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April 18, 2017

Doubling Down on Diversity in the College Recruiting Process

Diversity has become a hot topic among employers large and small in recent years, due in part to highly public reports released by some of today’s most newsworthy companies. Silicon Valley’s finest, like Twitter and Uber, have released less than praiseworthy marks in the area of diversity, and they have vowed to change it in the future. Although it isn’t a new conversation, diversity has firmly embedded itself as a factor in numerous recruiting strategies, forcing hiring managers to rethink how they source and select top talent. The trend toward a more diverse workforce is the most prominent and beneficial in entry-level recruiting, but some employers are still falling short of their diversity initiatives. Here’s why – and how it can be avoided.

 

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Misplaced Blinders

Organizations use various tools for sourcing and candidate selection to help ease the process of recruiting, but some systems fail to weed out biases that make for a less diverse team. While leaving out information that correlates to age, name, or social class is helpful in maintaining a diversity initiative in recruiting, some blinders like major and GPA may inadvertently be shrinking the pool of potential hires. Similarly, excluding information on extracurricular activities may seem like a method to remove biases from the recruiting process, experts in the field suggest that these activities are a powerful indicator of not only a candidate’s passions but of someone’s true qualifications.

Diversity in hiring is made significantly easier when the old-school sourcing processes that weigh heavily on grades and school association are taken out of the mix. Portfolium’s CEO, Adam Markowitz explains, “A truly diverse population cannot easily afford the $55,000 average annual tuition to attend the nation’s highest ranking universities, yet the strong majority of Fortune 500 companies have a clearly defined list of target campuses from which they recruit, exclusively.” It is a near impossibility to find the best-fit hires for entry-level positions that represent a diverse group of individuals while keeping to this traditional recruiting method.

Focusing on the Quality of Candidates

Embracing a diversity initiative in the hiring process is not as simple as making small changes once the candidate pool is identified. Instead, it takes an organization-wide shift toward evidence-based hiring. Sourcing potential hires through a tool like Portfolium allows recruiters to find recent graduates who have the skills required for the job and a proven track record of high-quality work, creativity, and drive. Companies who are successful in bringing on a team of employees who represent multiple backgrounds and interests not only meet their diversity initiatives – they have a greater chance of filling positions with individuals who can get the job done while loving the work they do.

 

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