How can my company improve its diversity hiring efforts?

The short answer is that diversity candidates are everywhere. Why? Because forward-thinking organizations view diversity as encompass­ing any traits or characteristics of individuals that make them unique and different from others — ranging from age, gender and religion to sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and physical challenges.

The problem occurs when employers think of diversity only in terms of race and ethnicity, which makes their question more understandable and much harder to answer. With the composition of the US workforce becoming increasingly di­verse, finding effective ways to increase the hiring of specific groups of candidates within the advertising industry has been an ongoing challenge for agencies.

Agencies looking to improve their minority recruiting efforts can initiate com­munity outreach efforts at local high schools and colleges having large popula­tions of minority students or hire interns from the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) through the American Association of Advertising Agen­cies (AAAA). You can conduct internal diversity training workshops to broaden the mindset of management and hiring managers and encourage your contract recruiters to source minority candidates for your open positions.

Some other options are to attend industry-sponsored diversity fairs and place online job postings on targeted minority job sites. Appoint a senior-level advo­cate to organize and guide your agency’s diversity efforts as well as to promote inclusion. You can also use targeted keyword searches to aid your sourcing of minority candidates. Be sure to clearly articulate your diversity policies and programs on your corporate Web site.

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