8 Simple Steps to Become a “Best in Class” Diversity Company / Employer


By Mark A. Leon

There are some simple steps and slight cultural shifts needed to become a “Best in Class” Diversity employer.

Step 1:  Understand what diversity means.  Too often, we are blinded by the majority thinking that diversity is a physical attribute.  Yes, there are ethnic, disability and gender diversity differentiators, but diversity is a mix of internal and external diversity.  It isn’t just about the color of your skill or gender.  Diversity includes culture, ideas, values, beliefs, sexual orientation, religion and ways of thinking.  It is a cumulative melting pot of culture, personality, professional style, gender and limitations.  Once we understand that diversity encompasses all, we are moving in the right direction.

Step 2:  Develop a strong mission statement valued at all levels of the company.  Create a mission statement that is shared by the organization and in line with your employee value proposition

Example:  The mission of the EMPLOYER diversity and inclusion program is to grow a diverse workforce and cultivate an inclusive work environment, where employees are fully engaged and empowered to deliver the outstanding services.

Step 3: Communication.  A diversity strategy plan is only as strong as the employee base that embraces and supports it.  This communication must start at the highest levels of leadership and funnel down to the most elementary members of the organization’s family.  It is not a one -time deal.  It must re reiterated year after year and sometimes more often.

Step 4:  Create a sense of belonging.  Internal affinity groups provide a safe harbor for like groups of people with like interests to feel welcome and open to share and find comfort.  Even in a perfect world, there are individuals that will not agree with all your ideas and values.  By sponsoring networks internally to share, you are providing an escape and showing your commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce.

Step 5:  Understand the cultural make up of your organization.  How does the workforce breakdown?  What are your strengths?  What are your areas of improvement?  What direction is the organization going? How can you diversifying the workforce to help to expand the company thinking and take it to the next level?  By understanding your strength and gaps, you can begin to set goals and expectations for an effective diversity recruitment strategy

Step 6:  Set proper budget and launch a diversity recruitment team focused on university and professional diversity hiring.  Ensure the team focuses on local, national and global exercises to fulfill the diversity recruitment strategy goals.  This will include diverse job postings, conferences, diversity focused college relations, local organizational partnerships, career webinars, information sessions and tours.  The Diversity Recruitment Strategy must be:

  • Focused on consistent year after year to build long term relationships
  • Properly funded
  • Defined goals
  • Clear metrics and reporting
  • Recruitment must partner with marketing and/or employment branding to create a campaign supporting the value and advantage of a diverse workforce.

Step 7:  Share the success stories.  Nothing drives interest and engagement from the outside more than shared stories that are relatable and focused on an element of success and achievement.  Celebrate your brand as a diverse employer that values shared ideas and celebrates success stories.  This can be done through a blog, newsletter, talent community or corporate social channels.

Step 8:  Design your benefits program to allow diverse populations to maintain their religious, ethnic and holiday beliefs and celebrations.  Allow for time off even for the smallest population of the workforce.

At the end of the day, a diversity strategy is not about meeting a quota of hires, going through the motions of posting jobs to diverse niche sites to meet compliance regulations or printing a diversity and inclusion statement.  It is about acceptance, embracing new ideas and valuing inclusion from any background or walk of life.



Recruitment Trends for 2017 and Beyond


By Mark A. Leon

This year has started out like a bang, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are tapping their way into the recruitment space, challenges of identifying specialized technical skill sets is still causing sleepless nights, IoT (Internet of Things) talent is one of the fastest growing fields, companies are looking for ways to cut costs becoming less reliant on agencies and big job boards and the need for recruiters with deep technical sourcing skills and an understanding of marketing is the new purple squirrel.

How do we keep up?

Great question!!! Here are some trends and a few tips to should keep very close to heart as we glare into the shiny future of recruitment.  Things are moving fast, so buckle up.

  1. Data can no longer be ignored. It must be collected, scrubbed, analyzed and interpreted so the proper decisions on effective recruitment marketing spend can be made.  Companies are starting to open their eyes and realize how much money they have wasted over the years on traditional post and pray methodologies.  As companies are getting leaner on operational costs, they want to see their return on investment.  The answer lies in “data”.  Good old fashioned numbers and analytics.  Learn what tools are out there, understand how to interpret and communicate results and ensure you are part of the new data driven world of strategic based recruitment.
  1. Recruiters are no longer processors. I do not mean to minimize the life of a full life cycle recruiter.  In the past, this process may have worked well.
  1. Post the role and wait
  2. Review warm candidates
  3. Screen them based on a template pull out key words to determine if a candidate is qualified
  4. Schedule them
  5. Interview
  6. Offer
  7. Process

I imagine that process map sounded familiar to many.

That day is over.  The best talent isn’t waving a giant flag, saying come and get me, nor are they posting their resumes on a job board to gather dust.  Great talent is fluent.  They are constantly growing and thus they aren’t planting their roots anywhere and are harder to find.  You need to learn to become a technical sourcer as well as a process driven recruiter.  Finding the talent themselves of become as difficult if not more than closing the deal.

