If you’re recruiting diverse talent to meet numerical goals, you’ll likely hit your target, but miss the point.
A diverse workplace creates a culture where employees of different religious and political beliefs, education, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, geographies, and skills are able to bring their authentic self to the workplace, and do their best work.
For our company, diversity is more than a recruitment strategy. It’s a business imperative because diversity encourages inspired thinking, novel ideas, and collaboration that leads to more creativity, innovation, and engagement.
Building a recruiting and hiring process to support that business need is driven by values, not numbers.
The Difference Between Hiring and Retaining
The competition is fierce for technical talent. New STEM graduates can walk out of a recruiting event with a handful of offers.
Events like the Grace Hopper Celebration state it well: “We envision a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build it.”
Candidates need to see that society in your company. But even the strongest, most authentic recruitment process can fall apart after your new recruits start their jobs if the workplace does not reflect what they saw during the recruiting process.
As a recruiter, I can get someone into our company; their colleagues and team members will keep them here. Simply put, we have to deliver on the promise from day one.
When You’re Not the Majority
If you’re a member of a majority, imagine for a moment how it feels to be surrounded by people who are not like you—an introvert walking into a gathering of extroverts, or a non-technical person surrounded by PhDs.
You’d look for someone like you; if you can’t find anyone, chances are you’d never feel truly comfortable (or feel like you could be yourself). You might pretend to be okay for a while, but at the first opportunity you’d make your way to the exit.
It’s the same for employees. If there is no one who shares your affinity—whatever that is—you start to feel alone, even isolated; you might be less likely to share your ideas and less able to relate.
Recruiting diverse talent is one part of the process; keeping them is another, equally important part.
To successfully recruit and retain diverse talent, you must give great thought and consideration into how you recruit and how you introduce those new hires to early career programs.
We are intentional in our approach because we are determined to give people a true view into our culture, so they know what they can expect. And then, we live up to our promise.