Facebook can also Help your Diversity Recruiting Efforts

May 20, 2013 6:55 pm Published by Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt

Having a diverse employee base can greatly benefit your company. In a superb whitepaper* prepared by leaders at Cisco, they found that:

  • Diverse teams exhibit a higher level of creativity and a broader thought process in solving complex problems
  • Diverse perspectives lead to innovation
  • When properly managed and trained diverse work teams produced results six-times higher than homogenous teams
  • Companies that embrace diversity enhance customer loyalty
  • Greater diversity leads to financial growth

Here are some things I recommend that you can do to dramatically increase your firm’s diverse applicant flow and hiring results!

Diversify recruiting strategies to get beyond groupthink

Start a Facebook page. Facebook can help you recruit more diverse candidates and also spread your brand message. In fact, if you want to cultivate a talent community of diverse candidates, then Facebook can be a key player in your social recruiting strategy.

You can showcase your current on-going diversity efforts and programs on your company’s Facebook Page or (as I would highly recommend) create a “Diversity Careers” Facebook Page. This page should be as inclusive as possible and should include imagery representative of all “walks of life.” This page could also list the various diverse groups, associations, and organizations you have partnerships with for Talent Acquisition purposes. Examples of these organizations include: Women in Technology, Hire Heroes USA (Veterans), HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, NBMBAs; NSHMBAs, and AsianMBA.org.

Additionally, Facebook can help you engage, stay connected with, and build a fan base of these diverse candidates. In turn, your diverse talent community could be a ready-made, cost-effective source of diverse referrals and job sharing information.

After establishing a strong Facebook presence, you can enhance your diverse recruiting efforts with training. Have your recruiters trained by “AIRS” to become Certified Diversity Recruiters. I organized a training event for our entire Global Staffing Team at Monsanto in St. Louis (and our diversity numbers soared when coupled with some of the strategies I explain here) People of Color (POC) Hires reached 36% of US professional hires.

This training is critical for establishing diversity recruitment as a full team approach and effort. Training allows your team to learn the skills for building a recruitment culture that revolves around diversity. In addition, these learned skills ensure that diversity is not an “add-on,” but rather an important and integral part of your overall recruiting strategy. Some of the things recruiters will learn in training include: steps for sourcing diverse candidates or building a case for diversity with your hiring managers, etc.

Moreover, other cost effective action items you could immediately put in place to ramp up your diversity recruiting campaign are:

  • Seek volunteers from line areas to serve as “Diversity Recruiting Champions” or “Diversity Brand Ambassadors”
  • Leverage your employees’ diversity affinity groups. For example, we worked with African-Americans at Monsanto (and similar groups for Hispanics, Women, and Asian employees) in order to aid our recruiting efforts.
  • Create a web page with the unique title of “Minorities in Your Industry,” with a unique URL. For example, if the industry were aerospace, you could create a web page titled “Minorities in Aerospace.” When this phrase is typed in to Google for a search by a minority job seeker, up pops a page with this title and information about career opportunities at your firm. It would then have an embedded link back to your main corporate and/or Facebook Career Page.
  • Create partnerships with community organizations, trade associations and diversity-related groups
  • Run specific commercial spots on minority radio stations with ethnic demographics. I did this at Monsanto on a local St. Louis FM Jazz Radio station with a highly African-American listenership and a local Southern Illinois AM Radio station with a large Hispanic audience. Both radio campaigns led to some diverse hires at a surprisingly low cost.
  • Create a Professional Recruiting Event:
    • e.g., a 1/2 day conference–panel presentations, breakout sessions, seminars, etc.–on a Saturday morning for minority professionals interested in your industry). Invite senior executives to “kick-off” the event. Have recruiters present to conduct on-the-spot interviews.
  • Consider “revising” how your job offer is “sold” to diverse candidates

Research from the Recruiting Roundtable suggests that minorities placed more importance on the company’s brand, work-life balance, and commitment to diversity when mulling over a job offer. These highlighted items must be stressed by all recruiters to successfully “close” the minority candidate

  • Build a robust University Relations Program with a significant number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) as core schools

When a firm begins a diversity recruiting effort, it will need some metrics. These metrics should be used to evaluate how well the organization is doing on their diversity and inclusion programs. Now, keep in mind that rolling out a Global metrics program can be challenging, especially given regional variations in the demographics of the populace in other countries. Metrics around race and ethnicity tend to be used more typically in the US. Here are some metrics supplied by Marc Brenman:

  • Percentage of minorities, Equal Employment targets
  • Increase in minority representation overall
  • Increase in representation of minorities at different levels of firm
  • Employee satisfaction surveys
  • Better relationships among diverse staff members
  • Fewer discrimination grievances and complaints
  • Fewer findings of discrimination by adjudicators and government agencies
  • More career development over time for underrepresented group members

In closing, leading edge companies can have a competitive advantage in the marketplace by recruiting a diverse staff. By beginning a Facebook diversity campaign, instituting diversity training and other diversity outreach programs, and measuring the results, you will be able to save money and build a more diverse, inclusive workplace.

Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt, MBA is an award-winning global HR professional across several industries and with outstanding successes in global university relations, employment branding and global talent acquisition, and diversity recruiting strategies, most notably at several leading global Fortune 500 businesses such as Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, and the innovative education technology dot-com start-up, Unext.com/Cardean in Chicago and London, England.

This post was written by Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt