Strategies for Recruiting Diverse Employees
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.