When your company is ready to make an honest commitment to diversity, you need to put yourself in the shoes of diverse candidates.
What types of jobs are they looking for? What majors are they pursuing? Are they a traditional student?
Diversity is not just made up of one attribute. Many aspects contribute to your company’s success.
It is not only important to recruit diverse candidates; you must also know how to retain them. What types of incentives and programs do you have for underrepresented groups to be acclimated with your company’s culture? You can’t just walk the walk; you must talk to talk to get diverse candidates to work for your company. Create resource groups and mentor networks to increase lasting relationships. It's not just about diversity, it’s about inclusion.
The first step to finding diverse candidates is starting with the eager college graduates. Students everywhere will be swarming around for post-graduate jobs, and guess what? You are going to get them. In order to find the unicorn you are looking for in your company, you need to go about it in a few different ways.
Start with student organizations and land future leaders of your company. Students who participate in student organizations hold promising futures and leadership ability. At many schools, there are hundreds of organizations and there are a few that you need to pay special attention to.
Gender Specific Clubs
Gender Specific clubs to create the next generation of girl bosses such as “ Women in Business, Sooner Women in Finance, and Women in Tech. Pinpoint these ladies and ask them to speak with your corporate female leaders in charge. Women like to see someone that looks like them and can understand their struggle to get to the top, especially in male-dominated industries.
Cultural Organizations are also a great use of creating a diverse network. The African American Student Society, The Hispanic Presidents Council, and the International student association are organizations that come to mind when trying to sprinkle a little color into your office. These organizations have mentor networks, personal job websites, and participation on a local or national level.
Multicultural Greek Organizations are a unique way to get candidates involved and ensure they have high moral character and scholastic accolades. Councils such as the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Cultural Greek Council are building leaders from all backgrounds who have been specially selected to advocate for change on their campuses. Some of the organizations have been around since the early 1900’s and are adding more chapters to their network each day. Work with the national boards to see how your company can partner with these organizations.
LGBTQ groups will often have student service offices to cater to their student's needs. We must remember that diversity is just not about race, religion, international status. Students in the LGBT community are looking for allies and companies get graded on their service to this community. Reach out to these organizations and see what their needs are. Work with counselors to figure out the best ways to transition to the workplace.
Sending emails to various organizations might not be exactly what you need. College students get in average 12 emails a day and the chances of you getting a response are low. Diverse candidates need to see you in order to make an impact. Make a special effort to attend career days and set up tables to speak with students. Ask organization advisors if you can attend meetings to speak with students and get ambassadors for your brand.
Use Social Media to your advantage when trying to find candidates. Join special groups on LinkedIn and get connected on issues that plague diverse candidates. Ask candidates on your sites how they would like to be approached and do further research. Using your established network can make a world of a difference. ProSky lets you read candidate profiles and divide them by schools, interests and career paths. By using these digital profiles, you will be able to get hands-on knowledge from candidates that you would not ordinarily receive on a regular resume.
Understand that you must create compelling jobs in order for diverse students to be interested in you. What sets your company apart and why are you the best at fulfilling my needs professionally and personally? Think outside the box and understand that you have to pursue diversity to get it,
It may be hard to bridge the gap but it can be done with hard work and dedication. Diversity is not a choice, it is a lifestyle and it’s the way of the world. People come from so many different places in the world and to limit your company on what diverse candidates have to offer, will be a disservice to your organization.
Check out the next post from ProSky about implementing your diversity and inclusion practices on a larger scale.