Diversity Best Practices In Hiring/Recruitment in The US

Most of the firms in the US promote the idea of diversity,  but the problem lies in making it workable which means to guarantee that every single hired employee feels welcomed in the firm and is given the same promotion chances as others to higher levels as far as his/her abilities allow.

Farzana Baduel throws some light on the positive side of diversity story in The US. She is MD at Curzon PR and initiated it in 2009. The organization is a public relation and strategic communications agency. Her entry into the public relations industry seemed to correspond with the era in which the image of the global sector was not cultivated at its zeniths, apparently showing many poor records when it came to diversity in the PR sector.

The recent figures on diversity practices show that only about 8% of PR practitioners are from backgrounds that belong to an ethnic minority. Apart from this figure, the industry has an excellent record of gender diversity, but still the white male domination can be seen at the top leadership positions. Public Relations are not the only field in the business sector which is in a struggling mode for the promotion of diversity in the workforce.

Farzana is a woman from an ethnic minority background, and she complains about the deficiency of diversity in public relation industry, enough to aggravate her. Although, she is much proud of her hiring record at Curzon’s PR because it includes a huge range of professionals from different cultural and national backgrounds, still the situation is unsatisfactory for her.

The moral side of the promotion of diversity, either related to gender or ethnic origin, has been for all times a stronger one. The practiced truth is that for any successful business, the benefits must take priority over the moral values when decision making is being done regardless of any diversity practices!


Opportunely, several studies evidently show that over the previous years, the importance of the promotion of diverse workforces for having positive business implications in much heightened. The most important notion is that we reside in the world where the population of target consumers is itself becoming much diverse for any company.

The result of this is obvious: those companies that embrace the group of workforces from different backgrounds regarding gender or ethnicity can better understand the requirements and requests of consumers, who are exceedingly becoming more and more diverse. The result is also supported by research from the New York-based Center for Talent Innovation, which exposed that when work teams consist of one or more members from diverse backgrounds, they are more able to understand the market of target consumers. They are also more able to invent new solutions and can quickly reach their sales targets.

The Wayne’s StartUp DNA research established that about 82.5% of individuals had the same opinion when they were asked about the diversity in teams at the workplaces. According to them, it helped them in overcoming various challenges and also aided with new thinking development and innovation.

Nevertheless, diversity is not only a number game. To harvest more benefits from a business, there must be a genuine, diverse workforce in it. There must be the nurturing of broad, open-minded and meritocratic working atmospheres in which people coming from minority origins feel happy and engaged. This will also facilitate these professionals to become comfortable and productive and contribute positively to earn a good business fortune.


Another side that is often overlooked has a diverse leadership. There are several business industries where diversity is welcomed at the entry level, but it becomes overwhelmingly ethnic, and gender biased when it reaches to leadership roles. This sort of practice is entirely negative from the business point of view because that company where diversity and wide-ranging leadership is promoted is always benefitted by decisions by variety of viewpoints, standpoints, and life experiences. It then bestows the business with a unique competitive advantage in their market niches.

One thing is for sure, despite all these truths, formulation of a diverse workforce is something that needs actual work. It requires firms to make certain that diversity is not just merely an afterthought that comes in mind after a CSR presentation. Rather it is a value that is weaved in the core fabric of the corporate culture.

It can be promoted through the introduction of policies in which flexible working is permitted, and it is made certain that both women and men professionals from minorities can flourish. Companies must have frank and honest discussions about the ways in which they can promote diverse and inclusive working atmosphere.

The moral and business opinions for diversity are growing on a daily basis. It requires that not only diversity must be embraced, but it must be embarked upon as well, especially when the benefits of a successful and diverse workforce are considered.


Once the business notion has been established, the workforce diversity can aid the organization to reach the fresh markets and create greater capital based on rational approaches, the business can survive well.  So how can one make it real? It is one thing that diversity is acknowledged, and it is the other that it is added as a value to the business and makes it a reality. Barbara Stern, the vice president of Diversity at Brookline, Mass-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, accepts that diversity recruitment is an act of balancing. Even when the business cases are clear, decisions must be made to ensure the certainty that black and Hispanics do not feel left out from the whole process and also that they do not feel lost. According to Stern, it is important that the customers must view diversity throughout the organization. Especially in organization customers, search for people in the organization who look like them and share their culture and values.

The marketing professionals also realize the importance of diversity. The recent total spending by minority groups in The US is approximate $500 billion on an annual basis, and it is estimated to grow further at a rate of 50% or even more in the next three years. Bob Baublitz, a marketing manager working in Bell Atlantic’s ethnic and premium markets division in the city of New York, acknowledges the importance of diversity by saying “Prior to we can sell to these clients, first we must have to hire them, promote them and retain the minorities because diversity inclusion begins at home”.


To enhance the effectiveness of diversity practices at all the levels in the organization, it is mandatory that diversity first must exist in it. According to Simmons Associates, a New Hope, Pa. –based consulting firm, here are some key ways that can help in the recruitment of diverse employees:

  • Develop networks with minority students and colleges
  • Promote scholarships and corporate level internships
  • Aid the job fairs for minority communities
  • Strengthen partnerships with organizations for minority student professional
  • Develop partnerships with minority organizations
  • Check all the websites where the CVs of diverse individuals can be obtained

If you want to promote the diversity practices in your organization, then you must consider and implement the following plan:

  • Recognize and begin developing connections with national minority organizations. These must be not only on the basis to provide access to the college age minority students, but also for gaining access for those minority members who can work on mid or senior level positions.
  • Advertise recruitments on minority publications such as Emerge or The Advocate and Hispanic times, etc. Utilize your internal employee resource groups. Inquire the minority employees to give insight into places and ways which could help to recruit diverse applicants.
  • Create training sessions for leaders to make sure that the diverse candidates are not left out in the interviewing process, just because they are different.
  • Appreciate the cultural norms of diverse candidates
  • Create partnerships with marketing groups to make sure that all the marketing- not only the recruitment advertising- promotes a diverse combination of individuals.

