Strategies for Recruiting Diverse Employees


  1. Top Down Support. Do not even begin to recruit minority candidates until your leadership is committed to the process. If you recruit simply to meet a quota imposed from the outside, your efforts will fail. Take the time necessary for your leadership to become enthused about the process through an understanding of why hiring members of minority communities will contribute to the success of the business or organization and ultimately benefit the majority, as well as the minority, community.
  2. Diversify Search Committee. Include diverse staff members on the search committee. If you have limited diversity on your staff, bring in diverse community members. Diverse committee members will have good ideas about where to look for candidates and will be able to help you see your business or organization from a minority candidate’s point of view. A few adjustments may make you a much more attractive employer.
  3. Show Enthusiasm. Make sure that minority staff members who participate in recruitment efforts are enthusiastic about Rochester and your business or institution. A potential minority candidate may be more likely to begin a conversation with a recruiter similar to him or her but, if the recruiter cannot be both honest and positive about the job and the city, the conversation is not likely to result in an interested candidate.
  4. Reach Minority Students. Focus your recruitment efforts on universities or community colleges where a majority of the students are from minority groups. Even more effective would be to form partnerships with one or more of these institutions. Find a way to participate in the institution or donate services or materials in such a way that the students are consistently reminded of the employment opportunities in your business or organization.
  5. Strategic Posting. Broaden the location of job postings. Seek out publications or local bulletin boards that are most likely to be read by diverse candidates.
  6. Emphasize Skills. Pay attention to the wording of the job advertisement. Emphasize the skills required for the job over academic degrees that an otherwise-qualified candidate may not have. Be sure to encourage diverse applicants to apply and include any details that might be particularly attractive to diverse applicants.
  7. Look for Potential. Keep an open mind when you are evaluating the credentials of minority candidates. Recognize the value of nonacademic experience. Acknowledge the value of succeeding against the odds.
  8. Look at Your Own Ranks. Seek out potential among the diverse employees in lower levels of your organization. Your current employees already live in Rochester and have shown an interest in your industry or profession. Many factors may have kept them from applying for higher-level positions, including not knowing about potential jobs, lack of familiarity with job qualifications or application procedures, deficiency in career counseling in the employee’s high school, the belief that they won’t be given a fair chance, and low expectations for themselves. Educational support and effective mentoring can maximize the potential of your diverse employees.
  9. Community Support. Garner community support for a diverse workforce and involve the community in your recruitment process. When a candidate comes for a site visit, create opportunities for him or her to meet people who understand the value of a diverse workforce and who will make the candidate feel welcome in Rochester. Real estate agents, lenders, members of the business community, teachers, and community leaders can be helpful in this regard. A candidate might also want to talk about Rochester with community members who belong to his or her minority group. Special introductions to or even interviews with potential employers of the candidate’s spouse can be very helpful also.
  10. Think Positive. Believe that you can be successful. Believe that you have a job, an opportunity, and a future that will be challenging and fulfilling for diverse employees. If you don’t believe it, your candidates won’t either.

Developed by George Thompson.


Strategies for Retaining Diverse Employees