Where to Find ‘Them’
and How to Make ‘Them’ Stay
We are regularly invited speak to corporate, not-for-profit and industry-organization audiences.
Of all the comments we hear, one of the most frequent is “We can’t find ‘them,’” which
usually is followed by “When we do, ‘they’ won’t stay.”
If you hear “We can’t find them” in your own organization, this is what you should
understand: Your company’s survival may depend on breaking that recording.
The 2006 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity averaged almost 43 percent recruitment of
people of color—a whopping 48 percent higher
than the total U.S. work force.
Our Top 50 data also shows an indisputable
link between retention, recruitment and current
work-force representation. Aggressive recruitment
for people of color today is going to have a dramatic effect on a company’s ability to recruit the
highest-quality college graduates in the immediate
future because the percent of bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees going to people of color is
increasing more rapidly than the rate of representation of people of color in the population.
In light of these facts, it seems logical that
“diversity” recruiting should be the most important aspect of recruiting, period. Although most
of the people in the labor pool still are white,
white students who are drawn to diversity in
their colleges, graduate schools and recruiting
promotions are going to have the right kind of
attitude and enthusiasm for the competitive
work environment, which is openly embracing
multicultural, disabled, GLBT and multi-generational employees. For most properly trained
white employees, this also will be the case.
Let’s go back to “We can’t find them.” The
documentation is clear in that “they” exist and
even more importantly are being recruited by a
group of very aggressive companies. As this issue
will explain, our education system is failing
mostly brown and black students. Aside from
superior recruiting, we see the Top 50 companies
with plans in place to cultivate our country’s students of color.
Corporate efforts in elementary, secondary
and high schools have more immediate results
than what would be intuitive. The return on
investment between corporate community involvement and hiring diversely is direct because these
kinds of programs are where you “find” adult talent
of color—and build the relationships necessary to
gain the reputation necessary to drive a successful
diversity recruiting program.
Where you find “them” is where “they” are
involved. Now, how do you get “them” to “stay?”
They’ll “stay” when they trust that you are serving
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