13 Innovative Best Practice Strategies to Diversity Recruiting

13 Innovative Best Practice Strategies to Diversity Recruiting

/blog/posts/diversity-recruiting-strategy-best-practices/ - May 20, 2021 - 14 minute read -
diversity-equity-inclusion talent-acquisition-leader

Generating diversity awareness and finding diverse talent is one of the top challenges for organizations today. How can your organization better connect with, market to, and recruit minority students and graduates? The answer is complicated but begins with developing a targeted and well-planned internal and external recruitment strategy for your organization.

Whether launching or rebooting your diversity recruiting programs, consider implementing these 13 tactics to create a successful diversity recruiting program at your organization.

Why Workforce Diversity Is So Important

With recent global inequality-related issues, diversity and inclusion once again take the front and center position of employment factors. It has been proven time and time again that having a diverse workforce can bring a lot of tangible benefits to a business; some of them include:

  • Faster problem solving and more innovative ideas, thanks to varied perspectives
  • Avoid the “Us and Them” mentality when having a conflict of interest
  • Raise employee confidence
  • Boost team engagement
  • Easier recruitment thanks to referrals from your employees

A diverse workforce allows your employees to have more healthy discussions and less aggressive confrontations whenever problems arise. Diversity in the workplace has always been a much-researched topic, and the benefits always have data to back them.

According to McKinsey & Company, companies that display high gender equality in their executive team have a 25% chance of having higher profitability than those that do not.

Diversity in Executive Teams


Source: McKinsey & Company - Diversity wins: How inclusion matters - May 19, 2020 reports


Rather hear it from an expert? Check out TED Speaker - Rocío Lorenzo on why diversity makes your team more innovative!


Now that we have gone through the benefits, it’s not a question of whether your recruiting team should have a diversity strategy. It’s a question of how you can do it. Let’s go through some of the diversity recruiting tactics to enhance your upcoming project!

Enhance Diversity in Sourcing

In the pre-pandemic landscape, black women were paid 63% less than a white worker’s median annual earnings—$24,110 less even with a full-time, year-round position.

Institute For Women’s Policy Research

Attend Virtual Career Fairs for Targeted Minority Student Groups

The efficiency of virtual events cuts recruiting costs and helps companies tap into a wider talent pool. Virtual career fairs have proved to be an effective means to reach groups like veterans, women, and people with disabilities.

If your organization has resources, you can host your virtual career fair. Verizon had great success with hosting their veteran recruiting virtual career fairs. KPMG attracted over 10,000 candidates all over the world to their virtual career fairs.

If you are not ready for that big move, you can look to join a diversity-focused virtual career fair.

Here are some excellent places to start:

  • CareerEco is a virtual recruiting platform and talent community for job seekers, prospective graduate students, academic institutions, and employers. Its iconic event is the Bender Virtual Career Fair, which provides an opportunity for employers and job seekers with disabilities to connect online. Past virtual career fairs have included over 1000 registrants from all over the U.S.

  • Getting hired is an online service organization focused on creating employment opportunities for job seekers with disabilities. This organization also hosts virtual career fairs that connect employers with job seekers.

  • Veteran Recruiting is the global leader in virtual career fairs for the military community. In the past, Veteran Recruiting virtual career fairs have helped more than 120,000 veterans find meaningful employment after their military career has ended. Many big corporations have participated in these career fairs, including Accenture, Apple, Aramark, Exelon, First Data, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lowe’s, Pfizer, Travelers, Verizon, and Wells Fargo.

  • Diversity in Ed is an online multinational publication and teacher recruitment resource center with a mission to connect educators, school staff, and professional teaching organizations. Recently, they partnered with Vfairs - a leading virtual event solution provider, to host virtual job fairs that promote diversity and inclusion towards both candidates and employers.

Strategic Diversity Recruitment

Diversity in Executive Teams

Recruiting and sourcing are similar to a sales process. To effectively find diverse talent for your recruitment pipeline, recruit where diversity thrives.

