After a year of historic social and racial turmoil, many corporations have committed to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace.
But those pledges can fall short of accomplishing company goals due to a lack of diversity-focused hiring resources.
Morgan Phelps, founder and CEO of Colorful Connections, aims to overcome these challenges by creating a social enterprise and full-service diversity talent agency to represent skilled, diverse individuals.
Founded in 2019, Colorful Connections matched 10 clients to jobs and organized 11 workshops and training events in its first year.
The company’s services are led and designed by racially diverse individuals, including Phelps, a Black woman. The team is composed of human resources, recruiting and communications experts who share a passion for cultivating inclusive workplace cultures.
The team of recruiters works to provide coaching and consulting to a variety of underrepresented professionals who “reflect the spectrum of diversity,” Phelps said. This includes people of color, women, the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented individuals, a spokesperson told WisBusiness.com.
Colorful Connections helps HR teams by identifying the primary problems of their recruiting approach and offering services to connect them with diverse talent to match their hiring needs.
Colorful Connections differs from other recently emerged diversity recruiting services in that it includes professional development services aimed at achieving future career success, such as resume and portfolio assistance.
The company also helps clients achieve a faster and more efficient hiring process through its network of underrepresented professionals. Beyond matching employers with talent, Colorful Connections also focuses on establishing an inclusive and welcoming culture in the workplace through workshops, programs and assessments.
“We stand out for our holistic approach to creating long-lasting solutions,” Phelps said. “Our insight and relatability provide an edge and makes us approachable and more effective, versus typical consultants and companies.”
Like most other businesses, Colorful Connections was not immune to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. After all business contracts were canceled through May, the company spent the rest of 2020 converting services to be offered virtually, as well as finding new clients and expanding their team. The company’s main goals in 2021 include doubling both the number of successful candidate placements and the workshops and training they provide.
Colorful Connections is also working on launching an online marketplace to allow employers direct access to connecting with talented individuals. This subscription-based solution also provides resources to assist organizations in improving social and cultural competencies.
Due to its success thus far and the unique services it offers, Colorful Connections is among the semi-finalists for the 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which will culminate at the Entrepreneurs’ Conference in June.
–By Ave Dieck
Dieck is a graduating student in the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication.