Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , , , ,| By
Recruiting a diverse group of candidates is essential to having a well-rounded organization where ideas, experiences and backgrounds help organizations and teams reach their productivity and sales goals.For example, research has found that every 1 percent increase in racial diversity correlates with a 9 percent increase in sales revenue. Who doesn’t want more sales and an increase to the bottom line? We all do.
Diversity, in my mind isn’t just about race, being female or a military veteran, but it can be. Diversity can also be about diversity of life, experiences and points of view that drive change, engagement and drive us to do work differently. However, in order to be different, we have to find and hire those candidates who are in fact diverse. It’s not enough to throw up a recruiting billboard and say we’ve done enough. This means looking at our own recruiting with a fresh and new perspective. The goal is still finding the most qualified talent for a role. However, you are looking for the most qualified talent who has a background, experience and point of view that pushes your team out of comfort zones and provides them with new context and information in which to make business plans, strategies and decisions.
Update Your Job Descriptions and Candidate Marketing Materials
If you want to engage and reach new talent pipelines and communities, you need to start by updating your existing candidate engagement materials including but not limited to job descriptions, employment videos, web pages, and other standard career fair materials. Sit back, refresh and take a new approach focused on your ultimate goal. It’s extremely important to understand the candidate pool you want to reach, their interests and what resonates with them the most first before you begin executing.
Taking a moment to assess your marketing and candidate engagement materials helps you frame the point of view, set goals and evaluate current and new strategies. An update can be as simple as revising job postings or as complicated as creating an entirely new media campaign that involves website changes, video, graphics and other elements. Engaging a new and diverse candidate population takes work and planning. Employment branding is key to driving candidate applications or conversions. Your messaging needs to be clear in order to engage the best targeted talent.
Diversity Job Boards and Forums
Niche job boards are in and global job boards are out. Take a look at the type of skills you want to hire for whether it be a technology engineer or someone who can brand you perfectly. When the recruiter steps away from the global job boards they’re able to attract candidates who are specific to the skills they’re looking for and hire more effectively.
Since engaging the new candidate community is new, it’s important to leverage different ways to tell your company’s story. Stand out from competitors by including video and graphics in your job postings or email blasts to get your candidates attention allowing them to research your organization and the opportunity upfront before they apply.
Hackathons provide a space where high energy and the best possible output are made. High technology companies like Google and Facebook have used hackathons on a regular basis to find the best and the brightest candidates. Small businesses are using hackathons as cost-effective tools to tackle problems, recruit talent and unleash innovation. This is one of the best routes to take if you want to solve high-leveled problems in the most effective way.
For example, LinkedIn’s HR team has hosted several non-technical HR hackathons as a way to engage and build relationships with the best HR talent in Silicon Valley. Candidates participate in great conversations and network while discussing ways to reshape human resources while LinkedIn gets an opportunity to engage talent in a new and creative setting.
Targeted Keywords & Content
Use the tools available to you from Google and other search partners to find keywords that are targeted towards a certain demographic you’re trying to reach. In doing so you’ll be able to not only spend money wiser, but also target your efforts to hire certain subsets of people whom you want to work for your company. Whether you’re hiring these individuals to fit within affirmative action policies or you’re hiring those you know who have a history of higher scores in areas where you want to focus.
Sit down with your marketing team to really understand the value and benefit that focused online content can bring. Their experience and expertise can help you elevate your existing online engagement strategy. Collaboration with marketing is critical in order to gain a competitive advantage quickly and ensure that you are targeting online the best candidates.
Talent funnels are great ways to develop a funnel of specific candidates. When recruiting certain events, talent funnels will allow you to funnel and sort these candidates to a better degree. When a candidate attends a specific event or career fair, you can segment your candidates by area of interest or opportunity. Instead of sending all candidates the same message, information or resources, you are able to customize your messages and materials providing them with an experience that supports and enhances the information and experience you’ve already provided them. These messages can come in the form of emails, videos, text messages or marketing assets. The key is to customize the experience to your specific audience with the goal of building a relationship with the candidate so they will think of you first when they begin actively looking for a new job opportunity.
Like any strategic talent acquisition program, hiring a more diverse employee population takes time and planning. Diversity within your organization does not have to be related to the pigment of one’s skin or even their gender, but could be their income level, geographical region or work experience. Your organization doesn’t just benefit from engaging your new diverse talent population. It helps your overall recruiting effectiveness. A Glassdoor survey found that 67 percent of active and passive job seekers said that diversity is an important factor when considering companies and job offers. The impact of a diverse employee population doesn’t just impact your sales side of the business, but improves the entire recruiting function making you more attractive to not just diverse but all candidates.