Businesses with enough resources can host a dedicated recruiting event aiming at minority and challenged groups. When working with underrepresented groups in any career fair, strong communication between recruiters and candidates is the key to making great hires. A recruiter should spend the majority of their time forging strong bonds with their candidates.

For that reason, one should look for opportunities to eliminate time-consuming processes such as scanning and sorting resumes mid-event. Recruiting apps such as the Rakuna Recruit mobile app can optimize your recruiting process. Think how simple your job would be if you could capture all the information on a resume by merely taking a picture. Paper waste is no longer a problem when you can digitize information and have it accessible anywhere, any time.

There are more ways for any talent acquisition leaders to add D&I elements in their recruitment processes. A university usually has one or many student groups that represent minority or underprivileged groups. Incorporate diversity recruiting in your campus recruiting strategy by adding schools with diverse study bodies representing underrepresented students to your criteria during your school selection process.

According to NACE, the two most common sources for diverse recruiting among employers are Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Target and build strategic partnerships with schools that serve minority populations predominantly for diverse recruiting to boost your diversity recruiting return on investment (ROI).

Look to schools like these top colleges and universities for diversity when recruiting and sourcing underrepresented students:

  1. University of Hawaii — ​Hilo
  2. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey — Newark
  3. Pacific Union College
  4. Andrews University
  5. St. John’s University
  6. University of Houston
  7. University of Nevada — ​Las Vegas
  8. SUNY College —​ Old Westbury
  9. Pine Manor College
  10. Stanford University
  11. University of San Francisco

For readers in The United Kingdom, you can check out these top-ranking universities in the Hotcourses Diversity Index:

  1. University of Westminster, London
  2. Kingston University
  3. City, University of London
  4. Middlesex University
  5. UCL (University College London)

Establish Your Diversity Brand

What has your organization had in place for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)? If your organization already has significant Employee Resource Group (ERG) activities, then prominently showcase them on your firm’s career page and social media channels.

You can have a look at Raytheon UK’s ERG page to learn the types of ERG you can set up. Does your company have a diversity statement from the CEO? If so, proudly publish it on your firm’s career page.

Diversity in Executive Teams


Follow this quick checklist to help you establish and showcase your employer’s various brands:

On your company’s career page
  • Diversity Vision & Statement/ Diversity Commitment
  • Diversity Charter
  • Diversity images
  • Demographics stats
  • Testimonials/ videos interviewing minority employees from all levels
  • Any diversity award/public recognition of your organization’s D&I efforts


On your company’s social media
  • Pictures from your ERGs’ events and activities
  • Photos that showcase your organization’s D&I efforts
  • Any diversity award/public recognition of your organization’s D&I efforts


On your company’s print materials
  • Diversity Vision & Statement/ Diversity Commitment
  • Diversity images
  • Demographics stats
  • Information on your ERGs
  • Any diversity award/public recognition of your organization’s D&I efforts


At offline events
  • Bring out a diverse group of employees from all levels to engage a diverse pool of individuals.


Partner with Multicultural Professional Associations and Student Groups

There are many national and regional diversity professional associations and student groups organized around specific minority groups. You can build your brand in these diverse communities through strategic sponsorship, thought leadership, and events. This strategy will help your organization cast a broad net to find candidates and ensure that your diverse talent pipeline is always ready.

Many firms have figured out how to do it successfully. MasterCard is partnering with INROADs, a nonprofit that places high-performing Black, Latino, and American Indian students in internships at leading corporations. Likewise, Aon builds professional partnerships with organizations such as Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and the American Corporate Partners for Veterans. Dun & Bradsheet has a relationship with the National Black MBA Association (NBMBA) and supports its scholarship fund and outreach program.

If you need to review or start your strategic partnerships with minority student professional organizations, you can check this comprehensive list of Diversity Professional & Student Organizations.

Partner with student groups is one of the best diversity recruiting practices for recruiters


Enhance Your Employee Referral Program

One of the best recruiting sources is word of mouth. Diverse employees know and talk to various individuals. Your employees share what it is like to work for your company. Because of this, your candidates’ perception of your company spreads throughout their communities.

