• What executives want students to do about diversity in organizations

    November 08, 2017 by


    Having grown up more aware of diversity issues than previous generations, college students might not think they have blind spots. Recruiters, HR leaders and executives all know, however, that even as the millennial generation floods the workforce, we are all still struggling to create more inclusive workplaces and more diversity in organizations.

    We heard from two executives who are participating in the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing diversity in organizations and inclusion within the workplace in the U.S.  CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ brings students into a conversation about diversity in organizations, right at a time when students are making important decisions about their career paths. We share their insight here about how to engage students in these conversations, what they have learned about inclusion and lessons they hope employers will take to heart. Continue Reading

  • Work engagement: Millennial expectations of inclusion and concrete tips for managers

    October 09, 2017 by


    To engage at work, an entry-level employee needs a lot of support at first. Managers play a crucial role in work engagement, and it isn’t an easy job. Two talent acquisition experts share their advice here on how to engage new hires, how that relates to inclusion, and what employers can do to retain their talent. In part one of this conversation, we discussed how engagement impacts the bottom line, and how to measure it.

    Watch our discussion here, or read the takeaways in the blog below.


    Janine Truitt is Chief Innovations Offer at Talent Think Innovations, and Alexandra Levit is a workplace consultant and author of the new book “Mom.B.A.: Essential Business Advice from One Generation to the Next.”

    Engaging managers check in with entry-level employees very, very often

    Truitt says that entry-level employees “come in with a set of high expectations. And so for that reason, in the very beginning, accountability to engage them falls more on the employers, specifically a manager, to touch base with them very, very often.” She contrasts today’s entry-level employees’ expectations with those of older workers. They don’t want to do grunt work just to pay their dues “the way we used to when we were kids,” she says. Instead, millennials “want to do meaningful work and make a contribution right away, and so we have to make sure that we are setting reasonable goals that allow them to do that.”

    Managers should meet often with entry-level employeesTo engage entry-level employees, managers must be willing to touch base with them very frequently. As Levit puts it, “no news is bad news. If they don’t hear from their manager a lot, then it means they’re doing a bad job.”

    Employees are also responsible. “The employee is responsible because they decide how they want to show up daily,” says Levit. “That is to say, if you are unhappy with the circumstances, you have options. Speak up and be heard. Allow for, and provide, a solution—or find a new place of work, understanding that it isn’t the right fit for you.” For entry-level employees, the onus is more on the manager, but “as tenure goes on, it becomes more of a shared accountability.”

    “Tour of duty” hires may increase work engagement

    Levit likes the idea of hiring entry-level or young professionals on for a term commitment. For example, each hire might agree to a three year “tour of duty”, to use LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s language. During that time, the employee and manager both agree on specific goals that will further their career and the organization. “It’s an understanding that you are going to be accountable during that time. But once that project is done or once the goal is accomplished, you then have to choose again. Do you want to find another project within the organization or do you want to leave?”

    This practice is a new way of looking at this. Levit thinks it’s great for the younger workers who know they won’t stay at an organization for 20 years, like their parents did.

    Engagement and inclusion go hand in hand, but millennials think your inclusion plan is strange.

    Inclusion means that different people can “show up as they are,” says Levit, “and be heard, seen, respected, and valued.” If everyone in the C-suite is invested in a set of values that allow people to be great when they come to work, says Levit, “I’m not sure that a plan is needed.”

    Companies who care about their employees’ well-being, including their lives outside of work hours, “tend to squelch the employee engagement crisis by focusing on the whole of the person.”

    For inclusiveness to positively impact engagement, it has to be about more than just getting a bunch of diverse individuals in a room. Those individuals have to be heard.

    Work engagement for millennials is inclusiveEntry-level employees, adds Levit, find the idea of an inclusion plan very strange. They question its authenticity and wonder why inclusion isn’t just “a regular part of what everybody’s doing.” Resources like affinity groups that many employers see as best practice in inclusion, don’t resonate with millennials. For them, says Levit, inclusion should be a given. You should be able to walk into the lobby of an organization and see all different types of people that have different experiences, expressing different perspectives.