  1. Stay abreast of new technology. There are hundreds of thousands of tools, apps and extensions that are there to make our lives easier.  From helping find the talent, to finding their common interests to contact information.  They all promise the world. Most do not deliver, but you need to read up on the new technology, test the solutions and determine those that provide you with the most value. Many are free and most offer free trials. Take advantage.
  1. Never lose touch of the human side of recruitment. This is a reminder that all relationships are built on trust, comfort and commonality.  Research your candidates as they will you and your company, find common ground and built a relationship during the candidate experience, so that when it is time for the offer, they already feel like part of the family.
  1. Be a client champion: If you don’t believe in your company, your candidate never well.  Find out what makes you passionate about being there and make sure that comes out with every interaction.
  1. Be vulnerable: Every year after the NCAA March Madness tournament ends, I wait for the infamous “One Shining Moment” video.  It makes me cry.  We make decisions based on emotion.  We are human (at least for now).  Candidates do too.  Share your story with them.  Whether it is a great success or emotional tearjerker, be vulnerable to them.

I am going to stop here.  That isn’t to say there aren’t more trends to share; nor does this mean I won’t do a sequel.  It is just a good time to stop.

Take this to heart.  The function is changing.  Some things remain and some are getting a major facelift.  Determine what you need to do to change with the times.

Good luck



Are Recruiters Missing the Train of Change


You don’t have to be in the Talent Acquisition space to know the canvas of recruitment is evolving faster than most other professions.   The tools and resources available to network, identify talent, grow networks and manage referrals are tremendously effective and readily available.  If you have had your business savvy hat on while enjoying a latte watching the stock market ticker, you will see that LinkedIn has been leading the way among the social media stocks. Their future looks bright and the numbers and enhancements to the platform support that.

As talent acquisition professionals, are we getting on the train to transition or waiting at the station for the slower traditional horse drawn train to come later on?

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a post recession recruiter, you don’t have to do much research to see that the workforce has changed:

  • There is a shift from an employees market to an employers market
  • Pay for performance is taking on a more critical role and traditional merit increases are flat lining
  • Less opportunities are available
  • More specific and defined skill sets are required for professional opportunities
  • Virtual employment is becoming a more cost effective option
  • Technological savvy skills are not longer just a “nice to have”
  • Targeted research and marketing campaigns are not just identifying the talent, but providing a complete profile of the individual to match them against the culture of the organization.
  • Strong candidates are being aggressively sought out while the less qualified are trying the “throw it and see what sticks approach”
  • Some see the employment numbers as grim; while others see great opportunity
  • Recruiters are no longer “processing” candidates; they are understanding the role, team, the culture and the challenges and matching them against the best talent to meet the needs of the role.

So, why would I say that recruiters are missing the train of change?

There are a number of wonderful tools for strategic sourcing, networking, developing and harnessing talent networks, managing candidate flow and marketing/outreach.  We are anointed with more tools than ever before and yet we are wasting all this great opportunity.


What are we doing wrong?

  • We are not developing and leveraging our personal brand.  How many LinkedIn profiles are either bland and boring or look like they were developed by a greasy haired used car salesman?
  • Too many recruiters are on the “big” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) yet ignoring the little gems.  Do you have an About.me profile? (about.me/recruiterpoet).  If not, you need to.
  • We are still afraid of the risk.  If a platform is new or not yet established as an accepted tool, we will not take the chance and determine its value.  We wait for Mashable or several large companies to test the waters first.  I jumped on the scalability of Bullhorn Reach from day one because it had a great development team, management team and partnerships with the large social platforms.  That turned out to be a invaluable resource for myself, my team and the industry.
  • Recruiters do not effectively measure or understand the process behind analytics.  Metrics are the key to any successful campaign.  Understanding the numbers, tracking trends and developing effective strategy implementation based on projected outcome is essential in our space.
  • Are we leveraging the networks to the fullest extent?  I am not sure we are.  How many skill specific circles do you have on your Google+ account?  How many regional or skill groups do you belong to on Facebook?  Are you a member of 50 groups in LinkedIn and do you rotate membership to diversify your reach?  Are you using sites like Reddit, Stumbleupon or Slideshare to brand your roles and company image?
  • We are not communicating in the social space.  We feed jobs out like a Pez dispenser, but how many are talking to the candidates.  I see talent acquisition folks are talking to each other on Twitter and sending sound bites from conferences, but shouldn’t we be talking and engaging with the candidates?

I am not proposing that traditional cold calling, networking and relationship building will vanish in the near future.  I certainly hope it never does.  I am witnessing a resistance or lack of understanding of the capability and value the social space brings to recruitment.  If social space wasn’t so critical to our roles, the phrase “Social Recruiting” would not have been coined.


We are only tapping the iceberg of potential.  I didn’t even reference the future of mobile technology in recruiting yet and for purposes of focus on this piece I will not, but if we don’t all board the train soon, we are going to be missing out on a great ride.

Bullhorn Reach – The Future of Social Recruiting

“Social Recruiting – Social recruiting is when companies and recruiters use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and and other social media sites to source and recruit candidates for employment.”

