Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Diversity - Culture...

Focusing on Diversity (Sept '06) - Culture:
An issue that I am constantly putting under my own super-powerful self evaluating microscope is the efforts I put forth in regards to my diversity recruiting and networking.
Am I taking in to account the different cultures in my targeted and anticipated areas of need? Do I ensure that my postings and advertisements and agendas don't exclude any particular audiences?

For example... There was an opening earlier this year for a somewhat entry level bilingual (English-Polish) title. Just running an ad, attending a job fair, and posting on job boards /might/ have been sufficient to fill the job.
Instead, we went to our client and asked for a representative of their group that was bilingual and from the Polish communities we'd be visiting. This was a huge hit (based on unsolicited comments) with the job seekers we encountered.

I had another title to fill this year that was not bilingual, however - I opted to post an advertisement in a few bilingual magazines and newspapers. The ad itself was in English, while the publications were in Spanish. The message this sent was that I wasn't forgetting that cultures have their own identity - and when looking for "passive" candidates I don't want to preclude those that may prefer to read newspapers or visit websites that cater to their preferred language or lifestyle.

What "culture" are you primarily recruiting from? Are you doing it on purpose or out of habit? Could you be losing out on a terrific hire or addition to your company because you only ran an ad in the "biggest" and "best read" newspaper in the city?
Are you checking the readership demographics of your regularly run media efforts?

I've a counterpart at another company that was concerned that he was only providing a very limited demographic to his client. He stated that after pulling his ad from the large metro paper and (for the same cost) running it in a few smaller localized publications he found a noticeable difference in the diversity within his candidate pool.

Years of recruiting has shown me that job seekers look for signs that an employer will be committed to them, and for something that they can believe in and be motivated about before they'll commit themselves or their loyalty to the employer. (And as recruiters we know that loyalty is a rapidly fading commodity, right?) Showing that you appreciate or acknowledge those cultural differences in your recruiting efforts is a terrific first step in showing them your company/client values.

Does recruiting in bilingual ads and hitting specific communities show job seekers that you are aware of different cultural identities? Yeah, but I'd say it's the tip of the iceberg.
If you're not already, get involved with your local Chamber of Commerce groups. Ask about diversity issues on the taskforces, committees, and boards you're currently on. Ensure that you're using niche boards and communities (as I believe they're making a comeback!) for recruiting again.