    If your entry-level employees don’t feel they can express their perspectives, and that their opinions are valued, then they will not be happy with their organization, and will disengage. This is something that managers have to adjust to, “especially baby boomers who are more used to having young professionals basically keep their mouth shut until they’re in a position of authority,”

    What’s missing is individualized attention

    Ultimately, says Truitt, “if your goal is to be profitable and be the best in your industry, then you want anybody—whomever they may be—to come into your organization and help you achieve that goal.” She agrees that there is too much emphasis on surface identities because that doesn’t address real inclusion. You shouldn’t spend all your time calculating how many Blacks, how many women, and how many differently-abled hires have you made. That’s the wrong focus, and millennials get that intuitively. They don’t want to be identified by some protected class.

    Join the group to hear more talent acquisition advice


    What’s missing is individualized attention to people. “We can make really good statements all day about Gen-Xers. We can make blanket statements about Gen-Y. Ultimately, however, they’re not true of everybody,” says Truitt. And there’s no checklist for all the possible differences that people bring into your organization. The solution has to be treating everyone as an individual. “When they walk through the door we’re going to treat them as such and treat their needs and their wants and their motivations as such.”

    In Levit’s research with the Career Advisory Board, they have found recently that “it’s a myth that people don’t want to stay with organizations, that they want to jump around from place to place,” says Levit. If they are satisfied and they feel valued, they want to stay. Like any human beings, your entry-level employees like reliability and stability. So if your company demonstrates that you care, they’re going to want to stay there.

    Also read: Touch points during an employee’s tenure that can tell a story of engagement 

    Examples of companies that engage well

    1. Microsoft. Truitt points out how much she loves Microsoft’s tagline. It is Come as you are. Do what you love. This is engagement in a sentence.

    2. Not many, actually. When you look at the numbers that 87% of people are disengaged globally understanding, we see that no one is doing this particularly well, Levit points out.

    3. Netflix is an example, says Truitt, of a company that takes engagement seriously. They don’t want disengaged employees to linger and influence their environment. They have policies that essentially say, “hey, if doesn’t work for you anymore we’ll actually pay you to leave. Rather than have you sit here and be disengaged and drag down the workforce.” With a policy like that, people who stay tacitly opt in to engage. It’s a mental agreement where they decide to stay because they want to be there.

    4. Companies who care. In Truitt’s consulting work, she finds that the companies that achieve high engagement are “the ones that not only care about what they get out of people at work, but how their people are doing outside of work.” They care about their kids, their health and personal hardship.

    [Video]: How GSE succeeds in engaging their entry level employees

    Concrete tips for managers to engage entry-level employees today

    Tip for managers to increase work engagement

    1. Leaders should listen more than they speak. There is nothing worse than a manager who loves to hear themselves speak and believes they are the brightest person in the room.

    2. When there a small to complex issues to sift through encourage your team to offer up ideas either individually or as a collective. Ensure that there is a myriad of ways that team members can contribute their thoughts.

    3. Often times, the employees who are more vociferous by nature get to shine because they are first to speak up and the boldest. Create a safe space for the more introverted employee who may have great ideas, but do better in sharing ideas in a one-on-one environment.

    4. Don’t just ask for feedback, try to incorporate it.

    5. Customize career goals for each individual and map them to the big picture.

    6. Be accessible and talk to employees about what’s going right, not just when something is going wrong.

  • Job openings are more open to some than others: A guide for entry level job seekers to combat bias

    September 20, 2017 by


    With limited professional experience, it’s hard to know how to act when an employer is considering you for a role at their organization. We believe strongly in fair hiring practices. While employers can find plenty of advice for reducing bias in their hiring practices, job seekers should also be prepared to fight bias. Here we provide six tips for entry level job seekers who are nervous that their chances at job openings might be lower, due to bias against their gender, race, ethnicity, ability or other dimension of their identity.

    1. “They’ll see me for my skills, right?” Um, yes… But realize that bias exists.

    Continue Reading

  • How and when technology can help reduce hidden bias in hiring

    September 12, 2017 by


    Technology can help facilitate the awareness of hidden bias, but the tools themselves are not the solution. We spoke with two talent acquisition and workforce planning experts to discuss recruitment technology. Our conversation went far beyond the tools available for recruiters.

    Bruce Soltys is the Head of Talent Acquisition Sourcing Strategies at Travelers, and Janine Truitt is the Chief Innovations Officer at Talent Think Innovations. They are both members of our Panel of Experts.

