3 Challenges to Diversity Recruiting

by Staff Writer


Diversity recruiting is not just hiring more women. Diversity recruiting and programs focused on gender diversity are the most common, but diversity also means ethnicity, age, and race, as well as disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Diverse recruiting doesn’t just happen by itself. It is a requirement for success when competing in a global economy. A diverse workforce enables a company to manage growth, build a solid infrastructure, maintain revenues and profits, and compete in a diverse world marketplace. President and CEO of top companies like L’Oréal USA agree that diversity recruiting is essential to create the kind of workforce required to expand into emerging markets worldwide.

Global companies including Deutsche Bank, L’Oréal, AT&T, Intel, and Mattel know that diversity in their workforces is critical to business success. But keeping diverse employees can be harder than recruiting them. Diversity hiring requires the support of top management with a commitment to diversity that includes a diversity recruiting strategy and workplace diversity training.

Diversity Requires Support

Myrtle P. Bell explains the requirement for support to sustain and maintain diversity and diversity recruiting. She says the benefits of diversity hiring diminish when support for diverse employees and recruiting isn’t ongoing, and can even have negative consequences. She claims that despite diversity’s many documented benefits in business and society, workplace exclusion, discrimination, and inequality with historical foundations persist.

The things that can prevent diversity are pernicious and sometimes subtle, making it difficult to achieve. Successful, sustainable diversity initiatives require support and commitment from top management who may not have the same background and experiences as diverse employees and so may not know how to find, hire, and support a diverse workforce.

Diversity Is a Commitment

Effective diversity recruiting must be part of an organized diversity program. Diversity recruiting is necessary for achieving real diversity, and requires documented support and a plan to integrate diverse candidates so they will stay and become an integral part of the organization.

Forbes Insights, a report of a study of diversity, found that out of more than 300 executives surveyed from companies with diversity and inclusion programs, more than 65 percent had official programs specifically for recruitment, development, and retention of a diverse workforce. More than half of them participate in diversity recruitment with university level diversity programs, and participate in job fairs and job web sites focused on diversity. The Forbes Insights study revealed that the success of diversity initiatives depends on senior management’s commitment, accountability, and oversight to true diversity issues.

Diversity Gets Diluted

In many companies, recruiting is parceled out to different teams with different objectives. An on-campus recruiting team may be focused on attracting new college graduates. The sales and marketing department may hire sales staff through industry referrals. A special executive search team may fill executive positions. So diversity programs get diluted and disconnected from recruitment. Without a person or group at the top dedicated to developing a diverse management pipeline, diversity gets lost in translation and never fully realized.

Educators and employers in NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, know that business can’t meet customer needs without a diverse workforce. Dell’s university relations lead for North America Carrie Hunter agrees that diversity provides the most valuable customer solutions and business products in the market. Forbes Insights concludes that a diverse workforce is critical for business success. Federal acts related to diversity include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Affirmative Action in Employment Act.

Achieving diversity is manageable with the support of top leadership and a controlled development of diversity from the top down. Without it, true diversity and diversity recruiting is difficult to achieve.  

About the author: Andrew Greenberg has over 17 years of experience in Talent Acquisition.  Industry-educated with a Master’s Degree in Personnel Psychology, Andrew draws upon a background that is rich with experiences from both Corporate and Agency staffing environments.

He is the founder and Managing Partner of The Recruiting Division, a leader in U.S.-based RPO-style recruitment solutions.  Learn more about The Recruiting Division.



Related Resources

Why bad hiring decisions are made and what can be done? Hiring and recruiting is not what leaders and managers were ever trained to do. Recruiting, hiring, managing, training undefined it all is dependent on a system. If systems have not been created, it will be done very poorly and costly, using many high cost resources to the process. View Leadership Forum webinar.

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