Ep 109 – Diversity Recruiting with American Heart Association

diversity, diversity recruiting, diversity AHA, diversity hiring

It seems a week doesn’t go by that the topic of workplace diversity isn’t in the global or national news. Diversity is an important topic of discussion for employers who are government contractors but also companies that are committed to hiring and retaining employees from a variety of backgrounds and experiences beyond the women, minorities veterans and LGBT.

Maybe you are thinking about starting up a diversity recruiting program or you are looking for ways to expand your current efforts. I am a firm believer that diversity provides companies an opportunity to employ professionals with different backgrounds, experiences that are professional as well as personal. The question is where do we start, stop, expand or begin.

Episode 109: Expanding Your Diversity Recruiting Efforts with Nisha Raghavan (@thehrbuddy)

Our podcast guest today is Nisha Raghavan. She is a Talent Acquisition Specialist with the American Heart Association and a powerful force behind her employer’s recruiting and diversity efforts. I have been impressed and interested in the work that AHA has been doing when it comes to diversity as they seeking to engage a diverse group of volunteers, donors and candidates that align with the non-profit mission as well as the culture working at a non-profit also brings. Nisha walks us through their culturally competent programs and how the talent acquisition team partners with volunteer associations in their hiring efforts as well veteran organizations. They host their own career and resource fair for the military veteran community in addition to a customized landing page and online resource center for military veterans including a military translator on their career site.

The #theAHALife hashtag is one of the most active in all of employer branding & #recruiting Click To Tweet

Nisha explains to me during the interview that employees are our number one ambassadors for recruiting diverse talent. She provides insights into their The AHALife ambassador program, the training they provide and employer expectations by ambassadors on social media. If you are interested, you should check out the #theAHALife hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. Because the American Heart Association is a small organization, they rely on their employees to be a part of the recruiting, selection and hiring processes. At present, 25% of the company’s hires are from employee referrals.

How Social Media Can Enhance Your Diversity Hiring Efforts

As I mentioned, the organization is very active on social media. It’s an important part of both their diversity recruiting and overall hiring efforts. Employees receive in-depth training on social media. The talent acquisition team does share job postings on social media including Twitter and Facebook, however, Nisha assures me that social media is more than just sharing jobs. It’s an opportunity for recruiters as well as employees to share information and photos about the workplace and what makes it a great place to work. This is especially important and in the words and voice of the individual employees.

The American Heart Assoc. always presents at least 1 diverse candidate in final candidate pool #recruiting Click To Tweet

Recruiting is truly a team effort as leaders own and are responsible for diversity. The organization has a diversity council where business leaders, council members and talent acquisition is committed to presenting at least one diverse candidate in the final candidate pool list. I’m going to say that again, the company is committed to making sure that at least one of the final candidates for each position are diverse. You might think this would increase the time to hire, however, Nisha assured me that according to their recruiting data, doing this has lead to a decrease in time to fill across the company. Listen to the podcast to hear more ways the American Heart Association is committed to very specific diversity and hiring campaigns specifically for African-Americans, women and other minorities. You’ll be glad you did. This interview is one of my favorites.

Connect with Nisha Raghavan on LinkedIn.

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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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