What are the best practices for recruiting and retaining multicultural talent for your comms staff?

To attract multicultural pros, include the "e" word (ethnic) as a keyword in your search for star talent.

To attract multicultural pros, include the "e" word (ethnic) as a keyword in your search for star talent.

Develop an "ethnic engagement plan" endorsed by management. Encourage diverse hiring solutions as a mandate for agency growth. Secure a committed champion/director who has management's ear. Showcase diversity programs at client companies to validate your position. Spotlight how your enterprise can benefit from a diverse workforce.

Partner with practitioners of color, as well. The Black Public Relations Society - New York, for example, has many leads on full-time talent or consultants. It is also affiliated with Latino, Asian, Native American, Caribbean, and other ethnic professional leadership groups. You can also join one of the numerous multicultural leadership groups.

Build "e" capacity in all aspects of your business and word will spread that your organization's diversity initiatives are comprehensive and concrete.

Make your "e" team feel like valued members of your organization. Recognize, reward, and promote their specialized expertise, as well as their general-market skills. Applaud and reward business units, HR directors, and colleagues who actively recruit, refer, hire, develop, and promote ethnic staffers.

Lynne Scott Jackson is president of Millynneum PR.

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