Two challenges that many organizations face is the need to create awareness of the benefits of diversity recruitment and finding diverse talent.

Define your diverse talent needs

How can your company find diverse talent? How can you establish connections with and market to minority graduates and students?

It begins with a well-planned recruiting strategy – both internally and externally.

The following tactics can help improve your minority recruitment and retention efforts in both the short and long term.

1. Strategic diversity recruitment

If you want to catch a flounder, you won’t find it in a mountain lake – it’s a saltwater fish. You have to go to the right location to get what you want.

The same is true for your diversity recruitment process.

If you want to fill your pipeline with diverse talent you’ve got to go where diversity flourishes.

For example, add schools such as HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) and HSIS (Hispanic serving institutions) to your recruitment roster as they have a large number of underrepresented individuals within their student body.

Each of the following schools is a good resource for finding top diverse talent:

  • University of Hawaii – HILO
  • Rutgers University – (New Jersey)
  • Pacific Union College (California)
  • Andrews University (Michigan)
  • John’s University (NYC)
  • University of Houston (Texas)
  • University of Nevada – (Las Vegas)
  • Suny College – Old Westbury (New York)
  • Pine Manor College (Massachusetts)
  • Stanford University (California)
  • University of San Francisco (California)

2. What’s your “Diversity Brand?”

What's Your Diversity BrandIf diversity and inclusion are already a focus for your organization does the rest of the world know it? For example, if employee resource group (ERG) activities have been taking place already, then highlight this.

Showcase what’s happening across your social media channels and everywhere that prospects would see this information such as your career page.

And speaking of your career page, be sure you’re including the following information if you want to improve your company’s diversity recruitment efforts:

  • Diversity commitment/diversity vision and statement
  • Diversity charter
  • Diversity images
  • Demographic statistics
  • Recognition or awards from individuals and/or organizations regarding your commitment to diversity
  • Testimonials (either written or in video form) from minority employees across all levels

On your organization’s social media channels include:

  • Highlights from ERG events and activities including stories, videos, and photos.
  • Any statements, images or videos that showcase your company’s efforts towards creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Public awards and/or recognition of your organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts

Print materials should include:

  • Diversity commitment/diversity vision and statement
  • Diversity images
  • Demographic statistics
  • ERG information
  • Awards and/or recognition of the diversity and inclusion efforts your company has received

Depending on its focus, offline events provide a great opportunity to connect with – and learn from – other businesses that share a commitment towards establishing an equitable work environment.

When attending these events as an organization, be sure to encourage diverse employees across all levels to not only attend but – when appropriate to the situation – to play a key role in your company’s participation.

3. Create partnerships

Create Partnerships for DiversityA fantastic way to improve your company’s diversity recruitment efforts involves establishing partnerships with schools and organizations that predominantly serve minority populations.

By partnering with student groups and professional organizations that are multicultural in focus you’ll benefit from the opportunity to expand your network and strengthen your diversity initiatives.

And as you build your brand within these diverse communities, becoming a trusted resource and partner, you’ll cast a broad net that will aid your search for diverse candidates when you need to fill roles for your organization.

Begin with this list of diversity-focused professional and student organizations when expanding your outreach.

4. Focused career fairs

Career fairs have been a favorite of recruiters for many years, however, did you know that there are some career fairs that specifically target minority student groups?

While in-person career fairs are good options, virtual events can reduce the cost of recruiting as well as help companies expand their outreach into a wider talent pool.

In addition, these virtual career fairs have been shown to be effective ways to reach underrepresented groups such as women, veterans and people with disabilities.

Some virtual career fairs include:
Careereco

This organization offers many different virtual events, such as the Bender Virtual Career Fair. This event focuses on connecting individuals with disabilities with organizations that need their skills.

Gettinghired is a resource for disabled individuals to aid them in finding employment opportunities. This company also hosts virtual career fairs.

Veteran Recruiting is a fantastic resource for both veterans and companies. Virtual career fairs held by this organization have helped over 120,000 veterans and is used by some of the biggest companies in the world when they need to fill roles.

5. Improve your employee referral program

Employee Referral ProgramYour diverse employees are an excellent resource for finding more diverse talent to add to your workforce.

