How Events Build Diverse Talent Pipelines



I was the sixth employee of the Huffington Post, the Executive Director of Digital at The Washington Post and the Founding Managing Editor of Now This when they were all building up their teams. In other words, I was once a frustrated hiring manager who would post an opening on a random job board that needed to be filled immediately. Then I would pray that diverse candidates would apply. But of course, I never met my diversity hiring goals with the “post and pray” method.

It dawned on me that the very skills I was using to build traffic at news organizations could build gender diverse talent pipelines - targeted campaigns, messaging, events, and webinars, were just what these candidates needed to feel included.

In order to hire diverse candidates, hiring managers need to go to where the diverse candidates are - you can’t expect them to come to you via job boards. Why? Because you can’t “post and pray” in a world where men apply to jobs when they match 60 percent of the skills on a job description and women only apply when they meet 100 percent.

With a delta that big, you need to convince diverse candidates that it’s worth their time to apply for your role!

The best way to do that is through events where you can reach out to candidates and tell them what your company is doing to evolve, what it’s doing to become more inclusive and diverse, and most importantly what its leadership is doing to get on board with D+I work. Getting these candidates into a room, talking with them and showing them the steps your company is taking to become more inclusive is half the battle - following up with them is the second half.

Regardless if you’re making hires the day after an event, or looking to launch a new team six months down the line, keeping passive candidates “warm” is crucial to building out your diverse pipeline. Providing constructive feedback to candidates you’ve passed on and making connections on platforms like LinkedIn, or even via email, can make all of the difference when a candidate looks back on their experience with your company.

On average, we’ve seen a company hire four mid to senior level women per event – 14 hires were made at a recent event! When you break down the time and energy you’re spending “posting and praying” in comparison to a two-hour event - these numbers speak for themselves.

Diverse candidates are out there, they are skilled, and they are looking for jobs. Hiring them requires you to “walk the walk” when it comes to diversifying your pipeline - not just “talking the talk”.

Please join @shrmnextchat on March 6 at 3:00 p.m. ET for #Nextchat: Building Diverse Talent Communities with special guest, PowertoFly President and Co-founder Katharine Zaleski. Stay tuned to the SHRM blog for the preview!



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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