So far in this blog series we have talked about the competitive advantage diversity brings to organizations, as well as identifying and minimizing bias in the recruitment process. Here are six tips for incorporating diversity into sourcing efforts.
1. Start with a Plan
It may seem like common sense, but it’s important. For example, in addition to developing diverse candidate slates, you also need to ensure that hiring managers interview diversity candidates. Refer to Part 2 of this series to help prevent bias at the interview stage.
2. Incorporate diversity into your employment brand
For years companies paid lip service to diversity, but smart candidates will see right through that. Diversity should be embedded in your company’s culture and vision. Messaging about your brand should emphasize community, including how your company connects to and supports external communities, and also how it functions like one internally. If your company is not yet diverse, focus on how you are open to new viewpoints and ideas.
You also should add diversity content to your careers page, such as pictures of company events. You also can include demographics that highlight your company’s diversity, and information about diversity resources you offer.
3. Establish relationships with diversity-oriented groups
National organizations are a great place to start. These include high-profile groups like the NAACP, NOW, the National LBGTQ Task Force, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the National Council on Aging. But don’t stop there. Seek out local chapters and even unique local associations. In addition, look for diversity groups that are professionally focused. Here’s a list just to give you a sampling:
- The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
- The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NoGLSTP)
- American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
- Asian Women in Business
Some associations even support employers in diversity recruiting and inclusion, such as the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Colleges and college-affiliated groups are also a great source for both recent graduates and alumni. You can target schools with large minority numbers, like Howard University or Bryn Mawr, but many colleges and universities also have organizations and clubs that promote diversity. Check with the local schools in your area.
4. Change up your tactics
Now that I have recommended you connect with big associations and major universities, we need to acknowledge that everyone else is doing that, too. It’s still important, but the key to effective sourcing is creativity and critical thinking. You have to brainstorm about what everyone is NOT doing that might be effective. For example, hone your Boolean searching to target diversity. WizardSourcer has a great list of useful Boolean strings.
If your job postings are still just the boring, HR-file job descriptions, it’s time to think like a marketing professional. Your job postings should lead off with the things that will attract the talent you want. That means including your diversity messaging in the postings.
Host recruiting events that emphasize diversity. You might include speakers from minority groups, or even presentations by your own diverse employees. If the even will include interview opportunities, make sure the interviewers represent the community’s diversity.
5. Leverage social media
Job boards typically incorporate diversity posting as a standard part of their service, but posting isn’t enough. You should take advantage of social media to identify groups that can be both sources of talent and influencers in their communities. Recently I went to LinkedIn and searched for “African-American group.” The search turned up over 300 results, from alumni associations to travel clubs specific to African Americans. Even more useful, many of the groups were professional associates.
Simply joining a group and announcing, “We’re looking for African-Americans to build diversity at our company” is not the way to go. Instead, review posts to become familiar with group interests, connect with a few group members, and take time to build relationships first.
6. Be smart with mobile recruiting
It’s not hard to find articles saying the texting is the future of recruiting, particularly if you are targeting Millennial or Gen-Z candidates. But is that a subtle form of ageism? Maybe. However, boomers text, too, so you just want to make you’re your messaging is inclusive. For example, ZipWhip, proprietors of a text platform for business, found that boomers don’t use a lot of acronyms (LOL, BTW, etc.), so they recommend you avoid them.
Diversity sourcing is a complex process, and can be overwhelming to your internal HR team. A good recruiting firm, like Pierpoint International, can add diversity savvy to your approach. When deciding on a partner, look for a commitment and results. For example, at Pierpoint we not only have strong expertise, but we also have dedicated diversity recruiters. This has resulted in strong diversity in 80% of our US candidate pipeline slates.
Stay tuned for part 4 of the series, where we will tackle covering in the workplace, and how you can create an environment that allows people to feel free to be themselves.
By Alyssa Thach, President & COO, Pierpoint International LLC