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Making Inroads with Student Organizations to Increase Diversity within Your Talent Pipeline
Posted By: Elynor Moss on June 30, 2020

Typical diversity recruiting strategies involve mining the active workforce for the right candidate, but this may not always be the best strategy. By the time candidates enter the workforce, it’s already too late—diversity recruitment strategies must be implemented early to acclimate candidates to your organization’s culture and make them more aware of the value they can bring. This is best done during the high school and college years when students are hungry for direction and support.

But you can’t just walk into a high school and hand out flyers, right? Your recruitment strategies need to be supported by both the organizations with which you’re partnering, as well as the students themselves. Partnering with student organizations, Greek life, social clubs, and taking part in campus events let you interact directly with a significant number of prospects and helps to grow your talent pool.

This outreach isn’t just for your benefit, though. These partnerships are mutually beneficial; recruiters gain opportunities to make inroads with valuable and diverse talent pools, while students gain access to resume building opportunities and organizational support systems that improve their chances of future success.

Creating Outreach
Experienced recruiters know that most of their prospects don’t come to them. It’s up to the organization to take the first step and reach out to let students know about the opportunities available to them. Fortunately, many institution-sponsored events, such as career fairs, are created with this specific goal in mind—your candidates want to be found just as much as you want to find them. However, attending a career fair isn’t enough to constitute a recruitment strategy. If you really want attention from candidates, you’ll have to increase your organizational visibility in other ways as well:

• Student Organizations: Clubs and student unions celebrating cultural awareness and diversity exist on nearly every campus and can be an ideal outlet for networking and building connections with prospects. At the high school level, you can partner with these groups to help students prepare for college and expand their knowledge of potential scholarship and educational opportunities. At the college level, students involved in academic Greek life and leadership groups will be primed to network and hear about where they can find jobs and apply their talents to make an impact. This is the ideal time to push the value that diverse talent can offer an organization. Reach out to the leaders of both institutional and student-led groups to see what type of support you can provide.

• Campus Events: Universities often hold special events in their student unions or social centers that can be leveraged for better recruiting outreach. These can take the form of focused cultural celebrations but may also relate to more general business and networking support systems. These events are more important than simple recruitment. Participating in cultural events and making your organization a known entity for supporting community diversity contributes both to your recruitment as well as the health of the diversity climate at the college in question.

• Internships and Work-Study Programs: Does your organization offer programs to bring candidates on board for practical training and educational support? These programs can be powerful for building loyalty between your organization and student groups, as well as creating valuable opportunities for potentially underprivileged populations. Internships are highly sought after in today’s competitive marketplace; making your organization known as a sponsor of these programs is great for networking and gives your candidates reasons to come to you.

These are but some of the various strategies that can go a long way toward building your organization’s reputation among the incoming workforce. As with any recruitment strategy, diversity recruiting leans heavily on catching candidates when they’re in the market for work. But students offer a unique opportunity to get their attention before others do, and thus getting a better chance at picking the cream of the crop.

Marek Biernacinski
Content Pro, CEO
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