Is diversity recruiting a concept hard to grasp? When I started as a recruiter back in 2008, I was disheartened by its “vagueness.” Diversity recruitment was a concept with no concrete direction or process.
So, I created my own version of it. My first approach was to find new sources to recruit people of color. However, I quickly realized I was doing an injustice to the true purpose of diversity recruiting.
So for the purpose of this article, I’m discussing the three what’s of diversity recruiting: what it is, what it is not, and what it should be.
Let’s get started.
What Diversity Recruiting Is
At JTC, diversity recruiting is an intricate process that involves more than sourcing candidates from diverse backgrounds. Here’s what we mean when we say “diversity recruiting.”
Meaning #1: Diversity recruiting ensures that your company’s candidate pool reflects the diversity of the workforce.
Meaning #2: Diversity recruiting removes obstacles that prevent qualified candidates from getting hired and ensures equitable access to opportunities for all candidates, regardless of their background.
Meaning #3: Increasing diversity is not just about doing the right thing; it also has tangible benefits for businesses. A McKinsey study found that racially diverse companies outperform competitors with a 35% higher financial performance than the industry average. Another report suggests gender equality could boost the global economy by $28 trillion.
What Diversity Recruiting Is NOT
Diversity recruiting has unfortunately been plagued by misconceptions that have hindered its progress for too long. Let’s clear up some of these misconceptions with facts:
Fact #1: Diversity Recruiting aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented groups and is NOT limited to Black and Latinx people.
Fact #2: Diversity Recruiting is NOT about affirmative action or quota system, but rather about increasing access and removing barriers to underrepresented groups while still selecting the most competitive candidate for the job.
Fact #3: Diversity Recruiting is NOT reverse discrimination; instead, it creates a level playing field for all candidates to demonstrate their abilities.
What Diversity Recruiting Should Be
“Recruiting” is often tagged with the word “diversity,” which is the same as tagging “colleges and universities” with “historically Black.” It points to a history of exclusionary policies that led to homogenous workplaces.
However, it’s time to move past the practice of labeling recruitment with adjectives that suggest division. Imagine a world where we don’t need the term “diversity recruiting” because it just sounds like a type of recruiting, not the norm itself. We need to make this real.
I look forward to diversity recruiting becoming, well– recruiting. I look forward to the day when diversity is not used to describe a person other than White. I look forward to the day when the standard way to recruit no longer must be marked with diversity in order to drive organizations to consider representation within candidate pools. Together, let’s work to build inclusive workplaces where everyone has an opportunity to succeed!
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