The tips and the strategies for firms that are searching for the incorporation of diversity into the hiring process are given below:

Initially, in the first step, break up the hiring process into three functional parts so as to analyze and build up of diversity initiatives around the organization.

These are:

  1. Recruiting procedure
  2. Interviewing procedure
  3. Hiring procedure

In the next step, consider these functional parts in the two-dimensions, which are at the individual and the system levels.

Any employee who is involved in these three functional parts at any particular position (for example, at recruiter, or interviewer or as a hiring manager) must know and agree upon the minimum job requirements and the required job responsibilities. For example, the essential job function must appear in the job description, in the interview questions, and in the applicant rating system as well, when hiring decisions are to be made.  Diversity cannot be practiced until there is a sound system present to support it.

The cultural competencies must also be built up into the hiring process for the defined areas of diversity in the organization (for example, does the organization considers diversity by race and gender only or it does include age, sexual orientation and disability also). You can include:

  • Identification of the bias and barriers for the diverse candidates during the hiring process
  • Once these are identified, put efforts to educate all the employees who are engaged in the recruitment process when these barriers and biases appear during the recruiting, interviewing or in between the hiring process.
  • Initiate a process to make alterations so that these barriers can be eliminated.

The changing requirements of the workforce are recognized by most of the organizations. Some organizations even have employees who are retiring next year. The applicant pool these days is much different than it was years ago, so the need is to address those requirements.

First step: Workable diversity and inclusion methods for recruiting

The adoption of a key method for diversity recruitment will certainly embrace the expanding current recruiting practices. The consistent usage of this approach will result in gaining more diverse candidate group, and the workforce will be admirable. Studies have also revealed that about 65% to 75% of the hiring in The US is filled up via employee referrals or simply networking. Therefore, to get a diverse background, it is necessary to focus on the efforts that promote networking in diverse individuals. All employees must be viewed as potential recruiters for an organization. For this purpose, a referral bonus must also be given to the employees when someone new is hired via a referral.

Second step: Workable diversity and inclusion methods for interviewing

The best method by which an organization’s employee selection procedure can be made more inclusive and welcoming for the diverse applicants is to learn about it directly from the diverse candidates themselves. These are the professionals who have an authentic experience of bias and cultural misunderstandings, and they know how it feels. So they can prove to be the best sources from which ideas can be gained about how positive changes can be made within the firm regarding diversity practices. Thus, it also provides a way by which interview questions are generated for the diverse applicants.

Third step: Workable diversity and inclusion methods for hiring

Keep a track of new and past diverse hires. Address the mistakes were done. For the diverse hiring procedure, go on with whatever solutions helped the applicants to get hired easily. Inquire them about what works well and take their advice that can help in the organization’s initiatives for diversity hiring.

Good news: US companies weigh in on the matters of diversity

The aim of AT&T is: have the best professionals talent at the table from every ethnic background, according to Rick Gomez, the executive director of Global AT&T college recruiting. For this purpose, the firm develops programs and strategies that grab the attention of some minority applicants. It is because they simply give much importance to diversity in work teams. The company is also partnering with student organizations instead of their aim, and it also sponsors many national and local events for the promotion of diversity. They are working with organizations such as National Society of Black Engineers, etc.

Just like AT&T, another firm named Chubb Insurance makes a targeted approach and taps the doors of various campus organizations such as The Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and others. Chubb propagates its diversity practices through partnering with Howard University so that they can have several direct diverse hires from the University. Meghan A.Henson, the VP of Chubb Insurance explains that this partnership is done to focus on exposing diverse students to the insurance industry. Through it, they are permitted to spend a whole day at any of their 50 branches all over the country. In this way, they will learn about the industry practices and can also have a view of their lifelong career further in this field.

Other companies like the Bank of America has strengthened the partnership with 12 diverse colleges and universities across the country including the black colleges and several Hispanic-serving institutions. The firm recently recruits 200 schools globally to accomplish their targeted diversity efforts.

Upon examining several firms for the campus recruiting, it’s quite clear that US top companies are searching the diverse talent pools. Precisely speaking, all of us are diverse. Can anyone be defined by a box? Certainly no! Hiring must be done for the most qualified candidate. By using diversity recruiting practices, the whole applicant pool is nearly boiled down for finding the best and the most qualified candidate. So, overall the situation of diversity practices in recruitment and hiring in business is improving in The US. This means that recruiters realize the importance of diversity practices.

Diversity is important, and it must be practiced globally. For this purpose, most talented and committed professional having diverse perspectives should be brought together under one roof. In this way, people can also challenge each other’s thinking and can solve the organization’s problems with collective efforts; obviously, there will be numerous points of view for a single problem. Diversity is a vital element of business practices, and it must be valued and fostered in the workplaces as well. Programs that promote and celebrate diversity provide networking opportunities for employees. Diverse workforces must be encouraged because everything done must be for the benefit of customers. Promotion of diversity helps to create the best people, those who think and understand together and can fulfill the diverse demands of the global market much efficiently than others.