Click for Diversity

Employers say they want to hire a diverse workforce, and employees say they want to work for companies that value diversity.

Previous Monster research has indicated that 85% of diverse online job seekers want to work for an employer who values diversity, and 95% of hiring managers view diversity among employees as being very important.

Yet for many reasons, diverse online job seekers are sometimes reluctant to disclose their backgrounds and unique histories because they fear it may be a hindrance to getting a job.

Now, Monster has launched a new feature that it hopes will bridge the gap. Customers can now add a “diverse candidate status” box as part of the online application flow. This means applicants can signify — by checking a box — whether they would like to be regarded as a diverse candidate when they apply for a job.

Monster says employers opting to use the “diverse candidate status” feature increase their visibility as diversity-friendly companies and are able to tap into the richness of Monster’s job seeker audience in a measurable way.

Asian Diversity.com, which helps organizations in incorporating Asian Americans into their diversity initiatives, thinks Monster’s diversity initiatives will make diverse candidate become more of a frontrunner.

“Obviously, with us being proponents for diversity, anything that furthers the dialogue is great. This puts action into Monster’s stance on diversity and signifies they are committed and want job seekers to notice how committed they are,” says Won Kim, the company’s vice president of business strategy.

He points out that many companies see diversity as a compliance issue, but diversity shows the public that companies are inclusive.

“Also, companies increase their opportunity to be more innovative, because they are trying to eliminate candidates who beforehand used to be a little tentative about saying whether they were a diverse candidate,” he adds.

While the company claims this new tool will help employers convey their commitment to diversity, the company’s Chief Diversity Officer, Steve Pemberton, says he doubts that this will put added pressure on companies to participate.

“Over time, if we are able to show a considerable return around diverse candidates, I think the pressure from companies will come internally from a service that shows competitive return. You don’t want your competitors getting an advantage you are not,” says Pemberton.

Asian Diversity’s Kim agrees, noting that “everyone likes to see diversity, but most companies that we see today still have executive boards comprised of white males. The most important color they see is green, as in the money,” he says.

“If they see this making a bottom-line impact, they are going to realize this isn’t a diversity issue, it’s an employee issue,” Kim adds.

Pemberton predicts that feedback from the job seekers will also help determine whether this is a successful adoption.

“Internally, we’re all waiting with bated breath, because I think…customers have long told us they want to show demonstrable return. We did our research that led us to believe that tactically, it’s what they wanted,” he says.

Existing Monster Diversity customers will have this new functionality created for them automatically for no additional charge.

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Who is Diverse?

To check the box, Monster is not mandating any certain requirements for being a diverse candidate.

In some ways, the company is redefining diversity as not a standard definition of what a candidate looks like, but what he or she has experienced.

“We do not define diversity for anyone,” Pemberton says.

“It’s no longer what you look like or your gender; instead, it is about your actual experiences. We could very well have a white male who grew up in Japan but attended an American university, and the company is looking to expand their footprint in Japan. This individual should check the box,” Pemberton says.

He says candidates choose to self-identity as “diverse,” though of course companies are precluded legally from asking candidates outright what makes them diverse.

“In many cases, it is not obvious why they consider themselves diverse. Sometimes, belonging to a specific organization or membership in a certain society makes it clear why they consider themselves diverse,” he adds.

Online job seekers also still have the choice of submitting their resume through Monster’s Diversity Channel, via one of its Diversity Alliance members, or by uploading it to Monster’s Diversity Resume database.

Monster Site Redesign

Also this week, Monster announced a revamped site “to empower job seekers and produce more quality job search matches,” according to a release.

Monster has modified searching by:

  • Narrowing existing searches using criteria such as job category, career level, and salary range. They can also sort job results by mileage from a targeted ZIP code.
  • Expanding the current search by using an integrated “More Jobs Like This” feature to see other relevant opportunities.
  • Flagging applied-to jobs on the search results page, which may help manage the overall application process.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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3 Comments on “Click for Diversity

  1. Kudos to Monster.com for at least addressing the Diversity conundrum in the USA.

    Yet, I remain puzzled by the white male raised in Japan example. Why make a case for the most privileged political and economic class in the history of the known universe?

    Why of course, “HE” is out there. And he will find his way into a good fitting career.

    It suggests that Monster.com’s Diversity effort is geared to “using” diversity-speak to promote HOMOGENEITY.

    It suggests they are saying “Heavens! Let’s make sure we don’t erode the leverage of the entire controlling political class in the USA (race seen as a political class with real power and benefits of membership not afforded to others) and make some real progress on “Diversity”.”

    The article clicks me. To off.

  2. Redefining “diversity” to describe a candidate?s experience is redundant to every other piece of information collected on a resume at best, and an EEO compliance problem at worst. If organizations believe they are building a diverse candidate pool because applicants are coached to check a box that proclaims their ?diversity? because they had a handful of different jobs over the past five years, well, then everyone I know is diverse.

    Diversity recruiting requires an outreach effort. If Monster wants to help its clients reach a truly diverse population they should enable organizations to reach into the communities and social networks where these candidates reside.

    There is a great article by Carl Braun of The Inclusiv* Group, a veteran of diversity recruiting (and ERE member) which makes the point, ?Either [organizations] are seriously interested in adding ?cultural competency? to their company and foster an environment where diversity is valued or they are simply trying to dig themselves out of a bureaucratic nightmare created by a culture that has up to this point been ignorant of all things diverse.

    The article is entitled Identifying a (Real) Diverse Employer It reveals some of the differences between an organization?s actions that ?indicate? they are a diverse employer and those that prove it.

  3. I consider this a damaging (but hopefully fixable) mistake?
    To absolutely leave it up to the job seekers to check/uncheck a box and, thus, DECIDE for themselves whether they are part of (let’s face it) what is the most coveted group of candidates these days is to add to the complexity of the already daunting task faced by recruiters.

    I am not into the numbers game at all. Diversity interpreted as “race” and “gender” just doesn?t cut it for me. But imagine for a moment the nightmare for those caught up into it? Is it a good or bad thing? ?Well, too bad for them!? some might say. But fact is: if there is any need for redefining Diversity, it?s through the lens of the Return on Investment for the organizations committed to it, by measure of how it directly affects the bottom line, betters the work environment and marketplaces? And I?ve seen this redefining done right very few times, by very few.

    It?s true that Diversity in itself is morally right, it remains socially responsible. But it would be na?ve to believe any initiative behind it could carry on endlessly and survive Diversity?s toughest critics just because ?it?s the right thing to do?.

    The reaction to this article should not be to bash Monster because they got it wrong on this (after all, aren?t we all learning here, together through this forum?), but instead to pull them back and kindly say: ?WRONG DIRECTION, try the other way?? and encourage continued effort to help recruiters.

    I will finish with one example of Diversity done right:
    MultiLingualPros.com ? an online Global Diversity Recruitment & Career Resource which helps employers directly tie their Diversity Recruiting efforts to candidates? ability to increase their local reach-out and global access capabilities.
    Diversity in this instance is leveraged to get beyond language and cultural barriers between businesses and their customers, vendors and partners, based on the very competencies of truly diverse talents, not a self-serving ?checked box? left for job seekers to interpret and use as they wish?

    Diversity with direct applications in the workplace? That is Purposeful Diversity. That is lasting Diversity.

    Best,

    Mohamed Ly
    Executive Director
    Head of Return on Diversity? Council
    A2Z Lingua International
    1250 Connecticut Avenue, NW
    Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20036
    Main: 202-517-1641
    Fax: 1-202-478-0336
    Email: Mohamed.Ly@a2zli.com
    Web: http://www.ReturnOnDiversity.com

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