We all strive each day to develop our company’s DEI initiatives and to showcase our diverse and inclusive cultures in our talent attraction strategy. We know our work is important, but the data backs that up: a Glassdoor survey found that 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.
And, just try to google “DEI hiring importance.” You’ll get thousands of search results explaining why diversity matters in hiring, telling you what to do to increase DEI in your hiring strategy, and selling you products and services to assist you in this effort. In fact, it’s very possible you found this article through a search like this!
And while we might be just another voice in this cacophony of people and companies extolling how important DEI is, today we’re going to approach it from our unique perspective: Recruitment Marketing!
Practitioners need to define the specific strategies and tactics they’re using to attract and recruit diverse talent, and be ready to present the results. From what your job descriptions say to where your jobs are being distributed to how you’re engaging diverse talent throughout your recruitment process, your Recruitment Marketing plan must be intentional and inclusive.
Our recent ideabook, 9 Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Attract Diverse Talent, shows you great examples of how employers are attracting, engaging and recruiting diverse talent. Based on this resource, today we’re sharing how you can audit your existing employer brand, messaging and Recruitment Marketing assets focused on diverse and inclusive hiring. We’ve also included ways to align your Recruitment Marketing strategy with your diversity recruitment goals.
Before we get started, let’s just spend a minute at the very beginning to discuss…
Your employer brand
At the heart of any good Recruitment Marketing strategy is a distinct and thoughtful employer brand which allows you to clearly articulate and differentiate what you’re “selling.” And, in today’s job market, sophisticated recruitment marketers know that they’re selling candidates more than just a job, they’re selling their employee value proposition (EVP). Your EVP encapsulates your candidate experience and your employee experience, including tangible elements like benefits and intangibles like culture.
Representing your employer brand authentically is especially critical when working to increase the diversity of talent at your organization. Though you may not have control over your company’s HR policies, you are all responsible for how your employer brand “shows up” internally and externally through 2 simultaneous approaches:
- Demonstrating your company’s current actions towards diversity, equity and inclusion, and
- Communicating your company’s ongoing commitment to DEI.
You do this by (for example) showing your diverse team on the Culture page of your careers site, listing paid parental leave benefits in your job descriptions, sharing employee photos from your Pride celebration and publicly reporting diversity hiring numbers for transparency and accountability.
Your role in Recruitment Marketing is not only to help increase diversity among new hires, it’s also to make your diversity visible to candidates who are evaluating you as a potential employer. So let’s now go through each of your strategies and see where you are succeeding and how you can improve!
Strategy: Careers Site
According to the Talent Board, a company’s careers site is the #1 resource found to be most valuable by candidates when researching potential employers. High-intent job seekers will dive into your careers site content, learning who you are and what it’s like to work at your company.
The Talent Board research shows that the Recruitment Marketing content rated highest by women, people of color and younger candidates are:
- Company values (96%)
- Diversity and inclusion (87%)
- Employee testimonials (85%)
- Why people want to work there (78%)
Source: 2022 North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report, The Talent Board
Have you invested enough time and effort in creating this type of content for your careers site? Use the following points to evaluate your site:
- Is DEI is listed (or even better, showcased!) as one of your company values?
- Do you illustrate that DEI is a company value through diverse employee voices and photos?
- Are you including information about Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?
- On the site, do you display badges of diversity awards and honors?
- Is a list of supported community partnerships included?
- Do you have a dedicated DEI page (or section) with content in the previous bullets, plus your EEOC statement, how candidates can request accommodations and current diversity statistics along with goals that you’re working towards (and your progress)?
- Is language used throughout your careers site that’s inclusive and free from bias?
- Did you build your careers website for accessibility?
- Does your careers site platform provide a great candidate experience and make it easy to add/edit pages, so you can keep your content fresh and current?
Messaging: Job Descriptions
For many job seekers, their first introduction to your company is likely through one of your job descriptions. Unfortunately, a poorly written job description can lead to fewer applications from women and people of color.
Job description bias can come in many forms and there are a number of items to consider. When reviewing your job descriptions, use this lens:
- Review if they’re using gendered words and ADA compliant language
- Assess the job qualifications you require and question why this is a requirement? Is there another way to determine proficiency and competency?
- Do you mention L&D, on-the-job training, co-op and returnships?
- Consider how you’re using jargon. If it doesn’t make sense to someone outside of your organization, or it isn’t absolutely needed to understand the role, cut it!
- Are you promoting inclusive benefits?
- How are you describing your company and its culture?
- Is there an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) Statement?
Strategy: Job Advertising
When committing to attracting more diverse talent, one of the most critical decisions you’ll need to make is where to advertise and promote your jobs. The majority of recruitment budgets go to job advertising, yet it can be highly inefficient given that just 4% of job ads convert to completed applications.
If you aren’t getting enough qualified diverse talent applying for your jobs today, review where you’re posting your jobs to get them out into the world.
First, start with your job boards. If you’re manually choosing where to list your jobs, this can allow for inherent bias in the mere selection of some job boards over others. Consider using a programmatic tool that automatically distributes your jobs from your ATS to a network of job boards. These tools will allow you to cast a wider net, ensuring you reach a wider talent audience, while also saving time (and budget) in managing this automatically for you.
