What strategies does your company use to attract ethnically diverse candidates?

In a creative industry such as ours, engaging a fuller range of perspectives always leads to better work.

Jocelyn Allen, director of regional, grassroots, and diversity comms, General Motors jocelyn.k.allen@gm.com
It is very timely that we share our diversity recruiting approach after GM named Mary Barra the first female CEO of any auto-maker last December. A key component of our recruiting efforts is demonstrating that we are a truly diverse organization in terms of ethnic diversity, but also in myriad other ways, such as gender, geography, and LGBT diversity to name but a few.

I am close to what the company is doing to recruit diverse talent and even more so what we are doing to recruit diverse talent within our communications function. And it usually begins with our internship program. Typically, we recruit up to four college interns to work for us every summer. More often than not, they are extended an offer of full-time employment upon the internship's completion and their graduation.

Among the key criteria we seek in interns is their ability to speak a second language. We also look to recruit candidates from a range of geographies and from schools with students that represent a distinct cultural group, such as Brigham Young University, Howard University, and Syracuse.

The importance of our presence, sponsorship, and involvement with organizations, events, and causes close to the hearts of the people we want to join our ranks cannot be underestimated. For example, GM's involvement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Awards, LGBT pride events, Hispanic Heritage Month activities, and Black History Month celebrations mean we are demonstrating to audiences across the country - and the world - that we support them and are aware of their concerns, interests, and needs. This is crucial from a recruiting standpoint, as well as a business one.

Lucia Matthews, CEO, Diálogo PR
lucia@dialogo.us
Through our Asociados Network, Diálogo Public Relations depends on national organizations, social media, and a company-wide program that was created a few years ago as a means to attract ethnically diverse candidates to our agency.

Asociados Network is a formal internal program and the 50 freelancers we employ helps our agency maintain strong partnerships in various markets and industries.

I am a fervent advocate of mentorship and have a special interest in nurturing the next great Latina communications professionals.

For our operational needs in California, I developed a mentorship curriculum in 2009 with the University of California San Diego that provides students and junior account executives real-life experience on campaigns working from our La Jolla office, a program that has been successful in attracting top candidates to our agency.

To attract ethnically diverse candidates to our offices in New York, we depend on social media and my work with national groups, such as the Hispanic Public Relations Association, the California Diversity Council, and the San Diego Community College District. These organizations have been instrumental in improving Hispanic students' access to education and business resources.

Maree Prendergast, chief talent officer, North America, MSLGroup
maree.prendergast@mslgroup.com
In a creative industry such as ours, engaging a fuller range of perspectives always leads to better work. That's why we have made enhancing our ethnic diversity across our network in North America a top priority and business imperative.

Among the key steps we have taken has been to cultivate employee brand ambassadors to ethnic communities through professional development and growth opportunities. These ambassadors, in turn, represent our brand at top industry events and advocate for ethnic minorities in a number of ways throughout our organization.

We have created a variety of employee resource groups, which sponsor events and training opportunities for different diverse groups of employees. We have tasked senior staff with building third-party relationships, including attending ethnic-oriented industry events, in order to share their learning with our broader organization.

We have also built a partnership with Howard University. Last October, we spent a week there, engaging with more than 200 students through a career fair, a student event, and panel discussion that we hosted.

We have actively worked with other historically black colleges and universities to build strong pipelines of intern and entry-level candidates. We have also engaged with industry groups such as the Black Public Relations Society on a national event and participated in the 4A's Multicultural Advertising Intern Program career expo.

Additionally, we have built sponsorships and partnerships with The Lagrant Foundation and ColorComm, and are planning to host and lead events in partnership with both organizations in early 2014.

We have gone to great lengths to source ethnically diverse talents. In the last year we have attended conferences such as Out and Equal and Black Enterprise's Women of Power, while also strategically leveraging diversity job boards to cast a wide net.

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.

News by email...