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Most, if not all businesses require a fresh diversity strategy to attract a workforce that accurately represents the rich, diverse population in the United States. Not only is diversity great for business, but it also helps companies meet their Equal Opportunity Employment requirements. Your diversity initiatives should be intertwined with your overall branding, rather than placed in a separate bucket. Here are several ways you can incorporate diversity with branding to deliver results on this critical corporate objective.

1. Identify where your company stands in all departments Staffing diverse candidates at all levels ­ including C­suite, is critical. Perform a survey of all your departments to pinpoint which areas need more development and can benefit from the addition of diverse talent.

2. Reexamine the language of your job descriptions Job ads should have verbiage that’s all­inclusive, but even more importantly job goals should be appealing to all groups. Often these ads do not ´speak to´ a diverse candidate’s skills and desires. Employers should strive to be sensitive to dissimilar wants and needs.

3. Consider focus groups to get an idea of how diverse candidates perceive your company Brand awareness is essential when building a diversity strategy. If women are giving your company the cold shoulder because your business is regarded as a male­dominated ´club,´ devise a plan to detract from this and promote an inclusive, welcoming environment for all kinds of talent. Sensitivity training for current employees, hiring a diversity director, and sponsoring events that spotlight diverse workers are all ways you can begin to break down barriers that are harming your company’s public perception.

4. Create a plan with a more relevant, inclusive brand strategy Consider revising your employer brand from the top down, including corporate communications, marketing, and supplier chain. Diversity should be a key driver in all of these departments, from workers to output. Devise an actionable plan with realistic goals. You can’t expect to attract a slew of diverse candidates right out of the gate, but with a lot of patience, effort, and a strong multi­pronged approach, you’ll soon notice a change in the dynamic of your workforce as you begin to engage and hire diverse candidates.

5. Let your employees become diversity ´ambassadors´ If you have a large number of diverse groups in your workforce, let them speak about your workplace culture to create brand awareness. Employee testimonials, including videos and blogs on your career site, will help potential diverse candidates get a peek at what it’s like on the inside.

6. Advertise on media channels that are destinations for diverse candidates Do not rely on them coming to you. Posting job ads on niche sites that target diverse candidates, such as Circa , will ensure you are spending your recruiting dollars on the most effective channels. Social media is another excellent option. Developing a social media strategy that focuses on diversity should be a key part of your branding strategy.

7. Study your competitors If somebody in your industry is doing something pretty spectacular when it comes to diversity recruiting, there’s nothing wrong with imitation.

8. Rethink your benefits and perks Benefits are a huge draw for candidates. If your salary ranges are less than appealing, you can make up for this with an attractive incentive package. For example, women with families may be interested in telecommuting options or flexible hours. Or disabled candidates who have chronic health concerns may be attracted by excellent health coverage.

A company’s workforce should represent their customer base. These days, that customer base is a complex, fluid makeup of different genders, ethnicities, races, and religious beliefs. Employing a diverse workforce to enhance your business on multiple levels makes good business sense.


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