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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Researching a Company's Diversity Policies

By Therese Droste

The interview's set. Now you want to know if the potential employer does more than talk about diversity. Follow these tips to find out if the company has a proven commitment to hiring a wide range of people.

Making the Grade

Many business and special interest publications compile regular lists of employers that back up their diversity efforts with proven results. Forbes magazine publishes an annual list of businesses noted for their diversity policies. Niche publications such as Working Mother and The Advocate do the same for their communities. "Such publicity gives you some clue into the company," says diversity expert Joyce Moy, director of the Center for Workforce Strategies in Long Island City, New York.

What's the Buzz?

"Listen to what your community is saying about an employer," advises Moy. Don't underestimate the power of these grapevines. They are valuable tools to learn about potential employers from people with unique perspectives.

Look the Company in the Face

"The biggest and best indication is a company's public face," says Luke Visconti, president of Allegiant Media of New Brunswick, New Jersey, which publishes DiversityInc.com. "Look at its Web site and closely evaluate the diversity areas on it," he says. "Also view the company's advertising to see if it reflects the values you'd want to represent."

Kim Mills, education director at the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, advises job seekers to "look at how a company gives back to the community." One way to do this is to check out diversity-related events sponsored by the company you're interested in working for.

Internal Affinity Groups

Does the company foster an environment that encourages employee groups to form around certain issues of common interest, such as ethnicity? "If a company has an affinity group, it's a good sign," says Moy. Call a company or check its Web site for such groups. Better yet, ask your potential employer for a person to contact within the affinity organization and ask questions about the company's atmosphere and policies.

On Campus?

Does the employer have a presence on college campuses where minority groups are well represented? If so, it's a good indication they're serious about recruiting minorities.

Check the Bottom Line

Investigate whether a company ties diversity to its bottom line. "If they don't, it doesn't necessarily indicate they are a bad company, but one that perhaps isn't publicly embracing the concept of diversity as a business issue," advises Visconti.

That concept requires more than just sponsoring events to support social issues. It means a company views serving diverse communities as a comprehensive business advantage. Feel free to ask what a company is doing to contribute to the field of diversity.

"Overall, you want to work for a company that understands the needs of various groups," says Visconti.

Copyright 2002 - TMP Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles, visit http://content.monster.com.

Source : The Multicultural Advantage


Anonymous said...

A company's image is critical to attracting minority candidates. An organization's reputation for supporting workplace diversity is an important factor in their decisions of where to apply. The bottom line is they want to feel that the company is supporting their needs. One of those needs is that the company has a reputation for hiring and cultivating diverse talent.

Anonymous said...

Most companies offer a variety of resources through which you can uncover information about corporate culture and commitment to diversity. Check out company Web sites, mission statements, policies, annual reports, advertisements and articles devoted to spotlighting diversity programs. Lists like “the best places to work” have become increasingly popular. Also, ask around or set up informational interviews with current or former staff.

Anonymous said...

One of the first places to go to find out what a company is doing in the area of diversity is its Web site. Many businesses discuss diversity in detail on their sites, and some have even set up entire sections of their Web sites to showcase their diversity and community relations programs.