    Watch our discussion here, or read the takeaways in the blog below. 
    Continue Reading

  • Diversity recruitment: Big impact strategies and mistakes Part 1 [expert panel discussion]

    July 24, 2017 by


    As demographics change in the United States, including at college campuses, employers should have more diverse new hires. So why is the needle moving so slowly? Here we explore strategies for talent acquisition professionals to improve their diversity recruitment. Our discussion touches on mistakes recruiters make, big impact strategies and becoming culturally confident.

    We were joined by Alexandra Levit, a workplace consultant; Toni Newborn, J.D., Diversity and Consulting Services Manager at City of St. Paul; and Bruce Soltys, Director of University Relations at Travelers. This is Part 1 of our discussion. Part 2 discusses what an inclusive recruitment process looks like, differences between the government and private sectors, and concrete tips for talent acquisition professionals. Continue Reading

  • Leveraging diversity: CEO Faith Rothberg presents 8 organizations who are succeeding [video and slides]

    June 21, 2017 by


    There are more men named John and David who run big companies than all the women who run big companies.

    College Recruiter CEO Faith Rothberg has a problem with this, and made a point of offering solutions at this year’s National Association of Colleges and Employers conference. In the video below, Rothberg highlights eight organizations who are leveraging diversity to impact their customer numbers, workplace culture and profitability.

    Watch Rothberg’s presentation, and find links to her examples below, along with major takeaways.

    Study after study prove the business case for gender diversity. Increased gender diversity positively impacts productivity, innovation, decision-making, and employee retention and satisfaction. In fact, companies with the highest rates of gender diversity make more than 13 times average sales revenue than companies with the lowest gender diversity. Similarly, those gender diverse companies pull in an average of 15,000 more customers.

    The amount of gender diversity varies by industry and role. Medical and health services managers, for example, are actually more likely to be women than men, as are human resources or social service managers. But only 36% of management occupations are filled with 50% women. That includes marketing and sales, operations, transportation, information systems and much more.

    Here are eight companies leading the way to increase gender diversity

    1. Aramark became a Catalyst partner of Women’s Foodservice Forum.
    2. Bank of America has invested in LEAD for Women, an employee resource group dedicated to women’s professional development. About half of managers and executive management team are women.
    3. Enterprise Rent-A-Car named Pamela Nicholson as CEO in 2013. She joined the company 32 years ago as a recent grad.
    4. Ernst & Young opens up dialogue between men and women via Inclusiveness Steering Committees, encouraging candid discussions about critical issues and experiences, and establishing mentoring and sponsorship initiatives. They’ve increased the number of women in top management by 20%.
    5. (Two orgs here): Goldman Sachs and U.S. Department of State partner to leverage the expertise of the public and private sectors to encourage inclusive economic growth in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
    6. IBM developed task forces that focus on understanding differences and finding ways to appeal to more employees and customers. Revenues from small and midsize businesses dominated by minority and female buyers increased from $10 million to $300 million.
    7. Quicken Loans routinely ranks among the best U.S. companies for both diversity and overall company culture. Women fill 45% of all jobs and 43% of management jobs.

    Takeaways from Rothberg:

    1. Diversity and inclusion goes beyond race. It includes ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, generation, disability, personality type, thinking style, and gender.
    2. Leverage that diversity to produce better products and services.
    3. Use variety of practices including mentoring, employee resource groups, multicultural talent management, strategic partnership development, and e-learning.
    4. Senior leaders must seek diversity, create inclusion, and drive accountability.
    5. Promote cognitive diversity. Embrace differing perspectives, interpretations. Overcome unconscious bias and culture that inhibits the sharing of different opinions.

    Download Rothberg’s PowerPoint slides here.


    Keep informed of recruiting best practices by staying connected with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube. Hiring soon? Would it make sense to have a brief conversation about your hiring needs? Consider College Recruiter’s advertising solutions, or email [email protected]

  • Combating bias in the hiring process [video and slides]

    June 14, 2017 by


    Last week, College Recruiter co-organized an in-person and live stream event, “Eye Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting,” alongside WCN and Stinson Leonard Street. Presenters spoke about four topics: why and how diversity matters, combating bias, big data, and non-discrimination employment law. This blog post shares what Ann Jenrette-Thomas,  Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Stinson Leonard, presented in part 2: combating bias in the hiring process.