To capitalize on your employees’ network, bolster employee-referral recruiting programs at your organization, including a deliberate message about the business need for a diverse workforce and the importance your company places on diversity referrals. Communicate your organization’s goals and where you are in the process of building a more diverse and inclusive workforce with your employees.

Another approach is to involve Members from your Employee Resource Group. Many firms use their ERGs for interviewing and hiring various candidates directly. For example, Ernst & Young used their LGBT ERG to help relocate a gay partner and his spouse to Cleveland from Paris by introducing them to the local LGBT community members.

Use Social Media to Source and Market to Diverse Talents

Social media helps you build your employer brand and allows you to identify and target particular candidates. There are millions of groups on LinkedIn for almost every profession. Your recruiters can join, develop long-term relationships with active group members, and post relevant openings or company updates.

For instance, Kaiser Permanente has its recruiters join diverse LinkedIn groups, like female professionals, Latinos, and African Americans. LinkedIn also provides specific tips for diversity sourcing.

Besides LinkedIn, Facebook is an effective channel to target your ideal diverse candidates. Facebook allows you to target specific demographics and create targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook to reach various student groups. Another way of utilizing Facebook is to make a “Diversity Careers” Facebook Page and promote it through a targeted advertising campaign.

Use social media to source and market to diverse talents is one of the best diversity recruiting practices for recruiters


Engage in Philanthropic Activities that Supports D&I Efforts

Large organizations with capital resources can build their diversity-focused brand and attract diverse talent with educational and community partnerships. Intel Capital - Intel Corporation’s global investment organization announced the Intel Capital Diversity Fund, which will invest in technology startups run by women and underrepresented minorities.

Monsanto partnered with the company’s philanthropic arm, the Monsanto Fund, to encourage Black, Latino, and women students to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. These efforts were a proactive approach to increase diversity in their talent pool and reinforce their branding in diverse communities.

Organize Specific, Short-term Events for Underrepresented Student Groups

Several firms have developed formal internship programs that cater to a diverse group of high-caliber college students whose education and experience align with their company’s needs. For example, PwC boosts its diverse campus hires through the Explore and Start programs.

Explore is a one-day early-identification program for college freshmen and sophomores. At the same time, Start is an internship experience for top-performing, diverse college students in their sophomore and junior years. EY has its LAUNCH program targeting ethnically diverse freshmen, sophomores, and transfer students. At the same time, Accenture provides its own Accenture Student Empowerment Program to female and minority students in their freshman and sophomore years.

Use the Right Metrics to Monitor Your Diversity Recruiting Efforts


Organized specific, short-term events for underrepresented student groups is one of the best diversity recruiting practices for recruiters

What gets measured gets done. Establish transparent, measurable diversity recruiting metrics to track your progress.

Here are some critical metrics for your team:

  • Percentage of diverse candidates at each recruiting stage
  • Percentage of minorities at different levels in your firm
  • Employee satisfaction score in terms of D&I
  • The retention rate among minority employee groups
  • Awards/ recognitions from particular interest and advocacy groups for your D&I efforts

To measure Individual Recruiters’ Effectiveness, here are some recommended metrics by Dr. John Sullivan, an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley:% of diverse candidates’ resumes of all initial candidates presented to hiring managers:

  • \% of diverse candidates interviewed by hiring managers
  • \% of job offers extended to diverse candidates
  • \% turnover rate of diversity hires within a year
  • Average diverse applicants’ satisfaction rate (from a survey)
  • Average manager satisfaction score (from a survey) after a diversity hire
  • Average on-the-job performance rating of diversity hires after one year

As big data revolutionizes how we do business and analyze data, campus recruiting teams must always push to become more data-informed. By adopting the right campus recruiting software, a recruiter can strategically monitor and assess essential metrics and make less biased hiring decisions.

Campus recruiting leaders who know how to harness the limitless possibilities from campus recruiting software can take out the guesswork, work out an evidence-based strategy for their campus recruiting programs, and sell their team’s contributions to their overall organizations. With a robust database of prospects harvested from campus events, impress them with a professional interview process. Interview scheduling software is now readily available to make every step of the process quick, easy, and accurate.

