You’ve heard of an HR Diversity Committee formed to discuss how to recruit diverse job seekers. ( coded word for people of color ) Ever hear of an HR Diversity Committee formed to decide how to recruit white candidates ? Course not. White candidates are not considered diverse. In an organizations staffed lily white hiring white candidates is the norm – No HR Diversity Committee needed.
Even if the employer’s workplace is diverse – normal “hiring” activities seldom includes the search for diverse men and women. For example, executive searches outsourced to agencies rarely specifically ask for the agency to seek out diverse candidates. The employer feels “safe” from being accused of discrimination if they remain noncommmittal. The executive search firm is not burden with having to conduct a more difficult and possibly a lot longer search for a qualified diverse candidate. The executive search firm’s goal, unless directed otherwise, is to please their client by proposing qualified candidates quickly. Granted this is not the behavior of all employer endorsed executive searches or the response of premier search agencies but the topic of filling the opening with a diverse candidate is not yet the norm.
The creation of an “HR Diversity Committee ” is viewed by HR as a positive action to improve their company’s workplace. That’s a good thing. It does not mean the Committee takes immediate action to reach out to local community resources,participate in job fairs,advertise on diversity career boards, ask current employees for referrals or launch advertisement promoting their diversity brand.
Typically the first action taken by the HR Diversity Committee is to anoint an HR department association as the “point person” representing the Committee. The associate is charged with collecting “data”. The data search most definitely includes gathering information on internet career boards. The associate is quickly overwhelmed with features and benefits promoted by a myriad of career board resources. OMG – There are recruiting sources advertising on national TV promising to send qualified candidates the next day, others promise to advertise jobs on 100 plus career sites,most notably are sites who interact with candidates seeking 6 figure incomes,there are mega sites citing zillions of daily visitors and / or are comprised of millions of members and then there are groups of websites bearing diversity / inclusion domain names. Wow. Where should an HR associate begin ?
What happens next?
The committee meets once a month, is not funded to buy any outside services, does not a set date to publish findings and probably does not include people of color or different cultures. Committee membership is comprised of members from other departments to insure their needs and opinions are considered. The HR Diversity Committee is headed by a senior HR executive except, as noted,the heavy lifting is done by a HR associate. The HR executive is eager to make up for “lost time” and encourages the associate to propose sources most likely to offer the best candidates for their particular industry.
Not every HR Diversity Committee associate asks all the questions below. The associate may have little to no background regarding recruiting best practices. The associate is eager to prove they
are up for the assignment and wants to impress the Committee with hard to dispute facts. So… off they go to collect the facts.
We cannot comment on whether the associate approaches each recruitment site using the identical data collection method however Diversity.com has been asked the following:
The list of questions below is only a sampling – not a complete list at all.
• How long has Diversity.com been in business?
• Can we post several jobs -free – to test your site?
• Will a contact person be assigned to our account full time?
• What does it cost to post jobs? Are your prices shown on your site?
• How many websites do you share our posting with?
• How many visitors do you have a week or a month?
• How many page views do you have per week or month?
• How many visitors are African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Female ?
• Any idea how many engineers from Fargo visit your site ?
• Do you have records of the number of visitors by ethnic categories.?
• Geographically – how many people from ( fill in city ) faculty with 4 years experience?
• Can you track the people who click forward to our site and leave an application?
• Is Diversity.com part of a diversity recruitment network of websites?
• Can you send me an invoice for a single posting?
• How many companies in my industry use your site?
• Can you scrap my site or automatically detect new jobs posted on my site?
• How often do you get ( fill in prior job title here ) visits to your site?
• Do you offer diversity job fairs in my area?
• How many resumes do you have ? What does it costs to view resumes only?
• Do you attract diverse candidates from my area of the country?
• Indeed.com has zillions of jobs posted – how many do you have?
• Can you send our Committee a report on your website’s achievements – past 10 years.
• What national organizations or groupings such HBCU’s recommend Diversity.com?
• Do you offer our agency the standard industry discount of 15%?
• Can you invoice our agency and wait until the employer pays us before we pay you?
• Will your staff post our jobs ? If so, is there a charge?
• Do Gay candidates visit your site?
Bottom Line – 9.5 out of 10 HR Diversity Committees self-destruct. Ultimately take no action to either implement a diversity recruitment outreach program or to brand their business as an employer eager to attract diverse talent.
Why.. Here is a common scenario. The associates renders their report. The report invariably points out the financial options and personnel resources required to advertise on whatever site (s) are recommended. At this point, The HR Diversity Committee kind of,sort of, self-destructs after several postponed meetings scheduled to discuss the report. What’s going on? It’s mostly the participating departments are not willing to contribute finances or personnel to implement the associate’s recommendations. Their attitude is the full cost should be borne by the Human Resources Department. If asked, all the committee members are “convinced the HR Diversity Committee will be re-energized in the future. Next time the HR Diversity Committee will have better data on which to decide how and where to post jobs.”