An Intro to Diversity and Diversity Recruiting

An Intro to Diversity and Diversity Recruiting

I’m back from a trip to CA and a week of vacation...feeling pretty good.  I wanted to get started on a small series about Diversity and what Diversity recruiting means to me.  It’s an issue that is a real challenge for those of us recruiting but it’s bigger than that.  I honestly don’t know what this blog series will look like....but that’s the fun part right?  So, let’s get it started....
What is Diversity? 
Diversity is about having a broad set of employees that represents people from all kinds of backgrounds and makes your internal population representative of the population as a whole.  Make sense?  People from different backgrounds (ethnic, sex, financial, geographic, sexual orientation, etc etc) bring different perspectives and ideas to the workplace than if your team is made up of a bunch of folks with identical backgrounds.
Why should your company care? 
Well, regardless of any legal or social responsibility’s a competitive advantage.  Companies thrive on new, innovative ideas.  What better way to increase the innovation engine than to have a set of employees who have the ability to take their diverse experiences, apply them to your companies hardest problems and come up with great solutions.  Diversity is a lot of things, but most importantly it’s good business.
What Diversity is NOT... 
Diversity is not about lowering your hiring bar or excluding others in order to hire a diverse team.  No, no, no, wrong attitude.  I’ve heard the word “reverse discrimination” and couldn’t disagree more.  Diversity, from a recruiting and hiring standpoint, is about building the biggest most diverse pipeline of candidates you possible can...and hiring the absolute best of that group.
Hopefully these few quick thoughts will set the table for a deeper dive on this topic as it’s a real passion of mine.  Also, for those of you loyal readers out there I wanted to apologize for the scarcity of my blogs lately.  Doing the series over at the Google Student Blog has been sapping my creative juices...but I’m getting my groove back.
Ok, that’s it for week I’ll get more into how to build a diverse pipeline of candidates...and hire them.


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Comment by Shelly Catalina on October 24, 2011 at 9:57am

Well said and a passion of mine as well.  What a beautiful world we live in and how great it is to capture that insight to make a better consumer experience for all.  Thanks!

Comment by James F. Jeter on October 24, 2011 at 10:04am

Diversity is extremely important to everyone, whether we realize it or not, but I don't believe in reverse discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination, no matter how you look at it. Hiring someone solely on the basis of their color, gender, or from a certain background is just as wrong as NOT hiring them for the same reason.

Comment by Samantha Lacey on October 24, 2011 at 10:40am

I think being a good recruiter makes you pretty much blind to who the candidates are,  past their experience. I barely look at the name at the top of a CV now and if there is a date of birth on the CV I delete it before I get chance to look at it properly (easier said than done!)  

When I was recruiting I heard a lot of horror stories from my candidates saying they had not been put forward to a job because they had an ethnic sounding name. In the UK there has been quite a backlash lately against Eastern European  workers and I know a few 4th generation immigrants who still have Polish names who struggle to get interviews.

I've always taken the view that a good recruiter will be so excited to have found a good candidate for their vacancy that they wouldn't care if they were a purple martian, let alone anything else. Recruiters are driven by (amongst other things) money, a good candidate represents a potential paycheque, not putting them forward because they are Indian, or a Woman or at the older end of the spectrum would be ridiculous from a commercial point of view and just plain wrong from a moral one.

I feel very strongly that we should make sure to make opportunities available to those who may be discriminated against, but agree with you that we must ensure anyone hired meets the same high standard as everyone else. Reverse discrimination helps nobody in the long run.

I look forward to the rest of the series.

Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 24, 2011 at 10:54am

Great points James and good post Jeff. I look forward to next installment.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 24, 2011 at 2:49pm

@James—can you have it both ways?  While I agree with your premise, I ask—can you defend against reverse discrimination by continuing to discriminate in a way that leaves an existing employee population homogeneous for fear of reverse discrimination?  This happens to be the way of the world glaringly noticeable in most, not all, group, team and executive board pictures for a majority of employers.

Employers who fail to make a concerted effort to identify, pursue and attract highly qualified individuals representing people of color, women, and people from "a certain background” (as you put it) get to perpetuate the idea that what currently exists is okay.  Respecting the concept of "diversity" on one hand but not being diversely represented on the other is a roundabout way of accepting the status quo, particularly if an employer assumes diversity representation occurs naturally—it doesn’t. 

What compounds the issue is the pervasive assumption that people of color, women and other protected groups, who make their way up the career ladder, were somehow advantaged thanks to Affirmative Action.  That kind of thinking taints and even thwarts recruiting and retention efforts for better diversity results in an organization. There is simply no heart in the effort and the results bare that fact out when the count and the picture shows diversity is lacking.

Yes, reverse discrimination is wrong.  But so is historical discrimination that literally took a Presidential Executive order to open the door for better diversity outcomes. The struggle continues.

Comment by Don Martinez on October 24, 2011 at 6:39pm

Hello Jeffery,

I would like to provide my thoughts on the subject of Diversity. 

As a Certified Diversity Consultant and former corporate Human Resource and Talent Acquisition Executive.  I feel it’s very important that corporate leaders have a better understanding of Diversity inclusion. We need measureable ROI and a stronger commitment.

I think when companies make the investment to understand the true Value of its People they will have a greater understanding of the uniqueness of every human being.  

Diversity is a social responsibility for all organizations it is more than the color of one’s skin.  

Every company has a legal requirement to implement a fair and equally opportunity for all. 

Company’s need to develop strong strategic plans and goals that reflect the large consumer base they as a company target.

Company’s need to effectively understand how they will communicate this message to all shareholders and their leadership.

And last Company’s need to understand change by understanding capacity building.

In setting up a corporate diversity program we look at Seven Key areas for a solid measurable Diversity training program.  

 I think recruiting is very important along with Values and Training these must run parallel in order to achieve success.

I look forward to reading your continued posting on this topic.


Don Martinez is Certified Diversity Consultant and Founder of the Domar Group, Inc a retained executive search firm.


Recruiters need to understand that Recruiting is one part to the process, Understand the company’s overall strategy values will provide more clarity to help achieve the goal of attracting the best suitable talent.


Is an Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Certified Diversity Consultant

Create of “The Seven Dimensions to Diversity®”





Comment by jeffreytmoore on October 24, 2011 at 8:15pm

First, thanks for all the comments!!  Glad this topic has sparked so much discussion.  For me, it's really about doing whatever you can to make sure that you are hiring a great workforce...but doing so in a way that incorporates as diverse a team as you can. More soon, I hope a little deeper dive generates as much of a conversation.

Comment by Suresh on October 25, 2011 at 8:52am

This is a very interesting topic and most people hesitate to talk about it, for fear of hurting people or being misunderstood. I think the key is to talk about it (I know its a cliche).

My simplistic view on this, focus on talent and the need for that position - I find some of the soccer clubs in the world practice this very well. It works in soccer, because you can find the talent in most parts of the world regardless of rich, poor, color, ethnicity, religion.

It does not work in Golf, Tennis or sports that are only accessible to "rich" countries. You get the point..
I much rather talk than write about this topic...because there is so many angles to this.

Comment by Hassane Alaoui Mdarhri on October 30, 2011 at 9:14pm

From another angle and as more global they become, organizations of all sizes and industries should consider diversity and diversity recruiting as an opportunity and not a challenging rule. Furthermore, employers should use diversity as a key component for their market expansion strategy as they can get the best out of their divers employees who can help better understand and reach out each market segment, demographic, cultural aspect, competitive supply sources and win new deals at cost effective manners...



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