Seven Tactics for Successful STEM Diversity Recruiting
In recognition of the value that a diverse workforce brings to business today, Monster asked Harris Interactive® -- a leading market research firm -- to conduct research that examines the importance of diversity recruiting in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematical (STEM) professions.
The Monster survey, Diversity Recruiting in STEM Occupations, found that the national imbalance of supply and demand in diversity STEM recruiting is real, long-term, and driven by many interacting factors.
While individual companies can promote greater participation in STEM careers for underrepresented groups, they will compete for diverse candidates for years to come.
The survey’s quantitative results and qualitative interviews consistently reveal that successful diversity recruiting depends on an array of tactics, working together in a strategic context that values diversity and inclusion as a key competitive advantage.
STEM Diversity Tactics
No single action dominates the list of effective tactics. Every tactic, properly executed, strengthens the effort, similar to the way links in a value chain strengthen each other.
Regarding internal and external best practices, these tactics can be brought to bear in the near term and will improve competitive advantage in STEM diversity recruiting:
- The best diversity recruiting takes place at organizations that embrace and promote diversity as a competitive advantage, in companies where the business case is made to prove it.
- Excellent diversity recruiting includes an understanding of the communities in which the company does business, and ways in which its relationship with those communities benefits from a diverse workforce.
- Diverse candidates believe inclusion is just as important as diversity, and look for it throughout the organization.
- The language of diversity and inclusion should be woven through all business practices, spoken by management at all levels, and woven into the values expressed in the company culture.
- “Diverse employees” identify with a large number of racial, gender, ethnic, psychographic, age, ability and circumstantial (e.g. veterans) groups. They identify with others based on life experience, culture and point of view. These employees are key to recruiting efforts, as they speak to their communities and validate the promise of inclusion.
- Smaller companies can and should adopt common big-company tactics such as creating benchmarks for measuring results of recruiting efforts, tracking where to find a diverse pool of candidates, and partnering with local schools, colleges and STEM education organizations.
Similar to large companies, they should train and support all employees as employer brand ambassadors, including messages about the importance of diversity.
- Outreach, in all its forms -- recruiting messages, media, search and sourcing, within a local and national presence -- requires consistent language and a long-term commitment to diversity to be most effective.
Findings from the study:
- Infographic: Effective Diversity Recruiting in STEM Occupations
- The Competitive Benefits of STEM Diversity
- How Companies Cultivate a Diverse STEM Workforce
- Recruiting STEM Talent for your Small Company
- Recruiters: The Crucial Link in STEM Diversity Hiring
- Seven Tactics for Successful STEM Diversity Recruiting
Monster and Harris Interactive conducted an online survey in August 2011 in which more than 400 Chief Diversity Officers or SVPs of Human Resources participated from a representative group of companies involved with architecture and engineering, computer and mathematics or life, physical and social science disciplines. Additionally, we conducted in-depth interviews with diversity and human resources executives.