    Scroll down to watch the presentation and download Ann’s slide deck.

    Implicit bias: slow brain vs fast brain

    Implicit bias is the underlying thing that ends up creating problems in the hiring process. Another term for this is unconscious bias. Think of it as shortcuts in your brain. We use mental processes to quickly categorize information so that our brains can function optimally.

    We receive over a million pieces of information per second. This is information we gather from all of our senses. Our brains are detecting so much, but in order to function well, we can’t focus on a million pieces of information. The prefrontal cortex in the front of the brain is the slow brain. And it’s the slow brain that actually is necessary for critical thinking.

    If you repeat a slow-brain activity enough, it gets buried into the reptilian brain, otherwise known as the fast brain or the unconscious brain. Because these processes happen so rapidly, your conscious mind can’t even detect when something unconscious is happening. Take breathing—unless you make an effort to focus on it, you are not thinking about breathing. Another example if how we all learn to drive. When you first started to drive, you focused on putting your hands at ten and two o’clock. As experienced drivers, we’ve all had the experience of getting in the car, somehow arriving home and not even remembering the trip. When you learn to drive, you use your slow brain. When you’ve gotten to the point where it’s automatic, that’s your fast brain.

    This has everything to do with hiring. Some of the things that are embedded in the unconscious part—the fast brain—are cultural norms. Different cultures place value on different styles, of for example, leadership. When Americans think of leadership, we often think of someone who is decisive and confident. Herein lies a challenge for many international employees of multinational corporations that are headquartered in the U.S. In order to advance in the company, many international employees do a stint in the U.S. so that they can have the right qualifications and move up the corporate ladder.

    In Asia, they call that stint the “killing field”. Because in many Asian cultures, a valued leader is someone who is collaborative and who builds consensus, often someone with a much quieter leadership style and different type of confidence. This looks vastly different than an American version of “leadership”. So these particular employees are in a double bind. They have to come here in order to advance their careers. But once they come here, their leadership style prevents them from climbing the corporate ladder.

    There is more to how the unconscious mind affects hiring. We process everything from body language to eye contact, in order to assess whether someone is a good hire.

    Various types of bias in the hiring process

    • Affinity bias means we tend to gravitate toward people who we perceive as similar to ourselves.
    • Confirmation bias is when you magnify things that confirm what you already thinking. Or, you minimize things that contradict what you already think.
    • Attribution bias is when you give a more favorable assessment to somebody that is in your ‘in-group’. Now, what defines an in-group could be a variety of things, and that’s where individuality comes into play.
    • Availability bias describes how we prefer the quick and easy. When we mine for information, we grab what is readily available. Quick: imagine a fire fighter. It’s unlikely you had the image of a woman in your head. The readily available image of a firefighter is a man.
    • Groupthink is very similar to affinity bias. The notion of groupthink is where people are not willing to go against the brain of the homogeneous group.

    Combating bias starts with you

    It’s time to get to get to action and it all starts with you. If you don’t know your own biases or the fact that we are prone to them, then you’re not going to be able to help the system at all. And you have to also educate the people around you in the hiring process. Here are some suggestions for moving forward:

    1. Take the Implicit Association Test. There’s a variety of tests out there: go to projectimplicit.org. It’s free. This just gives you a baseline of where you are on these issues.
    1. Take some time to become socially confident. Learn about any particular cultures with which you are working, for example what leadership looks like.
    1. Assess your hiring process with the assumption that implicit bias is there. Why? Because statistically speaking, it’s there. It could be present where you post your jobs, how the descriptions are actually written, who and how the resumes are reviewed, how the interviews are conducted and who conducts the interviews.
    1. Review your job descriptions for bias. There are certain words and phrases in a job description that could lead to fewer diverse applicants because they will self-select out. For example, women are less likely to apply for a job where there are masculine coded language, like “aggressive” or “adventurous.” Interestingly, men are negligibly affected when it they read feminine coded language, like “collaborative”. When diverse candidates read job descriptions that are more neutral, they are less likely to scrub out any identifying information, for example clubs and organizations that might be specific to an ethnicity. You want to make sure that your job descriptions only include information that is absolutely necessary to perform the job well.
    1. Get used to operating outside your comfort zone. This is ultimately a relationship game. Recruit from a broader circle, go to different places. Ensure that you are also posting on sites that cater to a diverse community. Make sure you understand what other comparable programs are out there beside your core recruiting schools.
    1. Evaluate every resume the exact same way. There are programs out there that can strip demographic information from resume, so that’s one way to try to make things anonymous. It’s also important to develop a standard evaluation form with detailed metrics so that everybody is evaluated on the same criteria.
    1. Identify what you want before the interview begins. If you are clear about the skills, qualities, credentials, etc. that best suit the position, then you can craft questions that speak to those specific skills, credentials, etc. You can develop a checklist of these factors and give them to the interviewers beforehand so that everybody is clear. Prepare the interviewers. Make sure they are aware of the potential for bias. Use a diverse panel of interviewers.

