The U.S. Department of Education projects that in 2017 there will be 20.1 million students
enrolled at degree-granting institutions. Enrollment is expected to increase 26 percent for
Blacks, 29 percent for Hispanics and 26 percent for Asian or Pacific Islanders. How are
companies going to market themselves as employer of choice and attract these diverse
A recent study by Collegefeed of 15,000 Millennials found that the top three things Millennials look for in future employers are “people and culture fit”, “career potential” and “work/life balance.” Young diverse job seekers care about what it is like to work at a company as a person of color, is it a diverse and inclusive culture and what kind of growth they can expect for their careers and what is the opportunity for development and mentoring. It is important to note that these top three aspects ranked above compensations, company mission and challenging environment.
The study went a step further and discovered how Millennials hear about companies. The result came in as friends, job board and on campus (in descending order). Over 70 percent answered hearing about companies through friends while just over 40 percent reported through on campus recruiting.
The following report seeks to answer the following questions:
• How does a company make its brand recognizable and attract top young diverse talent from universities?
• What are the best practices for recruiting underrepresented groups in STEM fields?
The fundamentals for successful campus recruiting will be provided through strategic plans and best practices from Diversity Best Practices member companies and beyond.
When your company does go to campus fair, bring your best interns and young alums to
showcase the work they have done and highlight the responsibilities they have been given. If physical attendance is difficult, host a virtual info session. Think of the “elevator pitch”
thru a D&I lens to work for your company, can it be done in a 20-30 second video?
Top companies embrace their online presence. Students of the 21st century are more
comfortable with a keyboard than a pen and paper. A strong “brand” page that shows the
company’s inclusive culture and mission will have the ability to peak a potential hire’s
interest. Also it was reported that college students spend two to four hours a day on social
media sites—tap into this engagement targeting diverse groups, associations and
The goal of attracting students’ attention is to get them to apply. The application process
itself should be fairly straightforward—ask as many questions as necessary, but tedious
forms at the beginning can be a deterrent. Leading companies have fond that holding online contests and activities paint their brand in a positive light.iii For instance, Google hosts a Google Code Jam where programmers a challenged to solve difficult algorithmic puzzles. The prizes include $15 thousand dollars and automatically qualifying for the next
competition. This method (regardless of the field) is a way to bring the talent to you.
Estee Lauder has identified that Black and Hispanic representation has room for
improvement across the board. The first step in diversifying a workforce is diversifying the
pipeline. Let us first look at what the underrepresented minority academic landscape looks
As reported by the National Science Foundation, one in six adults with a bachelor’s degree
or higher is a member of an underrepresented minority group. At the doctorate level for
S&E, underrepresented minorities account for 7 percent over the past ten years.iv Nearly
30% earned a bachelor’s degree from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
Companies are finding success in recalibrating their college recruiting efforts beyond just
HBCU’s. To address the lack of underrepresented minorities in companies it is essential to
target recruiting and partnerships with the most diverse colleges, HBCUs,
Tribal Colleges and Universities, HSIs and Asian American and Native American Pacific
When at these targeted schools and events, there are best practices to engage while there. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) reports minority students are more attracted to companies where there is a visible minority cohort. Therefore in recruitment events it is prudent to encourage other minority employees to participate. Visibility also takes the form of active ERGs, targeting development programs, showcasing senior diverse leaders and student loan reimbursement. For example, PwC will pay up to $1,200 per year for a total of six years, while financial firm Natixis Global Access
Management will pay a $5,000 lump sum to employees who have been with the company
five years and $1,000 on every work anniversary for up to five more years. Companies that
take the extra step to address specific needs of diverse candidates are more likely to attract them.
Data from Emsi (economic data advisors to leaders in higher education) shows that 66
percent of students return to their home state after they graduate. In regards to diverse
recruitment, being aware of which schools residents of your state are attending — and to
then increase recruitment at those schools (knowing these students will likely come back
to your state post-graduation to work).
Recruitment of minority students can also come through minority, community,
professional, and social groups or organizations, churches and other religious groups,
minority fraternities and sororities, minority alumni, and minority mailing lists.
Examples of some programs that ease career transition of minority students include
INROADS, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, Mentoring
Multicultural Students for the Food and Nutritional Sciences (MEMS) Program and the
REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to
Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) Mentoring Program.
INROADS interns take part in training workshops, community service, and summer and year-round internship placements. By providing minority students with corporate and
professional experience, INROADS provides them with better access to the corporate
world. INROADS serves over 2,000 interns at over 200 companies with the ultimate goal of
the sponsoring organization hiring the intern upon graduation.
Why is it important to engage minority students? The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission 2014 Job Patterns for Minorities and Women in Private Industry report
provided the data to show the drastic contrast amongst positions of management among
Minorities are 13.3 percent of executives, 22.47 percent of middle managers and 27.11
percent of professionals.