Have you invested time and effort into building partnerships with key talent communities? This strategy goes beyond job advertising to building relationships with target talent groups. There are organizations at the national, state and local level, with some opportunities being paid while others are free. Some examples are:
- iRelaunch: A community of 100,000 people, predominantly women, who are returning to work after a career break
- American Job Centers: There are 2,300 AJCs across the country that help people search for jobs and find training programs (many will pre-screen applicants for you)
In all parts of the country, there are affinity groups you can reach out to for veterans, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, women, indigenous people and LGBTQ+ populations. It’s worthwhile to search for those in your area and start to develop a relationship with them.
When looking for early career talent, it’s important to build relationships with colleges and universities that serve the populations you’re looking to hire. Approach historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, American Association of Colleges and Universities, American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions.
Strategy: Social Media
Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are now vital to every employer’s recruiting strategy. According to the Job Seeker Nation Report, 39% of candidates use social media to search for or find out about job openings. While the use of social media in recruitment is on the rise, job boards are on the decline. The Job Seeker Nation Report found that job seekers said they use job boards 13% less since 2020.
Social media is an active strategy that requires writing original, engaging content multiple times per week per channel. It’s a long-term strategy that requires marketing skills to build followers, create brand awareness and drive engagement. You can’t just treat organic social content like a job board. Based on data from our Recruitment Marketing tool, Rally Inside, organic LinkedIn posts that include the word “apply” got 225% fewer impressions and 509% fewer clicks than posts with the word “employee.”
To be effective at social recruiting, your best strategy is to be posting people-based content, stories about your employees, teammates, associates and leaders. Posts that say “apply now” or we’re hiring” just don’t work!
Just like how you evaluated your careers site and job descriptions, review your social channels and look at what your posting:
- Do you share information about your DEI initiatives?
- Are you using diverse employee voices and photos?
- Do you highlight diversity awards and honors?
- Do you talk about your inclusive benefits?
- Are you sharing authentic company content to honor holidays and observances? Or, are you just acknowledging these with generic graphics?
Strategy: Email Nurture
Email marketing is underused in our opinion by talent marketers, but it can be the go-to strategy for building and nurturing relationships with your existing talent database. One of the reasons why it’s so powerful is the ability to send highly personalized, targeted emails automatically at scale. When paired with a recruitment CRM, email marketing can keep each of your talent pipelines warm and engaged, while also giving you greater insight into what these talent segments want to know most about you as a potential employer.
If you currently have an email nurture strategy (or are developing one), consider:
- Does your CRM include templates to easily create nurture sequences? Does it have built-in automation so that you can nurture multiple talent segments at scale.
- Are you able to tag people in your CRM to automatically segment and add them to an email nurture sequence?
- Are you sending out emails to targeted groups specifically designed to nurture candidates who care about your diversity?
Here’s an email nurture sequence example that supports diversity recruitment:
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
- Publish social content throughout February featuring company events and employee spotlights. Link the social content back to a page on your careers site summarizing your company’s support for Black History Month and include a call to action to join your talent community.
- Tag candidates who join your talent community from this page in your CRM with Black History Month.
- Send automated emails to these candidates each week during Black History Month with new content (it could be the same content that you plan to share on social media) and resources related to Black History Month.
- Included featured jobs and other careers content in these emails. Candidates who click to learn more get tagged again in your CRM and those who apply are added to a talent pipeline for your recruiters.
- At the end of the Black History Month email sequence, invite candidates to opt in again to continue receiving your talent newsletter, so that you have permission to continue staying in touch with them.
Whether virtual or face-to-face, events are an important channel for Recruitment Marketing. According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation report, 23% of candidates search for and find employers through career fairs.
These are excellent opportunities for meeting with talent where they already are, and there are an endless number of groups (universities, non-profit organizations, special interest communities, and more) that organize career fairs to connect employers with their members.
When planning an event or attending a career fair live, consider how accessible it is for a diverse talent pool to participate and engage with you. Does the venue exclude people (either physically or by making them feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed)?
For virtual events, accessibility should still be a consideration.
Asset: Employee Resource Groups
Your ERGs are a great resource to ensure that diverse perspectives are authentically incorporated to your strategies. For all the strategies above, consider how you’re partnering with ERGs:
- Are you reaching out to ERGs to recommend employees you can spotlight on your careers site or blog?
- Are sharing pictures of their events and outings externally on social media?
- Do you ask your ERGs to guide you on which channels are worthwhile for recruiting and which groups are important to partner with?
- Are ERG members asked to volunteer to represent your organization at events and job fairs?
If you don’t have formal ERGs at your company, you can form a group of employer brand ambassadors that can work just as well.
Taking action to increase diversity, equity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, it’s a business imperative. Data shows that employers that lack a clear and visible diversity strategy will lose the competition for talent, putting their company’s future at risk. But, by auditing your current DEI strategies, and making some (possibly very simple) adjustments, you can more effectively show your company’s dedication to DEI and attract the diverse candidates you are looking for.
To get even more strategies, ideas and examples of how to show your company’s current actions and ongoing commitment to DEI, download our ideabook, 9 Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Attract Diverse Talent.