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Featured Article: Diversity
What is Diversity Recruiting?
If the current recruiting process does not result
in sufficient numbers of various targeted groups
being hired, then an organization will want to
set up processes to get more of these groups,
i.e. a diversity recruiting process.
Diversity recruiting is normally
conducted by large organizations.
Sometimes organizations conduct diversity recruiting to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity or Affirmative Action regulations. However, in many cases organizations recognize there are advantages to diversity and use diversity recruiting as one element in ensuring they have a diverse workforce.
Diversity recruiting always starts by identifying which groups need special emphasis; it could be women, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, disabled, older workers or some other group. Diversity recruiting may also be aimed at specific jobs. Often, organizations have excellent diversity at lower levels but poor diversity at senior levels. Once the goals have been identified, the next step is to decide which elements of the recruiting pipeline need to be addressed: industry brand, employer brand, sourcing, or selection.
Getting Help with Industry Brand
In some cases, the difficulty of hiring people in the target groups runs deep. For example, if girls in high school do not see math and science as attractive, then companies will have a hard time hiring female aerospace engineers. If this is the problem, organizations can work to change the image of the industry by getting help from:
• Industry associations (where several firms share the same recruitment problem)
Getting Help with the Employer Brand
Working on the employer brand is much the same as working on the industry brand, with the obvious difference that it’s the individual organization being promoted.
In addition to the sorts of allies mentioned above, an organization may seek help from:
Getting Help with Sourcing
The biggest area in Diversity Recruiting is sourcing: i.e. identifying diverse candidates. There are several ways to get help with sourcing diverse candidates.
Getting Help with Selection
Even when the sourcing process delivers good candidates from the targeted group, they may still fail to be hired due to weaknesses in the selection phase. It is normal for people to unconsciously prefer people like themselves, and this can create a significant barrier to selecting people from the targeted group.
How to Evaluate Providers
One piece of advice is to work with people who know both the diversity world and the commercial world. There are many people involved in diversity who have good social intent but no understanding of the commercial world. There are also many professionals in recruiting who will say they can help find diverse candidates but may not in fact have any special ability in that area. Select providers who are strong in both domains.
Diversity is a challenging area because it is full of emotion and unconscious preferences. Nevertheless, many organizations have made great strides in improving diversity. Diversity Recruiting is often an essential part of a diversity initiative. There are many resources that can help. Be sure to think about which aspect of the recruiting pipeline is the bottleneck and focus your efforts there.
Appendix: Some Useful Groups
There are a great many organizations that can be helpful in Diversity Recruiting. Here is a sampling:
National Black MBA www.nbmba.org