    Finally, don’t get overwhelmed by the challenge of combating bias. Your unconscious biases are going to pop up. It takes effort and time to keep trying to change these things. Be patient, keep at it, and know that you’ll get there.


    Keep informed of recruiting best practices by staying connected with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube. Hiring soon? Would it make sense to have a brief conversation about your hiring needs? Consider College Recruiter’s advertising solutions, or email [email protected]

    Download the slides from this presentation here.

    Watch the presentation of this content by Ann Jenrette-Thomas at Stinson Leonard Street from “Eye-Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting”:

  • Why and how diversity in the workplace matters [video and slides]

    May 31, 2017 by

    Last week, College Recruiter presented at an in-person and live stream event, “Eye Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting,” co-organized by WCN and Stinson Leonard Street. Presenters spoke about four topics: why and how diversity matters, combating bias, big data, and non-discrimination employment law. This blog post shares what was presented in part 1. Scroll down to watch the presentation and download the slide deck.

    The claim: diversity in the workplace leads to greater profit and innovation

    “Workplace diversity is among the most important predictors of a business’ sales revenue, customer numbers and profitability” (Herring study).

    There has been plenty of research done that support this claim. But in addition to illustrating the potential impact of diversity, it’s important to recognize that some employers experience something different. It helps to understand how diversity makes an impact, so employers can reconcile any discrepancies between what their experience tells you, and what they think they’re supposed to be experiencing.

    According to the Herring study out of the University of Illinois at Chicago, the most racially diverse companies brought in nearly 15 times more sales revenue than the least racially diverse companies. Gender diversity accounted for $599.1 million in average sales revenue. In fact, they even saw an incremental impact, so any improvement in diversity is worth it. For every percentage increase in the rate of racial or gender diversity, there was an increase in sales revenues of about 9 and 3 percent, respectively. Additionally, even the smallest incremental increase in levels of racial or gender diversity resulted in more than 400 and 200 additional customers, respectively.

    This study found racial diversity to be a better determinant of sales revenue and customer numbers than company size, the company’s age or the number of employees.

    A McKinsey study is worth highlighting as well. They report that gender diverse organizations are 15% more likely to outperform, and ethnically diverse organizations are 35% more likely to outperform. Conversely, companies in the bottom quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are less likely to achieve above-average returns.

    The McKinsey study also shows a linear relationship between diversity and financial performance. So again, there is no bar or tipping point you have to hit before you start seeing results. They found that for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes rose 0.8 percent.

    These studies measure gender and racial diversity, which are fairly easy to measure. For practical purposes, it should be assumed that other dimensions of diversity—sexual orientation, personal experience, personality—probably have similar effects.

    If your experience does not match the claims

    Many employers may say they see a different picture. Some have succeeded in hiring diverse staff and then start to see interpersonal issues crop up. Group dynamics may go south, or communication suffers. Some see legal problems related to discrimination claims.

    This isn’t necessarily an illusion. Interacting with people from different backgrounds or with others who we perceive as different can be a source of discomfort. It can be a source of mistrust, or even resentment. Frankly speaking, diversity can cause conflict.

    The research does apply, and it is valid. It helps to understand what is going on when you get diversity in the door.

