Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Diversity Recruiting is Not the Job of the Recruiter!

By Eliana M. Hassen

Corporate America finally got the memo - Diversity is a tool that can help build a stronger, more competitive and forward thinking company. So now, with guns blazing, diversity recruiting has become a major business initiative, often left in the lap of HR to figure out. I hate to tell you, but diversity recruiting is not the job of a recruiter; it's the job of every employee!

Diversity recruiting is not a task. It is a process that, if mastered, becomes an art. With the growing demand of talent, finding diverse employees is more difficult than ever. The key to successful diversity recruiting is to build a program that is embedded in the corporate culture. This will quickly make it everyone's job.

So where do you start? How do you build a program? How do you embed diversity recruiting into the overall company culture and make it everyone's job? There are specific steps that an organization can take to jump-start their overall diversity recruitment initiatives.

In recent years, companies have been hiring Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) that report directly to the CEOs to ensure that aggressive diversity initiatives are met. Having dedicated resources to cultural diversity is a step that should not be missed by any organization. Your company may not need a CDO, but there should be a team that is dedicated to diversity recruiting.

Five steps to build a diversity recruitment process, making it everyone's job!

Step 1 - Build an internal team. This should consist of recruitment or HR professionals and business unit participants. The more people throughout the organization that are involved, the more exposure diversity recruitment gets. There are many advantages to building this team, including a constant line of communication with the business units regarding cultural diversity challenges and initiatives. Senior level managers should also be targeted to join the team. This will help solidify the overall culture and drive the diversity recruiting initiative into their various groups. This not only strengthens diversity in the corporate culture, but it quickly engages different employees on different levels - creating an area of development or interest for many.

Different people on the team can have various roles. Some can serve as a board and drive the initiatives. Others can participate in marketing to candidates and even interact with candidates, relating the corporate diversity goals to potential new employees. The key is getting as many people involved in the process as possible.

Step 2 - Define the corporate goal for diversity recruitment and then brand it. Diversity recruitment - like every major initiative in a company - should have a communication strategy outlining its audience, purpose and desired results. Everyone in the organization should have access to this information.

Educating the organization on cultural diversity is a big part of that. Don't take it for granted that everyone in the organization understands diversity. Diversity is defined to include groups beyond race and gender; now it addresses age, disability, sexual orientation, religion and language as well. Getting everyone educated and in sync with the diversity recruitment goals can be as simple as featuring information in the company newsletter, receiving a memo from an executive, or featuring the message in a section of the intranet.

Step 3 - Talent acquisition marketing is the next step. Diversity recruitment should be strategic, targeted and measured for results. Often, a company doesn't follow basic business principals in recruitment that they would in other business areas. If a campaign were being launched for a new product marketing research, analysis, and development would be required. Then strategic and tactical outlines are created: how to market, define the audience and how to measure the results. This process will yield the best results in diversity recruitment, as well.

I encourage you to define the goals for the various diversity areas and then create a targeted marketing plan to recruit those groups. Then, identify what the audience reads and how it searches for employment. An even bigger part of this is the ability to write compelling ads and optimize technology. Use the Internet and word of mouth to make the path from diverse candidates to your organization clear as the sound of a bell. (This should be a big hint to invite members of your marketing organization to be a part of the diversity recruitment team!)

Step 4 - Employee Referral Programs (ERP) have proven to be invaluable in many organizations around the globe - use them to drive diversity! Create different incentive plans or programs around diversity recruitment in your existing ERPs. This turns every employee into a diversity recruiter for the company. Employees should not only understand the diversity initiatives around recruitment, but also participate in them. Regular information, with goals, metrics and new initiatives should be communicated on a regular basis to every employee.

Step 5 - The final step to creating a concrete diversity recruitment process is to build a diversity employee development program. It may seem like a function outside of recruitment or talent acquisition, but it isn't. The reality is that everything drives recruitment and talent to an organization. What better way to attract top diverse talent than to have a proven track record of your success in developing and retaining them? Creating a development plan to ensure that diverse talent is equally distributed in different business areas and growing within the company creates a buzz. It also stands behind your overall commitment to diversity. Work with your career planning folks, find volunteer mentors, define job stretch and opportunity for the diverse employees you have now - and watch the reaction through word of mouth. It will impact the bottom-line.

In summary and succinctly put, the five building blocks to create a diversity recruitment program for your company:

• Build a team dedicated to diversity recruiting.
• Define your diversity recruitment initiatives and brand them internally.
• Focus talent acquisition marketing.
• Create diversity referral programs.
• Develop and retain the diverse employees you have through a special development plan just for them.

Recruiting diverse candidates is everyone's job and you must give everyone the tools they need to do it.

Source : The Adler Group

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with that. We need that especially in times as these.