Did you know only 30% of American-born CEOs of the Fortune 100 attended an elite college? One would assume the majority of the men and women running the most successful corporations based in the US would have an Ivy League education, but it simply isn’t the case.
Why does this matter to you? Because it points to a larger misconception in recruitment: how undervalued other universities are in their search for top talent. While staying ahead of the competition in hiring is the name of the game, your shining stars might be waiting in an untapped talent pool.
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"Education happens across a spectrum of settings and in infinite ways, and college has no monopoly on the ingredients for professional achievement or a life well lived," - Frank Bruni (@FrankBruni), New York Times Columnist and Author of “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be”
By assuming competitive recruitment is sourced from recruitment channels associated with prestige, we fail to source candidates from less advantaged backgrounds who may bring the unique perspectives organizations truly need.
“The largest industries fail to hire talent from less advantaged backgrounds because they recruit from a small pool of elite universities and hire those who fit in with the culture.” - Social Mobility Commission, 2016
Understanding the diversity impact of source preferences, selection criteria and unconscious bias is difficult. In addition, today’s multicultural and multi-generational workforce nearly demands that recruiters show them how they fit into diverse organizations. Candidates want to understand how they will thrive within the organization.
Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, recognizes the positive impact a diverse workforce has:
“We are taking new steps to foster a more inclusive workplace, including a new gender diversity goal to grow the percentage of our women in the US to at least 40 percent by 2020. We also launched a new referral program to reward employees – who are our best source of new talent – for successfully referring women, African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, veterans and persons with disabilities candidates in the US. And, as a company, we are facilitating open, brave conversations about diversity with our people, within our industry and in the communities where we work and live.”
You can take similar steps.
Optimize your company career page to showcase your commitment to diversity and inclusion. Do a quick audit of the imagery to make sure underrepresented groups are present on your page. If your recruitment team utilizes images and videos from your staff to portray your company culture, make sure all talent segments are represented equally so diverse candidates can picture themselves within your organization too. Insider Tip: Add testimonials from your very own diverse employees or make a video montage to bring their passion for your workplace to life!
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Make it known to your employees that diverse hiring initiatives are your mission and should be theirs too when it comes to your employee referral program. Insider Tip: Be transparent with your employees in your messaging and encourage them to reach outside of their personal networks.
“Unfortunately, an employee being asked to refer someone for a given position will almost always go for somebody who shares the same social capital: skills, tastes, posture, clothing, mannerisms, material belongings, credentials, degree etc. This is obviously a major source of inequality which is hurting diversity in the tech industry.” - Alexandre Kaykac, Medium.com Contributor
Build relationships with universities comprised of diverse student bodieslike the ones on these lists! Insider Tip: Look beyond the national list, and scope out some of the smaller colleges on the regional lists!
Look to an intelligent recruiting system to help you identify your most successful sources of diverse candidates and gain insight into your most promising candidates. Tackle talent scarcity with INTELLIGENCE to cast a wider net and prioritize candidates. INTELLIGENCE also automatically flags candidates who show promising indicators of success at your organization and helps you identify and eradicate bias to support better decision making. In fact, WCN’s INTELLIGENCE is the first talent acquisition software with Artificial Intelligence built in. With over 20 years of experience and recruiting data, no one can prioritize candidates like WCN. INTELLIGENCE automatically identifies and scores candidates you will want to extend an offer to, with 90% confidence.
Learn more about how WCN’s INTELLIGENCE can help you find those diamonds in the rough candidates.