Female minorities are 4.47 percent of executives, 9.45 percent of middle managers and
14.72 percent of professionals.
Hispanics are 3.87 percent of executives, 7.43 percent of middle managers and 5.79 percent of professionals.
Female Hispanics are 1.27 percent of executives, 2.84 percent of middle managers and 3.15 percent of professionals.
Blacks are 3.13 percent of executives, 7.12 percent of middle managers and 7.64 percent of
Black women are 1.49 percent of executives, 3.58 percent of middle managers and 5.09
percent of professionals.
Asians are 4.87 percent of executives, 6.31 percent of middle managers and 11.74 percent
The change needs to begin at the onset of a minority student’s career to change the
numbers in the workforce.
Intel offers internships, Rotation Programs (focused on finance, HR, sales and IT) and
specialized leadership programs. The Accelerated Leadership Programs (ALP) is a unique
post-MBA leadership development program designed to attract top MBA grads with a
passion for technology and who have the potential to be future leaders of Intel. Since the
program began in 2008, there have been 116 ALP associates hired with 45 percent of the
associates being diverse.
Intel has invested $1.3 million in Code 2040’s Fellows and Technical Application Prep
Programs, which help underrepresented minority students land and succeed in internships
and full-time jobs at tech companies. Also Intel pledged $3.75 million to provide tech
scholarships to Latino students. A third investment of $5 million was with Georgia Institute
of Tech to build a pipeline of diverse engineers. Intel is putting its money where its brand
Merck has opportunities for internships, Co-Ops and specific development programs. For
instance, the Merck Manufacturing Leadership Development Program is for new college
graduates with a BS or MS in key STEM or supply chain majors, with a focus on
biotechnology. The LDP is a three-year opportunity to experience the core work necessary
to manufacture and supply Merck’s products. A mentoring program is provided at three
levels to coach each LDP member in career and leadership development. Then there is the
Early Talent Rotation Program (IT). The ETR program offers recent college graduates a
chance to experience different areas of IT over a two-year period. Each individual will be
partnered with a buddy, a coach and an executive mentor who will be able to help with
acculturation at Merck and career planning. Participants have the advantage of meeting
with and learning from the top managers in IT as well as having access to high-level
executives who will mentor and counsel the participant throughout the program
duration. Additionally, the program has strong alumni engagement and sponsorship from
all levels of the organization.
How are diverse candidates exposed to these great opportunities?
Willie Deese, president of the Manufacturing Division, serves as board member of North
Carolina A&T State University. NC A&T is a historically black university. Also Adam
Schechter, president, Global Human Health, is an executive board member for the National
Alliance for Hispanic Health, an organization focused on improving the health of Hispanic
communities in the U.S. and working with others to secure health for all. Senior members of the company have demonstrated that diversity is priority. Merck has 19 strategic partners, including Simmons College and Careers on Students with Disabilities.
Executive director of Global AT&T College Recruiting Rick Gomez has created partnerships
with student organizations, such as Student Veterans of America and the Society of
Hispanic Professional Engineers to “fill the needs of the organization, and at the same time, build our brand and recruit top campus talent – creating a win for the organization and a win for AT&T.”
The company also sponsors and attends national and local events with organizations such
as Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, Student Veterans of America, Grace
Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing, Society of Women Engineers, National
Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. AT&T’s recruiters hold specific events to attract certain student. For instance, Women in
Tech hackathons are geared toward college students on tech tracks.
Every campus recruiting team has a designated inclusion and diversity lead for entry level
and MBA-recruiting. Accenture hosts an annual event for women undergraduates via the
Women’s Networking Forum and work with organizations such as the National Society of
Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Reaching Out MBA and
Management Leadership for Tomorrow.
The firm actively engages with students at diversity events and conferences with
organization such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic
Professional Engineers, Reaching Out MBA, Management Leadership for Tomorrow and
many more. In partnership with these groups, Accenture shares information about its
consulting career opportunities and coordinates interview preparation sessions and other
workshops and events.
To create a diverse workforce, organizations, hiring managers and HR professionals need
to engage in strategic and focused efforts to identify top diverse talent – a balance of
creative and data-based approaches are required.
Recruiting new graduates is a multi-pronged approach. Visibility at on campus fair with
engaging and diverse current employees is a starting point that is followed up with a strong online presence demonstrating a holistic and inclusive environment and diverse employee support. Engaging diverse Millennials with your brand’s message and inclusive cultural initiatives is achievable through a website thru a diversity and inclusion lens sharing the multicultural ERG activities, mentoring and sponsorship support and mid-senior level diverse leaders and diverse and inclusive social media engagement. The inclusive culture should be emphasized as well as special attention paid to the phrasing of the job titles and descriptions—certain words will attract or deter different candidate.
Internships, Co-Ops and partnerships before the hiring season of recent graduates are
essential to build a reputation of accessibility and diversity among the student body.