From website statements to departmental diversity goals, find out how.
When you’re trying to attract in-demand employees in today’s increasingly tight talent market, every amenity counts — and your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion can be a key selling point.
Diversity efforts matter to many job candidates. In a recent survey from Glassdoor, a career community site with 27 million members from 190 countries, two-thirds of respondents said they viewed diversity as an important factor when assessing job offers.
A strong diversity and inclusion program can also help companies more effectively reach much-needed talent in traditionally under-tapped demographics — potentially preventing shortages that may result from the impending increase in retiring workers.
Studies have shown that diverse workplaces also often do better. Not-for-profit international research organization Catalyst’s analysis, for example, found companies with a higher representation of women in senior management positions financially outperformed organizations with fewer top female executives.
To attract quality candidates, highlighting your company’s diversity initiative efforts should be an integral part of your workplace environment and opportunity sales pitch.
However, while few companies strive to keep their diversity programs a secret, promoting what you’re doing without sounding forced or self-important requires a nuanced approach.
To successfully share your diversity and inclusion initiative efforts — and publically confirm your company’s commitment to diversity in a tasteful, effective way — try utilizing one of the following approaches.
Weave your diversity story into your brand: Communicate what elements make your diversity initiative unique through your marketing efforts and recruitment materials to spread the word to potential candidates, customers, suppliers and the general public, according to the Profiles in Diversity Journal. Your most basic promotional materials are a good place to start: 80 percent of companies, according to Diversity Best Practices’ recent assessment, have published their diversity statement on their website and in corporate informational documents.
Promote open positions through new channels: Try new outlets to attract a more diverse candidate group and, in the process, publicize your diversity initiative. Canada’s HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector recommends advertising job openings on community boards; at employment service centers; to cultural community groups; in local ethnic and community newsletters and at language schools.
Create internal groups to spearhead new initiatives: AT&T, for example, created a Chief Diversity Officer Forum in 2009, which meets quarterly to assess company-wide diversity and inclusion programs’ effectiveness. The communications company also sponsors a Business Unit Diversity Council, designed to increase diversity awareness and drive inclusion-related employee engagement at the company.
Encourage diversity efforts at all levels: Making diversity a department-by-department goal with specific decade-long hiring and other objectives, as Princeton University did, can help you better focus diversity initiative efforts and recruit candidates for each division.
Keep count: In recent years, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Google have released data on the number of women each company employs (according to U.S. News & World Report, 37, 39 and 30 percent, respectively). Letting candidates (and the general public) know you have a significant amount of diverse employees — or are working on increasing your diversity goals — can encourage potential workers to consider your organization.
Publish survey results on employee diversity program satisfaction — and areas that need improvement: Don’t assume employees are fully aware of all your efforts; Glassdoor’s 2014 workplace diversity survey found that just a third of respondents knew their company had a diversity initiative. Glassdoor suggests companies be completely transparent about diversity efforts, including aspects that are lagging, to encourage employees to help strengthen the programs and recruit new workers.
In some cases, an internal assessment may indicate your diversity program needs significant revisions — which you may want to focus on making before you start promoting your work.
If your diversity initiative isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, get some ideas to successfully revise it in our recent post on the current state of corporate diversity intelligence.