This summer has the entire AJE team focused on diversity hiring. With two leading industry events happening this summer, this month’s Industry Liaison Group 2011 Conference (the premier employer association focused on Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EE/AA) hiring issues), and last month’s SHRM Conference (Society for Human Resource Management), and the recent jobs report showing higher than average unemployment rates for ethnic sectors, such as blacks (16.2 percent) and Hispanics (11.6 percent), diversity hiring has been at the forefront of our conversations.
The challenge most companies face in this area are two-fold – meeting their EE/AA requirements and actually finding diversity candidates – those with different ethnic or social backgrounds. It’s important for companies to target their efforts to this employment sector and develop multi-tiered methods of targeted to these distinct employees. One of the most important first steps is to perform a survey of all your departments to pinpoint which areas need more development and can benefit from the addition of diverse talent. From there, your job ads should have verbiage that’s all-inclusive, but even more importantly job goals should be appealing to all groups.
Brand awareness is essential when building a diversity strategy. Devise a plan that promotes an inclusive, welcoming environment for all kinds of talent. You may also want to consider revising your employer brand from the top down, including corporate communications, and marketing. Diversity should be a key driver in all of these departments, from workers to output. If you have a large number of diverse groups in your workforce, let them speak about your workplace culture to create brand awareness.
Employee testimonials, including videos and blogs on your career site, will help potential diverse candidates get a peek at what it’s like on the inside. Developing a social media strategy that focuses on diversity should also be a key part of your branding strategy.