Talent Circles

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Better Approach to Diversity Recruiting Strategies


There has been a lot of research lately showing that companies with teams steeped in diversity are more successful than their less diverse competition. Research from McKinsey states that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to financially outperform their competitors and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely. Creating a diverse team of competent individuals who bring a variety of experiences, insights and ideas might just be a key factor in a company’s long-term success. But what’s the best way to go about making it happen?
We suggest an approach that involves a combination of the tried and true with some new, technology-based ideas.

The Tried and True: College Recruiting

One of the most traditional approaches to recruiting is still alive and kicking with great results – college recruiting. You likely already know the benefits of career fairs and working with career services departments, but the following are some tips to help you make the most of these activities when it comes to diversity recruiting.

  • Know your diversity goals – Do you need to hire a certain number or percentage of diverse individuals? Do they need to be in specific departments or positions? Be very clear before you start your college recruiting. And think beyond EEO requirements. What other types of people can you add to your workforce to make it truly well-rounded and heterogeneous?
  • Understand your talent needs – Knowing the type of positions you need to fill and the skills and personality traits that typically perform best in those roles is also something you must be extremely clear about. Do you need people who bring experiences and education from specific universities to fill very specialized roles or is a more generalized, broader range of schools, programs and experiences something that would be advantageous for you?
  • Get involved with diversity student groups at your target schools -- List the schools that align with your diversity and talent goals, and research the related student groups at each university. You can find many student groups that have both a diversity and professional focus at a broad range of schools. Being active in these groups can open up many opportunities.
  • Build relationships with faculty advisors – In addition, to building relationships with members of the student groups, connecting with the faculty advisors who oversee the groups is a great plan. Since the student members tend to change regularly, building lasting relationships with faculty members who often remain in their roles, will prevent you from continually starting over and give you a point person for discussing your needs and ideas.
  • Provide diverse representation from your company – A blend of human resources professionals and department or business unit managers should be involved in the college recruiting process. Ideally these people will reflect your company’s racial, ethnic, gender, and age diversity. On a visit to any campus (even a virtual visit) it’s obviously advantageous to have HR professionals who understand the intricacies of the hiring process, but it’s also very helpful to have managers or others who might have a more intimate knowledge of the positions you need to fill. Just remember, all non HR people should be coached on the laws and important components of the recruiting process.

Newer Approaches
With all the technology currently available, there are a variety of great new options you can add to your diversity recruiting toolbox. Even trying out just a couple of these approaches will really open up your recruiting options.
  • Social Media – With so many people spending time on social media sites, these places can be a recruiting hot spot. You should focus both on the larger sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Reddit as well as on industry- and diversity-specific blogs and social networks like Meetup. Scout these sites for people and groups who might fit your needs. Post the positions you’re trying to fill. Use these platforms to connect and create a wide pool of candidates with a range of backgrounds, professions and skills.
  • Search Freelance Marketplaces Freelance marketplaces are growing exponentially. And many exceptionally talented people work through these channels. Peoples’ reasons for turning to freelance work are as varied as the people themselves. These online marketplaces for freelance talent offer a global connection to candidates with incredibly diverse backgrounds, experience levels and viewpoints. Spend some time on sites like iFreelance and Upwork to see if you can add some great new talent to your growing team.
  • Digital advertising – Create a variety of display ads that speak to the diverse groups you’re trying to attract. Don’t try to create one broad, general job posting that will catch the eye of every type of individual you’d like to add to your team.
  • Think globally and create a talent pool – Regardless of your company’s state, country or continent, your university recruiting efforts no longer have the limits of location. Your reach for new talent has never extended farther than it does today. With the multitude of collaborative software currently available, in addition to the seemingly endless ways to connect electronically with people all over the world, global workforces are easier to create than ever before. And systems for storing all of the applicant and candidate information you amass over time are getting more and more sophisticated. As you continue to grow, and keep in touch with, your talent pool, you will have many people to reach out to when new positions open up.
  • Look for attitude rather than experience – When too much emphasis is placed on experience or specific skills, companies can really miss out on some potentially great talent. While new skills can be taught, a good attitude can’t be. If you make finding someone with the right attitude, rather than the right skill, a primary focus, you’re more likely to end up with someone you can train to be an amazing asset to your team.
With all of the options currently available, it has never been easier to create an exceptional team of diverse individuals. And it has never been more important.

To see which companies are doing diversity right, take a look at THE 2015 DIVERSITYINC

And, if you have questions about how we can help you improve your diversity recruiting efforts, we’re happy to help. Call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com today.