Want to hire more diverse college students? Review your entire hiring process.

Posted November 10, 2020 by

This has been a year unlike any other. In many ways, we all hope that it remains unlike any other as that would mean that 2021 and years beyond will be good to us.

But, in other ways, we hope that future years are like 2020. What ways? Well, the embracement by employers large and small of the business benefit to diversifying their candidate pool and workforce. In past years, many employers made efforts to diversify their candidate pool and workforce in order to comply with various laws and societal pressure. This year, many and perhaps most of those internalized that by diversifying their workforce, they were also making that workforce more productive.

A question that an employer might ask if considering better diversifying their candidate pool and workforce is where to begin. A good answer would be, everywhere. Mike Fitzsimmons, chief executive officer of Crosschq, recently shared his thoughts with us on how employers can hire more diverse students for internships and recent graduates for entry-level jobs. And Mike knows a thing or two about hiring. In Crosschq’s words, it “is pioneering Human Intelligence Hiring™ by harnessing the power of people to help companies better screen, onboard and source the best talent. Crosschq’s technology gathers direct insights from people, for people and transforms those insights into powerfully predictive data that helps ensure a great job match between talent and a company. The company’s cloud-based SaaS solutions were built to ensure a fully transparent candidate experience while minimizing bias and protecting privacy.”

Mike’s recommendations:

  1. Review your entire hiring process. Look at your hiring process from top to bottom, from sourcing to screening to skills and personality assessments to references and background checks, and ensure that there is no bias introduced into any function via internal processes, programs or applications as well as by 3rd party software or consultants/contractors.  This is a heavy lift, always starts with data, and may require outside help, but it is a worthwhile exercise.  
  2. Partner with universities. From a more tactical perspective at the top of the funnel, look at the source of your candidates. Partnerships can be made with universities that have diverse student bodies and HBCs.  And of course, when sourcing candidates through traditional means, you can target specific demographics.  
  3. Be transparent. Companies have to make their organizations attractive to people of color, and other underrepresented groups. Employer branding is part of it, but the truth and transparency is crucial. If you feature your leadership team on the about us page, and there are few or no minorities, what is that saying to prospective employees? If you don’t publish stats on diversity in your workplace or highlight the existing initiatives in place to foster an inclusive environment, what is that saying about your company? The stats may not be great to start, but unless a company is willing to look inward and be candid outwardly on the subject, people of color will be skeptical, as they should be.
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