The recruitment marketing conference TransfoRM was a few weeks ago and some of the top TA and branding leaders from organizations around the world got together to discuss all things recruitment marketing. It was an awesome event. The content was great from beginning to end, and I went home exhausted but energized with ideas. Even the Captain of Cynics, Matt Charney, said the content was good!
One of my big takeaways is how most organizations struggle when it comes to diversity and recruitment marketing. At best, it turns into some weird United Colors of Benetton ad:
Which no one of any intelligence buys into. At worse, it can become downright insulting to both the candidate and the employees who already work for you!
The main problem we have with recruitment marketing for diversity hiring is usually most organizations are asking a white, male TA leader (come on this isn’t much of a stretch) to come up with, or at least approve of, a recruitment marketing campaign involving women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, people who love Star Trek, etc.
This is when political correctness goes haywire and you end up with some sort of deranged diversity mathematical equation where you have one female, one person with brown skin, one Asian (who might double up for a person representing India), someone in a wheelchair, someone who might be gay (what the hell does that look like), a Native American/Eskimo/Pacific Islander, alright, I give up, just give me a photo with a lot of color faces and smiles.
Almost every major organization is currently struggling with how to market for diversity hiring. It’s broken, and no one has the nuts, or tits, to go out on a limb and make something great. Someone that actually speaks to the individuals you want to attract. What we know is political correctness, in the form corporations like to present it, is not working. The world, your corporate culture, is not a United Colors of Benetton ad.
So, what can you do?
Be real. Be transparent. Let your real minority employees tell their stories. Don’t script them. Don’t make them play a role. Let them be themselves.
We often overcomplicate the message. Hiring for diversity doesn’t have to be complicated. It should be simple. This is who “I” am. This is why “I” love working here. Don’t put yourself into their story. This isn’t about you. This is about them. That story is the best recruitment marketing you have and you’re not even using it.
FOT Note: We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask SmashFly to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to recruitment marketing and how it helps organizations find, attract, engage, nurture and convert talent. To learn more about SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Automation Software for modern recruiting organizations, please visit the SmashFly website.
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.