Secrets of the Job Hunt


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Diversifying the Candidate Search

Workplace diversity can be a daunting issue for human resource departments and hiring managers, especially in areas where the population itself is not diverse. There are several niche Web sites and publications focused on female and minority job candidates, however. These can help resolve the workplace diversity dilemma, as can college career fairs.

One minority recruitment publication, Diversity Inc., has an award-winning interactive site, with a Careers landing page offering much more than job posting and job search for candidates. Not only can an employer read the details of the OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) legislation but she or he can use the many online tools that assist with compliance.

What the Career site added in 2006 are opt in tools for employer accounts, and upgrades on the site’s candidate database search archiving capabilities. The latter include viewed resumes and search queries. The Career site has also increased its storage of applicant data and the job for which each applied, as well as online help documentation for advertisers.

Of the job candidates registered on the site 64 percent are female, 33 percent are African-American, 21 percent are Latino, 14 percent GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender), and 7 percent Asian-American. 33 percent already hold, or have held, managerial positions.

On the Diversity Inc. Career Site hiring managers can buy ads one at a time or in bulk, can highlight the job by upgrading to a featured job posting, and can access resumes or feature their firms. Diversity Inc. can set up job wrapping from the employer’s site, still with the option of altering copy. Employers can set up candidate alerts and folders, while reports document the success of their advertising campaign.

Niche sites dedicated to diversity and major job boards with a diversity search option such as Monster, Yahoo HotJobs and Careerbuilder aren’t the only methods by which an employer can maintain workplace diversity. Employers can take a proactive approach, as some do, by dedicating a staff member to the task of finding minority candidates. Another method that has been successful for employers in areas whose population lacks diversity is to network with colleges and universities in areas more diverse such as California, Texas and other Southwest states, attending career fairs at those schools and hiring minority college graduates.

We spoke to the diversity hiring manager of a mid-Atlantic area firm that told us she has partnered with, advertised on the Web sites of, and attended the career fairs of the University of Texas, El Paso, where she found Hispanic grads; Southernmost College in Brownsville; Rice University; and Texas Southern University, where the majority of students are African-American. Each school’s placement office keeps a packet of information on the mid-Atlantic firm, as well as information about each open position. A placement office counselor keeps this hiring manager advised by e-mail of students about to graduate who want to apply at her company.

This hiring manager said she generally finds five new employees or interns each semester from her university workplace diversity recruitment efforts.

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