Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit

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Strategies For Creating Effective Diversity Recruitment Advertising

Traditional Recruitment Tools Can Work for Diversity: Strategies For Creating Effective Diversity Recruiting Advertisings

The creation and evolution of cable television has revolutionized television advertising. By creating networks and shows for almost every target market imaginable, advertisers have been able to fine-tune their messages to address the specific needs of various target groups. This has lead to a dramatic increase in the success of their advertising efforts.

As with broadcast advertising, the recruitment advertising industry has undergone some significant developments as a result of the development and evolution of the Internet. The dramatic growth of minority populations in the US over the past decade has also contributed to this evolution.  As a result of this population shift, there has been a demand for the creation of media targeting these ethnic populations.  It has also created significant opportunities for employers who use recruitment advertising as part of their diversity recruitment strategy.

One of the best ways to attract a diverse slate of candidates for your employment opportunities is by delivering targeted messages with your recruitment advertising

While advertising employment opportunities through traditional recruitment advertising channels, like major newspapers and large-scale job boards play an important role in recruitment, delivering targeted messages that speak to the needs of the minority job seekers that you are reaching out to is the best way to attract a diverse slate of candidates for your employment opportunities, and ultimately enhance the diversity of your workforce. 

Diversity recruitment advertising can be an effective tool for ensuring that diversity is an important part of your organization’s overall brand image.

In additional to increasing and diversifying your pool of applicants, diversity recruitment advertising can enhance diversity in your employment brand. Some employers make the mistake of assuming that a positive image with their product or service translates into a positive image as employers that embrace diversity. Diversity recruitment advertising can be an effective tool for ensuring that diversity is an important part of your organization’s overall brand image. In the form of image advertising, diversity recruitment advertising can also counter the impact of negative events, discrimination lawsuits and rumors of individual incidents, by reinforcing positive perceptions.

Your recruitment advertising should relay that your organiztion embraces diversity

Recruitment advertisements should sell more than just the employment opportunity. They should also inform jobseekers about your organization’s culture and the people that work there. If you want to attract skilled and talented minority applicants, one of the most important tasks that your recruitment advertising must accomplish, is relay that your organization embraces diversity. Your diversity recruitment advertising should be inclusive and must serve to position your company as one where minority employees are welcome and thrive. Mentioning awards, work/life perks, diversity milestones, community outreach, or recognition that your organization has received for being a great place to work is an excellent way to accomplish this.

Those constructing your diversity recruiting advertising should understand those jobseekers that you are targeting

If you want your diversity recruitment advertising to be successful, those involved with constructing your diversity recruitment advertising must have a good understanding of these target markets that you are trying to penetrate. This can be accomplished by gathering input and research to identify what is important to the potential candidates that you are targeting and then integrating the key motivations uncovered into your advertising. Not doing so often results in wasted money, embarrassment, and the possibility of alienating the very minority groups to whom you were seeking to reach.

If diversity is not reflected in your recruitment advertising, it will send a message to the jobseeker for diverse backgrounds that he or she is not wanted in your organization.

When building a visual identity that communicates the importance of diversity within your organization, use images that show the various ranges of diversity that exist within it.  The average reader is likely to respond negatively to an advertisement in which the company asserts that it embraces diversity if diversity is not reflected in that advertisement.  It sends a message that the reader is not wanted in that organization.

While it is easier and more cost-effective in the short-term to deliver the same message to various target audiences, you can bolster the quantity and quality of your candidates from diverse backgrounds by tailoring messages to address the needs of specific target audiences. 

One of the most effective diversity recruitment advertising tools is the profile advertisement. These ads introduce potential employment applicants to a real person or people in your organization. They often use descriptions that include traits that employers desire in potential employees. This form of recruitment advertising also imprints on potential applicants that an employer seeks top performers.

When using this form of recruitment advertising, select people who have longevity in your organization and are successful. Include the employee’s name and title, and if possible a quote from the employee stating how your organization helped them to become a success.

When using minority employees, you demonstrate that your organization is one in which people like them (from their ethnic group or race) can thrive. Recruitment advertising that focus on or profile one individual are very effective when advertising in a publication that targets one nationality. This type of recruitment advertising also works well with banners on the Internet.