    How exactly diversity is effective

    Simply put, diversity is a catalyst for creativity and deep thinking. Diversity promotes higher quality decision-making, spurs deeper information processing and more complex thinking. This happens because a diverse group has access to a greater variety of perspectives. So everyone in the group, both minority and majority individuals, must consider more information and process that information more deeply and accurately. A 2006 study placed participants onto mock juries. When Black participants were part of the jury, the White jurors processed the case facts more carefully, and deliberated more effectively. The White jurors who were on a diverse jury cited more case facts, made fewer errors, and were more amenable to discussion of racism, compared to the White jurors who were on an all-White jury.

    Here’s why all of this is still so hard for most of us. Homogenous teams just feel easier. So people, inside and outside the group, assume they are more effective. The Fluency Hueristic says we prefer to process information that is familiar and easy. We just don’t want to have to think very hard. People on diverse teams feel they have to work harder, and they judge their own effectiveness as less. From the research, we know that diverse teams are not actually less effective, but the perception is there. A study published by Organization Science had participants read through transcripts and watch videos of team discussions, then allocate resources to the teams based on how they judged their effectiveness. People who read transcripts of diverse teams judged them as having more conflict, and they allocated fewer resources to those diverse teams. What they didn’t know was, the conversations and transcripts for each group—both diverse and homogenous—were identical. So here we see a representation of how our biases and perceptions have a real economic impact.

    We overly trust people who seem like us. A study from the University of Texas showed that disrupting conformity prompts people to scrutinize facts, think more deeply and develop their own opinions. They asked participants to calculate accurate prices for simulated stocks. They collected individual answers, then participants had the opportunity to buy and sell those stocks to others. They used real money so they wanted to get it right.  When participants were in diverse company, their answers were 58% more accurate. The stock prices they guessed were much closer to the true values of the stocks. As they spent more time interacting in diverse groups, their performance improved.

    When participants were surrounded by others of the same ethnicity or race, however, they were more likely to those around them, in the wrong direction. They made all kinds of mistakes because they put undue trust in others’ answers, mindlessly imitating them. In the diverse groups, people were more likely to distinguish between wrong and accurate answers. So here we see how diversity brings some cognitive friction that makes us deliberate more. We overly trust those that are “like us.”

    Conflict is normal. The key is managing it.

    “If companies want their young, diverse talent to become the next generation of leaders, they need to create a culture that truly embraces diverse opinions, perspectives, and lifestyles.”

    We make much more effort now than we ever have on building a pipeline of diversity. That’s the good news, but we even as we see an increase in entry-level diversity, organizations aren’t promoting the diversity up to leadership levels. This is a sign that organizations are not focusing on inclusion. Without managing inclusion, diversity can have negative effects. The communication issues mentioned above—even they are just a perception—and legal issues, for example. To harness the power of diversity—and increase deeper thought, more creativity, better decision making—you can’t ignore inclusion because your diverse talent will walk right out the door.

    One key to managing conflict due to cultural clashing is “perspective taking.” Imagining the world from another person’s point of view decreases bias and can smooth out interpersonal interactions. When team members are asked to consider each another’s perspectives, that potential for more creativity and innovation can be released.

    Only when people feel welcome and respected will their teams be able to benefit from their unique perspective and experience. The secret here is NOT to take a kumbaya approach, or teach colorblindness. If your organization’s culture acknowledges differences, as opposed to pretending we are all the same, the more people will feel free to express their different opinions. If your mentality is, “I love everyone; I don’t care if you are green, blue, pink, red, or gray”, that doesn’t help. You want to get to a place where you can say, “I like this about some green people, I like what some blue people bring to the table, and I like that some pink people offer this.” That’s embracing, not ignoring, difference, and that is an essential step toward an inclusive environment.

    Watch the presentation  of this content from “Eye-Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting”:


    Download the presentation slide deck here

    Keep informed of recruiting best practices by staying connected with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube. Hiring soon? Would it make sense to have a brief conversation about your hiring needs? Consider College Recruiter’s advertising solutions, or email [email protected]

  • Spotlight on Success: diversity recruitment and retention at CIA

    May 22, 2017 by

    College Recruiter spoke with CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak, who shared how CIA has succeeded in recruiting and retaining diverse hires. Given the seemingly fierce competition for diverse talent, CIA’s practices are worth considering at any organization that values and recognizes the benefits of diversity.

