3 Ways to Drive Your DEI Early-Career Recruitment

Diverse Working Group at Conference Table

Companies of all sizes, from all industries and geographies, are considering how to drive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at their organizations. To drive change, you need a strong commitment to DEI at every layer of the company and in every department. When it comes to talent acquisition and recruiting, making some intentional changes in your recruitment process to source qualified and diverse talent is a great way to begin. Read on for 3 straightforward shifts you can make to create a more inclusive and equitable hiring process.

1. Rethink Your Campus Recruiting Strategy

Campus recruiting teams often associate top talent with top-tier schools. While it’s true that there are talented students at top-tier schools, it’s also true that there are thousands of worthwhile candidates at schools that don’t fall into the “top-tier”. Among a sample size of thousands of companies, there is a clear inverse correlation between the racial diversity of applicants a company gets, and the number of ‘core schools’ they focus on.

Of course, there are certainly examples of when it does make sense to prioritize applicants from core schools:

  • When you’re investing mainly in traditional in-person recruiting and not on a scalable virtual event approach
  • When there are only a few schools that teach the degree you need
  • When you’re recruiting for a small-town office most people don’t want to relocate to

However, to recruit the most qualified and diverse candidates, it’s wise to expand your thinking about core-schools. Recruiting from a select group of schools is going to be expensive, oftentimes ineffective, and you’re less likely to fill the top of your funnel with diverse and qualified applicants.

2. Embrace Virtual Events 
Virtual Events allow you to meet Gen-Z candidates where they are - online. They also allow you to be deliberate about engaging with a more diverse group of students. For example, if you want to get in front of a room of 100 underrepresented minorities who study computer science, are juniors who don't require visa sponsorship, and who are willing and able to relocate to your city for the summer, well—now you can.

Virtual Events help you get in front of a diverse audience of highly engaged candidates without being limited by physical proximity. A Virtual Event is when a large group of targeted candidates joins a 60-90 minute meeting with one company to learn more about their business. You can think of it almost like a highly targeted info session in an intimate, virtual setting.

When you go virtual, you can run DE&I events that are campus-agnostic, where you simply get the most diverse and qualified attendees to join you. Virtual Events are even easier to pull off than in-person events, because you can leverage the power of WayUp’s sourcing tool to ensure you’re attracting the right candidates. You can screen out unqualified candidates, so you don’t show up to a room of all freshmen when you’re trying to promote a full-time role (we’ve all seen it happen!).

3. Invest in DEI Analytics 
When you shift your strategy, it’s essential that you have a plan in place to measure results. Leverage data to benchmark where you are and identify where you want to go. Ask the hard questions about what parts of your process are impeding your DEI results. Are your job descriptions unintentionally biased against one gender or ethnicity? Is there a stage of your recruitment process disproportionally knocking out diverse applicants? Are hiring managers declining diverse applicants?  

WayUp’s D&I Analytics Dashboards allows companies to see the demographics of their hiring funnel in real-time. With D&I Analytics, you can also measure percent of the funnel that includes candidates from underrepresented groups. Track incoming candidates and conversion rates from stage to stage to pinpoint where there are fractures and how to intervene. Driving meaningful change throughout your recruiting process is possible when you rely on data.