For targeted recruitment aimed at a specific career specialty, nothing beats ethnic career publications. They often offer a variety of ways for you to get your opportunities out. Some ethnic professionals associations not only publish national newsletters and journals for their members, but regional ones as well. Most of these associations also have national and local web sites with online discussion lists that are used to promote employment opportunities.

Sometimes budgets don’t allow for the luxury of using recruitment advertising with tailored messages for every group targeted. Not to worry. recruitment advertising for general audiences can be designed to include a strong message of inclusion along with career issues of general interest -- for example, training, growth opportunities, etc. Demonstrate the diversity of your organization in your recruitment advertising by showing people of different ethnic backgrounds, functional levels, heights, weights, genders, and ages. Make sure that the images relay that the organization is proud to have these employees, and that they are proud to work there. This type of recruitment advertising is often effective because no one seeing your advertisement is likely to feel excluded; and it will not look out of place in publications that are not specifically targeting minorities.


  • When targeting minority professionals, avoid recruitment advertising that may hold greater appeal to minorities who have less education. Doing so could have these potential job applicants feeling that the advertisement is stereotyping, which often leads to resentment at being targeted with these advertisements. With the new power and reach of the Internet, word can rapidly spread, and your organization could be labeled as one that is racist.
  • Avoid using the word “qualified” in your diversity recruitment advertising. It suggests to the minority professionals that you are targeting that you think that they are generally not qualified.
  • Avoid the use of images showing isolated White males in recruitment advertising targeting minorities, as they will be less likely identify with the character portrayed in the advertisements. Doing so could have readers tune out from your message altogether. If you opting to use advertisements that do not illustrate diversity, use recruitment advertising that have copy only, or make sure that the images used are abstract.
  • Whether you are targeting candidates from diverse backgrounds or not, it is important that you include an EEO statement in your recruitment advertising. Its absence could send a message that perhaps your organization does not value diversity.

The following are some basic guidelines that should be applied to all recruitment advertising. These guidelines are often overlooked in diversity recruitment planning.

  • Use a variety of recruitment venues to enhance your success with the results of your recruitment advertising. Use online recruitment to enhance the impact of your print recruitment advertising. This combination of media is a great way to steer readers to the company website for more detailed information about available employment opportunities and information about your organization’s diversity initiatives. Print recruitment advertising can also serve to promote your organization’s job fairs and open houses.
  • While many companies know to include a link to their web site in their recruitment advertising, they often overlook the option of using a link to their career or diversity sections. This is a terrific way to provide potential candidates with additional information about your organization’s inclusiveness. When linking to your web site’s diversity section, it is important that there is an easy way to find links to the employment section and even a link to post resumes.
  • You want to give job applicants every possible option available to apply for the position. Make sure that that all of your recruitment advertising provides more than one way for applicants to submit their resume.  Remove as many barriers as possible to increase applicant responses. You should include a fax, mail address, web address, and email for resume submissions. Avoid placing restrictions like “no phone calls” in your recruitment advertising. Be sure to include a job code so that you will be able to track ad responses to determine which media are most effective.
  • You can gain the attention of passive jobseekers by placing recruitment advertising in relevant news and features sections of the publications and web sites used.
  • Try to avoid providing too much information in your recruitment advertising, as you could loose jobseekers’ attention. Instead, refer job seekers to your company’s website for more specific information about the advertised opportunity.
  • It is sometimes also a good idea to list all of your organization’s major hiring areas so that potential job applicants won’t assume that you are only recruiting in one career specialty.
  • If yours is an organization with employment opportunities across the country, indicate this in your recruitment advertising to prevent readers from assuming that you only have opportunities at your company’s headquarters.
  • Many organizations sometimes use recruitment advertising that avoid the used of identifyinginformation to avoid having to deal with screening a large number of inquiries via phone or in person. While this approach to recruitment advertising is acceptable, it can sometimes be a deterrent to potential minority applicants. They are often reluctant to respond to this type of recruitment advertising because they have no way of knowing the organization’s reputation with minorities and diversity.

While the variety of mediums for advertising your employment opportunities and number of segment groups to whom you target your recruitment advertising message has increase dramatically in recent years, you should view these changes as opportunities, not obstacles. Knowing how to reach these employment marketing segments and how to use the tools available can significantly boost your efforts in developing and maintaining a talented and skilled diverse workforce.

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