SmartRecruiters Blog

Recruitment Strategies to Improve Your Diversity Brand

In today’s competitive global war for talent, a commitment to diversity hiring could set your company apart. The candidate of today wants to see a commitment to diversity that goes beyond a sentence in the employee handbook. Here are some concrete steps your company can take if they want to walk the walk.

First things first, get on the same page.

  1. Create a Diversity Vision and Statement this will help guide all future efforts.
  2. Host a diversity training workshop for management so everyone knows how to participate in your company’s vision for diversity.

Now, take a moment to assess where your company is at today. Is it completely in line with your vision? Probably not. Identify where the company is at now through a Diversity Brand review to determine how to proceed towards the statement your company has outlined.  From there, you can begin to work on a unified “Diversity Recruiting Strategy.”

When I led a diversity effort in global staffing at Monsanto my strategy included 7 points.

  1. Certify all recruiters as diversity recruiters. You can do this through programs like AIR.
  2. passive diverse candidate pipeline development
  3. Advertise to specific demographics for example on radio stations with shows in languages other than English.
  4. Include diverse images on career page, website, pamphlets, and social media.
  5. Publish testimonials from minority and women employees from all levels of the company.
  6.  Host an open house and invite organizations that are operated by and for minorities.
  7. Participate in career fairs targeted at minorities and or women.

This strategy led to some key Recruitment Diversity Metrics for Professional Hires in the US:

POC  (person of color) Applicant Flow increased 79% over the previous year, and the flow increased some 70% in the following year.

POC Applicants interviewed surged above 30+% for several years, reaching 37% of all Applicants.
POC Hires reached 24% of US Professional Hires and in the following year, POC Hires reached 36%.

At and Lockheed, I utilized similar strategies. At we exceeded overall Diversity Hiring goals for POC (goal 15%, results 22%) and Women (goal 30%, results 50%).  While at Lockheed, I led efforts that increased the flow of women and minorities candidates, achieving a 20% increased in POC hiring–surpassing an internal benchmark.

Obviously, social media can help to improve these results. For example, Facebook can help you recruit more Diverse candidates and also help leverage your Diversity Brand message. It can be used to create Talent Community of Diverse candidates. You can showcase your current on-going Diversity efforts and Programs on your company’s Facebook page, or (as I would highly recommend for larger brands) by creating a “Diversity Careers” brand Facebook page. This page should be as inclusive as possible and should have inclusive imagery from all “walk of life”—all groups should be represented. It could also list the various Diverse group and associations and organizations you have partnerships with for Talent Acquisition purposes, such as Hire Heroes USA (Veterans), HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, and

Diversity Marketing Plan:

Tailor a diversity marketing plan based on your specific goals. My plan included donating textbooks to inner-city high schools and attending their career fairs, publicizing the accomplishments of our POC and female employees in trade publications, and partnering with the local community organizations to host workshops on successful interviewing tactics.

Consider creating a specific Web page entitled “Minorities in Your Industry,” with its own URL to reach minority job seekers where many employment searches begin – a quick browse on Google.

Conduct feedback sessions/focus group with minority and women employees in order to accurately gauge where your company is and how it can improve in fostering an environment of diversity.

Build an Alumni page on your website or Facebook to stay connected with all high performers (in general) who left as well high performing Minority/Women alumni. And, you could focus on making an employer branding award list, such as Black Enterprise’s list of “40 Best Companies for Diversity” or  Diversity Inc’s “Top Ten Companies for Asians Americans to Work For”, etc.

Gather data. Use metrics to evaluate how well the organization is doing on their diversity and inclusion program. Create goals based on region or country depending on your company’s reach. These numbers help you track your progress over time in target areas.

  1. Minority representation overall.
  2. Minority representation in certain departments.
  3. Retention rate of underrepresented employees.
  4. Pay disparity.

I want to point out that most of these initiatives are low or no cost. The benefits are obvious to not only the reputation of your company but to the workplace environment. You will be creating a space where the talent you need can thrive while creating positive partnerships with your community.

Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt

Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt, MBA is an award-winning Global HR professional across several industries and with outstanding successes in Global University Relations, Employment Branding and Global Talent Acquisition, and Diversity Strategies.