Meeting in a Box: Pipeline Development—Recruitment

October 24, 2013 6:10 pm

Meeting in a Box: Pipeline Development—RecruitingThis Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to D&I staff, executive leadership council, HR leaders and business partners, and resource-group leaders. You may use portions of it or all of it. Each section is available as a separate PDF; you can forward the entire document or link to it on DiversityInc Best Practices; or you can print it out for employees who do not have Internet access.

This month, we are giving you information on how to find and on-board the best talent from underrepresented groups, including women, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, American Indians, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, and people with disabilities. We include best practices from DiversityInc Top 50 companies with demonstrable results in hiring people from these demographic groups.

Our research based on DiversityInc Top 50 data analysis shows a key correlation in hiring based on three initiatives: relationships with nonprofits and educational institutions (including senior leadership serving on boards); use of resource groups to find and on-board talent; and need for formalized succession planning and mandatory diverse slates. For more details on these initiatives and case studies from companies doing this well, see our Web Seminar on Recruitment.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

1. It’s All About Relationships

Our DiversityInc Top 50 research shows a dramatic improvement in the diverse pipeline of new hires, both in the workforce and at management levels, of companies that develop strong relationships with nonprofits, professional associations and schools working with underrepresented groups.

DiversityInc Top 50 companies start by being more philanthropic than other companies—and this resonates with communities, including potential recruits. DiversityInc Top 50 companies average 1.46 percent of gross revenue allocated to philanthropy, compared with a national average of 0.09 percent, according to Giving USA.

Prevalent best practices at DiversityInc Top 50 companies are about more than just writing checks. At most of these companies, senior executives serve on boards or in key advisory positions to multicultural nonprofits, building strong relationships and gaining knowledge of potential talent. In many cases, serving on those boards is linked to executive compensation as well.

Guided Questions for Staff

How well does your company track and communicate its philanthropic efforts for underrepresented groups?
Research shows that people from underrepresented groups, especially younger workers, value companies that help their communities. It’s important not only to measure your philanthropy with underrepresented groups but to properly communicate it internally and externally.

Are you tracking which of your senior executives serve on multicultural boards and publicizing their involvement?
Many companies don’t keep track of the relevant extracurricular activities of executives and miss out on valuable connections.

Are your college recruiters given cultural-competence training?
Without proper training, such as our Meeting in a Box Heritage Month series, recruiters and hiring managers can miss out on valuable potential hires or alienate people without realizing it.

Diversity Recruitment -- It's All About Relationships


2. Resource Groups

Almost all DiversityInc Top 50 companies use their resource groups to identify talent (externally and internally) and help develop leaders. The resource groups are valuable sources of finding talent, offering role models to perspective staffers, and on-boarding talent so people have a comfortable cultural fit to the organization and sometimes to the geographic location.

Guided Questions for Staff

Are your resource-group members invited to attend college open houses, job fairs and professional organization meetings?
If not, this is shortsighted on your part. Funding for members to attend (if travel is required) can be allocated as part of the resource-group budget, or executive sponsors may be willing to pay for it.

Are you asking your resource groups to hold mixers and solicit potential new hires?
Increasingly, organizations give their resource groups percentage goals of new hires for the year and reward them for reaching these goals or helping the entire company reach its hiring goals.

Are you using your resource groups for on-boarding?
It’s crucial to ensure new hires are comfortable in the company and understand the culture. For people from underrepresented groups, the feeling of not being welcome or understanding what’s expected can result in a speedy departure or poor performance.

Diversity Recruitment -- Resource Groups


3. Succession Planning/Mandatory Diverse Slates

Getting a diverse pipeline to the top of your organization starts with the initial hiring of those with management potential. Companies on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list show consistent progress in their hiring of people from underrepresented groups. For example, their hiring of Blacks, Latinos and Asians was up 16 percent, 36 percent and 25 percent, respectively, compared with last year.

Some organizations don’t have the luxury of waiting to develop talent and feel an urgent need to get more diversity in senior management. Others are able to do both, focusing on long- and short-term benefits. If your company does hire executives externally and hopes to improve its diversity this way, it’s important to require diverse slates and not allow recruiters to tell you that they “couldn’t find any qualified candidates” in their rush to “time to fill” positions.

Guided Questions for Staff

Are internal and external recruiters required to have diverse slates? How far down the line does accountability (and compensation) for increasing diversity fall?
Consider that if you require diverse slates from either internal or external recruiters, you must specify what those slates are. Some companies require one woman and one nonwhite person for every slate at a certain level and above. Others require a certain percentage of women or nonwhite people based on how many applicants there are. Also, be clear about what the rewards (compensation, promotion) are for meeting these requirements and what the penalties are (demotion, lack of compensation, even dismissal).

When recruiting top talent or developing an internal pipeline, how much exposure do high-potentials have to your senior executives?
Are senior executives (top three levels) required to have cross-cultural mentees and to sponsor high-potentials? Have you considered other ways to encourage them to meet and get to know each other?

Are diversity goals set by our executive diversity council and formally factored into your succession planning?
Goals are not quotas, but the adage “What gets measured gets done” is absolutely true. Without goals that address the need for more diversity at the top, organizations remain stagnant and don’t push or innovate to make room for more diversity.

Diversity Recruitment -- Succession Planning, Mandatory Diverse Slates


[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]