A Whatcom County woman has started a job board to help local businesses hire diverse group of workers.
Distinctive Voice Consulting owner Kim Harris had the idea come to her last November, after continually hearing Whatcom County employers voice frustration about not being able to find diverse candidates.
“They keep recruiting in the same way, which means they’ll get the same results,” Harris said.
The job board was up and running in December and since then, Harris has had employers seeking candidates everywhere from Bellingham public schools looking for principals to the Community Food Co-op seeking a diversity and inclusion manager.
To encourage employers, companies wanting to advertise job listings have 30 days of free job listings before they are asked to pay a fee with an amount that depends on the organization.
Employers email Harris with job information and then she will publish it on her website. People who are interested in applying to the jobs on the website will contact the employer directly. Harris said the job listings have mostly been for professional jobs but she wants people seeking entry-level jobs to find something for them on the job board.
Harris’ network includes a wide network of local professionals and college students, but she said many of those people are part of larger organizations that can share her job postings to over a 1,000 people.
Harris started her consulting business in 2014 to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and bias awareness training and consulting. In her business, Harris talks with employees about race, class and gender in what her website describes as a non-judgmental and non-polarizing way. Harris has worked with over 20 organizations including Whatcom Transportation Authority, Whatcom County Library System and the cities of Bellingham and Lynden.
In 2015, Harris also co-founded the Bellingham Racial Justice Coalition, an advocate for ending systemic racism in Bellingham.
Right now, the job board is only promoting local jobs, but Harris said she hopes it will attract businesses across the state.
“It takes more than posting on LinkedIn and Glassdoor,” she said. “It takes someone creating relationships with communities.”
For more information, contact Kim Harris at email@example.com or visit distinctivevoiceconsulting.com.
Looking to participate in Black History Month events this February? Kim Harris of Distinctive Voice Consulting, shared things people in Whatcom County can do – from book clubs to events.
“How to be an Ally, Next Steps” class: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, February 17. Harris is hosting a virtual educational course on how people can become better allies to those with marginalized and oppressed backgrounds. The $35 class is in partnership with Whatcom Community College. For course information and registration, visit bit.ly/3oPUlMz.
“Ascendants of the Movement: Uplifting Black Women’s Voices” event: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, February 20. Harris is hosting the event, sponsored by Bellingham Public Library. More information will be available.
DVC virtual book club meeting: 4:30-6 p.m., Saturday, February 27. DVC is in the midst of hosting an anti-racist book club supporting Black authors. The February meeting, which is the second in the four-part series discussing “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Seattle author Ijeoma Oluo. Workshop participation is on a drop-in basis.