Selecting a diversity trainer can be a challenge. But selecting
one who will help your organization achieve your goals will be easier
with these questions.