Traditional recruitment campaigns fail to attract diverse candidates. Pepi Sappal explores some of the more creative methods being used by the Fortune 500 companies
Despite the predicted downturn in the US economy, diversity recruitment in the country remains at an all-time high. Fortune 500 companies such as Daimler-Chrysler, Prudential, Tellabs and Ernst & Young (E&Y) continue to pump huge resources into diversity initiatives.
Over the past five years, E&Y, for example, has doubled the number of minorities at its firm. And almost half its employees in the US are women (15,000 out of 33,000). Approximately 30% of Tellabs' workforce are minorities and 30% are women. And the numbers are growing. Of the college graduates that Tellabs hired in 1999, almost 50% were minorities. Yet attracting these candidates isn't easy.
A common complaint from firms is that despite pumping million of dollars into diversity advertising campaigns, they fail to attract a satisfactory response from these niche groups, even if the recruitment ads carry the image of diversity. A mistake many companies make when hiring diverse employees is to advertise in mainstream sources. "That's because this method will always result in attracting mainstream candidates," says Margaretta Cullen, senior VP for global HR at recruitment consultancy TMP Worldwide in New York. "So you have to cast a very broad net to catch these niche groups.
"And there are several ways that companies can reach out to these diverse groups by themselves. An effective method is to advertise in niche publications such as Hispanic Business Weekly, Working Woman magazine and Black Collegian magazine, or specialist additions of mainstream press such as the diversity issues of Fortune magazine or the Wall Street Journal."
Firms can also tap into Websites where they can find the resum‚s of diverse individuals, such as the Diversity Employment Exchange (www.diversityee.com). Most niche groups have their own Websites. Wemedia.com, for example, is an on-line resource for the nation's disabled employees that offers a job board for postings from firms that are open to hiring disabled workers.
"If companies want to attract diverse groups, it's vital to be seen in minority communities by