You can always count on About.com for the most simplistic definition for everything in life. Thanks to CEO Stewie Griffin and CFO Elmo, we now know the true essence of this popular catch phrase. Now that we know what it is, who is successfully utilizing it to align strong vendor/corporate partnerships?

Every successful or moderately successful organization is utilizing any and all cost effective tools to get the “word” out on career opportunities. That means opening the door to Craigslist, Backpage, Ning, Indeed, Jobvite, TwitRes, Tweetmyjobs, Job Angels, Oodle, etc., etc. Now that we have all these avenues to get the word out, how on Earth can we do a 40-hour work week when we have to post on all these platforms. Help!!!

Is there a strong automation and talent networking tool that can effectively link the giants of the social networking world with the needs of talent acquisition to not only to post opportunities and recycle the outreach, but also develop an algorithm that can use our own talent networks to identify key talent?

Drum roll, please… Ladies and gentlemen, the 2011 Award for Best Social Recruiting Platform is…Bullhorn Reach (http://www.bullhornreach.com/)!

The philosophy of Bullhorn Reach is simple: take the bull by the horns and make it possible.

Says Bullhorn CEO and founder Art Papas, “Our aim at Bullhorn Reach is to make it easy and simple for recruiters to unlock the power of social media. Finding and recruiting talent is hard enough, without the extra challenge of learning how to use a whole new set of tools. We help recruiters harness social media to market their open jobs, monitor their contacts, and nurture their relationships — with no training and minimal effort.”

The fundamental goal of a social networking tool — whether it’s to connect with others, develop talent communities, recruit, build a brand or develop a business strategy — is to identify your target audience and create the most efficient and user-friendly tool on the market. Bullhorn has created a talent acquisition/recruitment tool that integrates with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (currently also syndicates to a handful of job board aggregators such as SimpleHired, and in negotiation with Indeed.com) to market career opportunities, identify potential candidate flow in your networks, and provide analytics to evaluate your success points. Utilizing an attractive visual interface and non-technical, user-friendly platform, Bullhorn understands its core client base and has developed an approach that appeals to the recruitment community.

The key elements of the Bullhorn Reach social recruiting platform are:

A tool that broadcasts open job listings to your social networks and job board aggregators, automatically re-posting until the listing is closed;

A metrics/analytics dashboard for monitoring performance levels of the postings;

An algorithm that matches potential candidates from your personal social networks to your open job listings;
Another algorithm that calls out behavioral patterns of people in your networks who may be looking for jobs (i.e., tells you about passive job seekers in your networks before they flip);

A tool for sharing content that attaches a branded bar to all of the content that you share, while simultaneously promoting your open job;

A referral tool (currently in private beta) to both leverage employees’ social networks while helping unlock your employer brand through tapping your employees’ collective voice;

And a reward/recognition program to allow your corporate recruiting team to monitor and share referral performances.

As a recruiter, you want to post a job and sit back while candidates flood the gates to apply for the roles; then, the assessment process is ready to begin. Unfortunately, social media and population growth has created a boundless, virtual world, where our attention span is very limited. What Bullhorn Reach has allowed its users to do, is post career opportunities and then relax while the application does the rest.

Through a scheduler whose pace is determined by the user, jobs are reposted through the three core networks to maximize exposure. The analytics provide data on the frequency, seeded channels and exposure of your open job listings. And, it provides real-time updates on any communications sent by potential candidates.

For most organizations, the most successful pool of talent is found through employee referrals. Who better to understand the culture, infrastructure, and operations of your company than its associates. Carrying this forward, Bullhorn feels that your networks are the best source for talent. As the domino effect clearly dictates, once a role is shared with a network, the probability of it being shared out further is much stronger because you are gaining assistance from people you know and trust.

Upon logging into Bullhorn Reach, you are provided with Radar updates on people in your network who exhibit recruiting-relevant behavior, including promotions, job changes, title changes and other information that allows you to keep in contact with your online contacts, even as your networks continue to grow. The most unique feature of Reach Radar, however, is an algorithm that calls out “potential movers” — that is, individuals who may be moving jobs. They are identified by relevant changes in their behavior (for example, increased activity in profile changes, connections and/or recommendations). The take-away: you, as a recruiter, can jump on a potential mover before they have identified a new opportunity.

As Bullhorn develops Reach’s paid features (it’s currently free), companies will be able further brand open job listings and provide more company-specific information to give potential candidates a better understanding not only of the roles but also the companies.

In the continuing evolution of recruiting, the key is to stay ahead of the competition, find cost effective means to attract top talent at the lowest possible cost, and develop and maintain strong talent communities for future pipeline needs. One thing is clear about recruitment, it never stops.

Organizations will continue to fight for the top industry talent, and recruiters will need to wear a variety of hats to show their detective, business development, sales and marketing skills. Bullhorn Reach may have set the standard for the marriage between social media and recruitment. With a solid development and sales team who are focused on the needs of the company and its talent acquisition teams, Bullhorn Reach is ready to take your hand and guide you through the tunnel to the future of recruitment.