    To meet the challenge of recruiting diversity, CIA focuses on the positives

    The competition for exceptional diversity talent is fierce.  CIA’s diverse cadre of recruiters underscore to applicants the positive elements of working at CIA.  This includes highlighting the importance of CIA’s mission by sharing their testimonies about how they have made a difference in contributing to national security.  In addition, recruiters strongly emphasize the extensive benefits the CIA offers.

    CIA faces some additional challenges including  lengthy application and security clearance processes. Also, there is only one primary geographic location in the Washington, DC metro area where employees can begin their careers.

    To achieve CIA’s mission, recruiters  must seek qualified talent in diverse communities

    Diversity and inclusion at CIA is essential to achieve the organization’s  mission. The business case for diversity and inclusion is undeniable: it helps avoid groupthink and it gives any global employer the cultural understanding it needs to operate in any region of the globe.

    There is another reason to reach a diverse pool of talent. CIA knows to look for special people who may not come from the same communities that are heavily recruited by everyone else.

    Director of the CIA Michael Pompeo said, “The Agency has a fabulous history, remarkable people.  And those are the kinds of people that we’re looking for: smart people, agile people, people who are willing to sacrifice an enormous amount of their lives to go do really hard things on behalf of the American people.  And we’ll find them and take them from wherever we can.”

    You must be proactive. Diverse talent won’t just arrive at your doorstep.  

    CIA doesn’t just wait for diverse talent to arrive at its doorstep; officers go to where the diverse candidates are. They make sure their diversity recruitment strategy stays mission-focused and that diversity is integrated and considered throughout recruitment activities.

    Partnerships are key too. CIA focuses on deepening their diversity sponsorships and partnerships with key organizations and universities to gain sustained access to diverse candidates nationwide.  One example of this is the CIA Signature Schools program, where CIA’s Talent Acquisition Group is focusing on outreach and building sustainable relationships with universities and professional organizations that have a large population of diverse talent.  The University of New Mexico and Florida International University are the first two schools in the program.

    Diversity initiatives on universities and professional organizations that have high diversity populations must focus on relationships. Building sustainable relationships with key influencers can assist in spotting qualified diverse talent.

    Retaining diverse talent impacts how well you attract new recruits.

    The diverse candidates are out there. They might be harder to attract, however, because they may have numerous opportunities from which they can choose.  Where CIA distinguishes itself is in building a welcoming culture. It is not enough to just recruit diverse talent. Employees must feel welcome, appreciated and want to stay.

    To help create an inclusive culture, CIA relies on Agency officers who are alumni of universities as Campus Ambassadors to their alma maters.  These officers are responsible in assisting recruiters with branding the CIA as an employer of choice on the college campus.  Students have the opportunity to see people who were once in their shoes happy with their choice of working with the CIA.  This provides a sense of ease or comfort in seeing themselves considering the same employment journey.

    Everyone, from all walks of life and from all backgrounds, should be able to be successful.  To foster that goal, CIA has numerous resources available, including the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) that ensures CIA maintains a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible workplace where differences are valued, conflict is managed constructively, and all officers are willing to engage in open dialogue.  DIO also sponsors Agency Resource Groups (ARGs) that contribute to a positive and inclusive workplace where employees with different backgrounds, cultures, and talents are respected and given the opportunity to succeed. The ARGs are critical to the present and future effectiveness of CIA through their support and advancement of diversity and inclusion. They highlight and help the CIA work through challenges tied to recruitment, development and retention.  ARGs and mentoring programs can help enable all new recruits to make the transition to employment at CIA successfully.

  • How to negotiate salary: Must-read tips for female college grads [infographic]

    April 20, 2017 by


    Many recent college grads are unprepared to negotiate salary during an entry-level job interview. And in the long run, they pay the price – financially, that is.

    According to a recent Paysa study, younger workers, or those with only 0-2 years of experience, are 42 percent likely to be underpaid. The same Paysa data also found that women in markets across the U.S. are 45 percent likely to be under-compensated while their male counterparts are only 38 percent likely to be under-compensated. Paysa is a Palo Alto, California-based company that uses proprietary artificial intelligence technology and machine learning algorithms to analyze millions of data points, including compensation information, to help employees understand their market salary. Continue Reading