“Every one of our recruiters is a diversity recruiter.” My old boss repeated this mantra often. We had a small team, a lot of technical positions to fill, and she wanted to impress upon us that we always had to have an eye out for diverse candidates in addition to our requisition requirements.
Many companies claim the same philosophy but does everyone really recruit with diversity in mind?
Recruiters must be trained to handle all kinds of recruiting situations. They need to understand the culture of the organizations, schools, and regions that they recruit from. They need to know the “dos and don’ts” of attracting the talent they want before they can effectively and successfully recruit them.
Top notch recruiters are made. Targeted education and training create all-star recruiting teams able to find and attract all-star talent.
In nearly 20 years in this sphere, I’ve witnessed a lot of mistakes made on career fair floors, at conferences, and over the phone.
- A talent acquisition professional when offered a regional dessert by the Career Services manager at a Historically Black College University, turn it down and with a face tell the crowd of twenty college students waiting in line to talk to her that “I could never eat that – I don’t even know what it is!”
- A mid-level experienced IT recruiter ask a disabled candidate, what his disability was and if it would prevent him from doing “a full day’s work.” In addition to losing the candidate – he might have opened his company up to a discrimination suit.
- A Director of Talent Acquisition asked a transitioning Army soldier, when told that this service member had been in Iraq, “Did you kill anyone? What was that like?”
These may be extraordinary examples, but I see scores of mistakes made every year by well meaning, but inexperienced and untrained recruiters that inevitably turn off the very candidates they are trying to engage.
The solution? Invest in your recruiting team. Train them. Educate them. Get them certified.
Let your competitor make the mistakes. In this competitive job market – your candidate likely has options.