However, if your current employee referral program isn’t as effective as you’d like you may need to make adjustments.

For example, your employees may feel uncomfortable sharing opportunities with their friends and acquaintances. This may be because they themselves aren’t satisfied with their working environment.

Don’t, however, arbitrarily make changes as you run the risk of expending time and resources on changes that will have little to no impact. Get employee input, asking them what your organization can do to create a more warm and welcoming workplace that they would love to share with others.

6. Create a social media strategy

Locate and market to diverse talent across your social media channels.

The benefits of using social media (e.g. LinkedIn) to find diverse talent cannot be overstated; it allows you to source specific candidates and to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

Groups are a solid way for recruiters to connect with – and maintain a relationship with – diverse professionals across a wide range of industries.

Company updates, job openings, and industry news are some of the best ways to get your name in front of potential candidates with a minimum of effort.

And, as you share your diversity initiatives and creative thought pieces on the social networks your company’s reputation as a desirable place to work will grow.

Facebook – including groups and targeted advertising – is another effective social media channel businesses searching for diverse talent can use to add to their talent pool.

7. Engage in philanthropy

Engage in PhilanthropyTake part in philanthropic activities benefiting diversity and inclusion efforts.

Larger companies that have the resources can offer educational and community partnerships designed to attract diverse talent.

For example, Intel Corporation created The Intel Capital Diversity Fund. This non-profit invests in technology startups that are run by underrepresented minorities and women.

The benefits of this philanthropic effort are twofold; it adds to their diverse talent pool and reinforces their diversity brand within diverse communities.

8. Get your ERG’s engagement

Ask your ERG members for their help in spreading your diversity and inclusion initiatives in the communities they live in.

Many organizations have benefited greatly from the input of these employee-led groups.

For example, one of Best Buy’s ERGs is called Supporting Advances in Generational Empowerment (SaGE).  This group, together with local community centers, designed Senior Tech Day events as a means of helping older citizens learn how to use technology.

9. Create targeted short-term events

Short term learning and/or internship programs for talented diverse individuals have proven to be a very effective means for companies to acquire talent from underrepresented student groups.

For example, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) increased its diverse campus hires using their programs known as “Explore” and “Start”.

The “Explore” program is a one-day event that identifies diverse college undergrads with promising academics that meet the company’s needs.

The “Start” program is an internship program for top-performing diverse college students who are in their sophomore and junior years.

10. Mind your metrics

Diversity Recruitment MetricsBig data will continue to play a significant role in the hiring process.

When recruiters have access to information that helps them source and recruit diverse candidates, they can give hiring managers the tools to make data-based decisions, leading to a reduction in biased hiring decisions.

As the saying goes, “what gets measured gets done”, you won’t be able to effectively measure your diversity and inclusion efforts without setting specific goals. These goals should not only be effective, but they should be measurable.

Some key metrics include:

  • Percentage of diverse candidates at each stage of the recruiting process
  • Percentage of minorities across different levels
  • Employee satisfaction of the existing diversity and inclusion initiatives and environment in the workplace
  • The retention rate of minority employee groups
  • Awards and recognition of your diversity and inclusion efforts from special interest and minority advocacy groups

Breaking it down even further into the hiring practices of individual recruiters look for:

  • What percentage of diverse candidates’ resumes among all candidates was given to the hiring manager?
  • What percentage of diverse candidates were interviewed by hiring managers?
  • What percentage of job offers were extended to diverse candidates?
  • What is the turnover rate percentage of diversity hires during the first year?
  • What rating do diverse applicants give when surveyed about their satisfaction with their workplace?
  • When surveyed, what is the average satisfaction score from managers after a diversity hire?
  • After one year on the job, what is the performance rating of diversity hires?

11. Improve retention rates

Improving retention rates begin with management.

When diverse populations within your organization feel appreciated and welcomed for the talents they bring they’re more likely to stay around.

Conflicts can arise in any workplace, so when management responds quickly to any problems and deals with all parties in a fair and equitable manner, it shows that your company is truly committed to the diversity and inclusion statement and policies you’ve created.

Which, of course, improves retention rates among all of your employees, even those who are not from underrepresented people groups.