No matter your organization’s size or the number of diverse employees, there are always more ways to improve. The endgame for your organization, of course, is to find the best talent. Sourcing diverse talent will only help you achieve that goal more effectively.

Enhance Diversity in Candidate Screening - Reducing Bias With an ATS

Address Recruiters’ Burnout

A gateway for unconscious bias to set in is a burned-out team of recruiters. Burnout is possible in any occupation. However, recruiters are even more susceptible to this phenomenon.

In the SHRM post titled “Many Recruiters Are on a Path to Burnout,” J.D. Wildflower - founder of Holistic Success Institute in Minneapolis, was quoted saying:

“Recruiters' role of serving others at the expense of expressing themselves and the constant interactions with many other people are additional factors that can lead to emotional fatigue and burnout.”

J.D. Wildflower - Founder of Holistic Success Institute

Working in a hyper-competitive environment with a repetitive work process can negatively affect a person, lowering their guard against bias. This is when an ATS comes in. With Rakuna’s ATS, users can set up a parameter of skills and factors through the “Smart Filter” function. The result? Recruiters are greeted with a personalized and filtered dashboard with the essential info of their candidates, neatly compiled.

What’s more, the solution is packed with automatable functions such as setting up automated answers by triggers, task reminders, automated scheduling, and even auto GDPR compliance for any team operating within its jurisdiction. Your group can now have more time to focus on your candidates and less menial administrative tasks that can cause burnout!

Blind Hiring Techniques

The core of blind hiring techniques lies in candidates’ information, especially those that could result in bias, such as name, age, sex, or race. Chief among these techniques is the usage of blind resumes. A blind resume will have sensitive data that can cause bias ‘blacked out,’ leaving only essential information related to the position. Users of Rakuna ATS can enable this feature with a click of a button on your dashboard.

With the same idea of denying any sensitive information to recruiters, a hiring team can perform blind interviews during the initial stage of the interview process. To achieve this, a team can send out a set of questions through text or a recruiting platform of choice for the candidates to answer anonymously. Candidates are encouraged not to reveal any sensitive information in their answers. Once received, your team can attach the answer sheet to respective profiles in your ATS to enable better document management.

If you want to research deeper on how an ATS can help boost diversity in your recruitment process, check out our detailed post on the matter.

Interested in how Rakuna ATS can help you hook the best candidates? Book a demo with us today!

Enhance Diversity in Shortlisting and Hiring

Even More Careful Filtering Through Your ATS

At this point, most recruiters would know that you can program an ATS solution to filter and select candidates through programmable keywords. Review your requirements in the screening stage and consider tightening the requirements when shortlisting final candidates.

Applicants who made it to the shortlist are usually people who have been interviewed extensively by your team. Having known a lot about any individual, the chance of developing biased opinions gets increasingly higher. A tighter requirement for your ATS can help to remove any personal information acquired in the pre-shortlist interview, leaving only information related to the position.

Make Sure Minority Groups Are Represented in Your Shortlist

Three research published in Harvard Business Review introduced readers to a startling discovery: If only a single individual of a minority group (i.e., a woman or a person of an ethnic minority) in the shortlist, their chance of getting hired is close to 0.

The hypothesis for this finding is that being a single person with a unique trait will highlight the differences of that individual. For decision-makers, choosing “the different” can be considered risky as human nature does not encourage deviation from the norm.

Knowing this, recruiters can manipulate this phenomenon to weed out bias within the recruitment process. The technique consists of adding a proportionate number of individuals from that minority group so that no candidate would stand out. If done right, you can create an even environment for other recruiters to operate.

To Conclude

To truly achieve diversity in practice has become far more complicated than expected, but we know how to make it easier. Take a look at Rakuna Free Directory of Students & Professional Diversity Organizations - A comprehensive list of 50 organizations with contact information, member demographic, and annual conference information. This information will be a valuable resource for implementing your EEO program and other regulatory requirements on employment diversity.

How many of these 13 tactics have you been using effectively? Share with us below. Use the social sharing buttons on the side to share this post with others!

Images in this blog are designed by Freepik

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