Diversity outreach: a 4-pronged approach to successful pipelines

Do you want the secret to a diverse applicant pool?  It does not exist.

Colleges and universities want diversity, particularly when developing a balanced job applicant pool that reflects your student body (either current or in the future).

We have been successful, as defined by self-described applicant characteristics.  How do we do it?  Here is our 4-pronged approach to diversify outreach:

  • Diverse applicants,excluding Asians, like to participate in virtual career fairs, and a lot of them search in the middle of the night.  We have 6 - 9 career fairs annually, lasting 5 days each. 
  • We belong to NADOHE, the National Association of Diversity Officers of Higher Education.  We are committed and your institution should be also.  It is a great and highly-regarded organization.
  • Our website enhances diversity outreach, through statements and symbols and especially keywords.  We help many clients brand their institutions automatically with strong diversity phraseology.
  • Targeted social media works, but it must be a continual commitment once or twice per week.  Successful targeting changes dramatically over time, so the resources must be monitored and constantly updated.
Diversity branding is also about pipelines and recognizing limited universes of applicant pools.  It takes time (and lots of it), open-mindedness, commitment and a willingness to fail occasionally.

Excluding gender definition, we have been able to generate a consistent 45-58% outreach (averaging 51-52%). Every job is different - when you target the commitment rather than the job, you will begin to show positive results.

Rick Friedman - President, ScholarlyHires.com

orignially written:  9/2015
updated: 11/2016

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