Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) offer thorough education, rich history, and help promote a culture of diversity for federal contractors that recruit and fill employment opportunities on campus.

Some of the benefits to contractors building lasting relationships with HBCUs are:

  • Federal contractors will have access to a pipeline of recently educated and trained individuals ready to learn their business and continue the company’s financial prosperity;
  • The connection(s) will exemplify good faith efforts in attaining utilization, using HBCUs as an external factor, and identifying individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter their workplace.
  • Federal contractors can tap in into a talent pool enriched with knowledge and ideas that may be beneficial financially and economically to them on a grander scale.

Recruitment Best Practices

Generating diversity awareness and finding diverse talent is one of the top challenges for organizations today. How can your organization better connect with, market to, and recruit minority students and graduates? The answer is complex but begins with developing a targeted and well-planned internal and external recruitment strategy at your organization.1

1Best Practice Strategies to Diversity Recruiting – https://www.rakuna.co/blog/posts/diversity-recruiting-strategy-best-practices/

  1. Strategic diversity recruitment – Recruiting and sourcing are similar to a sales process. To effectively find diverse talent for your recruitment pipeline, recruit where diversity thrives. Incorporate diversity recruiting in your campus recruiting strategy by adding HBCUs. Target and build strategic partnerships with HBCUs to boost your diversity recruiting return on investment (ROI).
  2. Establish your diversity brand – What has your organization had in place for diversity and inclusion? If your organization already has significant employee resource group activities, then prominently showcase them on your firm’s career page and social media channels. Does your company have a diversity statement from the CEO? If so, proudly publish it on your firm’s career page.
  3. Partner with multicultural professional associations and student groups – There are many national and regional diversity professional associations and student groups organized around specific minority groups. You can build your brand in these diverse communities through strategic sponsorship, thought leadership, and events. This will help your organization to cast a broad net to find diverse candidates and ensure that your diverse talent pipeline is always full.

    Many firms have figured out how to do it successfully. MasterCard is partnering with INROADs, a nonprofit that places high-performing Black, Latino, and American Indian students in internships at leading corporations. Likewise, Aon builds professional partnerships with organizations such as Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and the American Corporate Partners for Veterans. Dun & Bradstreet has a relationship with the National Black MBA Association (NBMBA) and is a supporter of the association’s scholarship fund and outreach program. If you need to review or start your strategic partnerships with minority student professional organizations, you can start by reviewing this comprehensive list of Diversity Professional and Student Organizations.

  4. Attend virtual career fairs for targeted minority student groups – The efficiency of virtual events cut recruiting costs and help companies tap into a wider talent pool. Virtual career fairs have proved to be an effective means to reach other groups like veterans, women, and people with disabilities.
  5. Enhance your employee referral program – One of the best recruiting sources is word of mouth. Diverse employees know and talk to other diverse individuals. Your employees share what it is like to work for your company. Because of this, your diverse candidates’ perception of your company spreads throughout their communities. To capitalize on your employees’ network, bolster employee-referral recruiting programs at your organization, including a deliberate message about the business need for a diverse workforce and the importance your company places on diverse referrals. Communicate your organization’s goals and where you are in the process of building a more diverse and inclusive workforce with your employees.
  6. Use social media to source and market to diverse talent – Social media not only helps you to build your employer brand but also allows you to identify and target very specific candidates. For example, LinkedIn has a diversity recruitment and sourcing tool. There are millions of groups on LinkedIn for almost every profession. Your recruiters can join, develop long-term relationships with HBCU group. LinkedIn also provides specific tips for diversity sourcing. Besides LinkedIn, Facebook is an effective channel to target your ideal diverse candidates.
  7. Engage your company’s ERGs to boost your recruiting efforts – Members from your employee resource groups (ERGs) should act as effective ambassadors for your college recruiting and outreach efforts to diverse professional organizations. Many firms use their ERGs to directly interview and hire diverse candidates.