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Trends in Diversity Recruiting: U.S. Employers Weigh In (2774 hits)

By Vicki Salemi
Upon reaching out to several companies for this post about campus recruiting, it’s clear the nation’s top companies are seeking diverse talent pools. Technically, we’re all diverse. Is anyone completely defined by a box? Executives' approach to recruiting and ramping up their numbers – whether it’s women in tech roles, veterans, disabled or multiracial employees and more – isn't much different than recruiting as a whole: Hire the most qualified candidate. Diversity recruiting strategies, in turn, boil down to finding the best, most qualified candidates.

Companies weigh in on diversity:

The goal of AT&T is to “have the best talent at the table from every background,” says Rick Gomez, executive director of Global AT&T College Recruiting. Developing programs and strategies to attract minority candidates on campus is extremely important, because they heavily weigh the value of diverse teams. For instance, Gomez mentions that the company's strategy involves partnering with student organizations, such as Student Veterans of America and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to “fill the needs of the organization, and at the same time, build our brand and recruit top campus talent – creating a win for the organization and a win for AT&T.”

As such, AT&T's strategy centers around partnering with schools that have healthy populations of diverse students, including many historically black colleges and universities. The company also sponsors and attends national and local events with organizations such as Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, Student Veterans of America, Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Great Minds in STEM and many more.

As AT&T's recruiters attend events on campus, conduct interviews and go to career fairs, they also hold specific events. For instance, Women in Tech hackathons are geared toward college students on tech tracks. Gomez explains: “The events are unique in that they are focused on creating an inclusive environment for female technologists and include complimentary coding camp and hackathon 101 prior to the event.” Campus recruiters and hiring managers scout top talent at these hackathons.

Similar to AT&T, Chubb Insurance takes a targeted approach that involves high touch, word of mouth and marketing. The company taps into campus organizations, such as the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and National African American Insurance Association.

Meghan A. Henson, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Chubb Insurance, explains: “Chubb will continue to grow existing partnerships with INROADS and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Intern programs such as these provide meaningful experiences, including business-focused project work, exposure to senior leaders and opportunities for personal development.”

Chubb reinforces its diversity recruiting goals through its strong partnership with Howard University, which resulted in several direct hires. Henson adds: “This partnership focuses on exposing diverse students to our industry by inviting them to spend a day in one of our 50 branch offices across the country. Through this experience, as well as interactions with Chubb leaders, students develop an awareness of how they can build a lifelong career at Chubb.”

Companies like Accenture focus on forging strong partnerships as well. Every campus recruiting team has a designated inclusion and diversity lead for entry-level and MBA-recruiting. They host an annual event for women undergraduates via the Women’s Networking Forum and work with organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Reaching Out MBA and Management Leadership for Tomorrow.

Accenture connects with students at regional and national conferences to serve as touch points for students they’ve already met on campus. The firm actively engages with students at diversity events and conferences with organization such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Reaching Out MBA, Management Leadership for Tomorrow and many more. In partnership with these groups, Accenture shares information about its consulting career opportunities and coordinates interview preparation sessions and other workshops and events.

Like the other companies mentioned, Bank of America partners with 12 diverse colleges and universities, including historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and women’s colleges. The company actively recruits at 200 schools globally with targeted diversity efforts, along with exposure through diversity group partners like The Consortium, Emerging Leaders, JumpStart Undergraduate Diversity Forum, MBA JumpStart Diversity Forum, Posse Foundation, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and Toigo Foundation.

It’s no different for Aon Corporation. Nichole Barnes Marshall, global head of diversity and inclusion at Aon, says the company built a comprehensive inclusion strategy moving beyond “just diversity numbers” to focus on building an internal diversity-focused culture.

She says: “Our focused strategy is around building brand awareness and marketing roles to diverse communicates through the Monster Diversity Platform and Wounded Warrior partnerships.” Aon has also built professional partnerships with organizations and educational institutions such as Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, The National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the American Corporate Partners for Veterans, to name a few.

How job seekers can shine:

Executives like Gomez emphasize candidates’ abilities to showcase their experience, whether they're a diversity candidate or not. They should highlight leadership skills and experience on their résumés and LinkedIn profiles and during interviews.

Students should also consider their personal brands and audit their social media profiles to ensure that their public online presence is a reflection of their professional persona. They should also view their LinkedIn profiles, Twitter streams and user groups as living, breathing résumés.

He explains: “Recruiting diverse talent is not just a goal but rather a key business imperative as we source for strong talent. Considerations from which schools we recruit from to the type of degrees we look for and even messaging we use all play a part in our strategy to recruit diverse individuals.”

Demonstrating a passion always helps, too. Barnes Marshall explains that Aon’s looking for strong, qualified candidates who demonstrate a passion for the company and industry. “Students can continue to stand out by participating in industry-specific conferences, training events or internships,” she says.

Barnes Marshall also emphasizes the importance of active social media usage: “Aon encourages students to stay engaged and use social media vehicles as a way to stay abreast of career opportunities available, apply to relevant positions with their credentials and network/connect with key HR resources to make inquiries and introductions.”
Posted By: Stacie Coulter
Monday, January 5th 2015 at 4:35PM
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