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Why You Need to Hire More Black and POC Recruiters

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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Before you ask your in-house recruiters what candidates look like, you should ask yourself, "what does your recruiting team look like?"

The vast majority of candidates—who apply to roles at your company—don’t often speak with a hiring manager. This means that, most of the time, candidates rarely make it past the first wave of applicants. This is a common occurrence within most organizations that happens when diverse perspectives aren’t occupying a company’s recruiting team.

Amid the pervasive stories of injustices in Black communities, diversity is a primary concern for many major companies. Not only is it important to start hiring more Black and Brown employees, now is the time to look within the makeup of your organization. What is the makeup of your current recruiting team? Not just your diversity and inclusion recruiting team—your full recruiting team. Who is recruiting the engineers you covet? Who recruits on college campuses to attract entry-level talent?

Throughout my 10 years of experience advising and supporting internal recruiting teams, I’ve been one of the only recruiters of color in spaces I’ve worked. As the spotlight focuses on companies across the country and the pressure mounts to find talent of color, it’s clear that companies should also be pushing for diverse talent on recruiting teams. An obvious solution is to hire more diverse talent within recruiting teams to bring more diverse talent, and yet, we seldom see recruiting teams with a strong representation of professionals from diverse backgrounds.

As it stands, many companies believe that diversity and inclusion requires a separate workflow because it calls for more lift than the traditional recruiting workflow. This is largely because recruiting teams, with their current makeup, typically source in traditional talent pools, where Black and Brown candidates are largely underrepresented. We’ve become accustomed to a world where the very teams responsible for finding diversity, do not reflect the diversity they’re looking for. When companies are challenged to find more diverse talent than ever before, how will this be possible with the current demographic makeup and recruiting styles of most recruiting teams?

We’ve all been presented with an opportunity to approach diversity, equity, and inclusion authentically, intentionally, and most importantly, differently. Expand the mission to diversify your workforce to include your recruiting team, as they are part of your company, and not simply responsible for building it. As you craft this team, develop a strategic plan, metrics, and goals for recruiting that incorporate DEI. In order for this work to be done meaningfully, every recruiter must understand and implement strategies that will allow them to engage with, attract, recruit, and hopefully hire candidates of color. It must be a holistic goal, not just one for the diversity & inclusion team. Within those teams, there should be more diverse perspectives. Candidates deserve to see that they have advocates during the recruiting process and have the comfort of knowing that there are people on the other end who may share similar experiences.

How to Build a Diverse Recruiting Team

  1. Commit to hiring diverse recruiters, within your broader recruiting team, NOT just the diversity & inclusion recruiting team. Develop a plan to engage with and ultimately hire junior candidates interested in the field of recruiting as well as senior recruiting and talent acquisition leaders.
  2. Review your current candidate experience. How many people of color are candidates interacting with within the organization? Recruiters and interviewers. Determine who needs to participate in your process to improve this experience and train these individuals to be champions of your company and its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Educate all recruiters about sourcing efforts necessary to attract diverse talent and see to it that they’re actually used. Observe and track results. While diversity and inclusion recruiting teams are all too familiar with these nontraditional sourcing efforts, they should not be the only recruiters putting them to work.
  4. Don’t just hire Black and Brown recruiters—listen to them! Recognize that underrepresented candidates will not have the same backgrounds and professional experiences as the majority of candidates. Empower your recruiters to lead initiatives, suggest and implement changes, and advocate for candidates of color during the recruiting process.

Approaching diversity, equity, and inclusion differently means creating solutions and not only discussing, but also taking the proper actions in order to create systemic change from within your organization. At Jopwell, we believe in the importance of bringing diversity to all working environments and truly building lasting DEI functions from within.

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