This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0
 

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 11, 2006

Minority Recruiting to Deepen

Employers are not satisfied with the number of minority employees in their organizations. They want more minority employees, particularly those with the capacity for advancement, expansion, and leadership roles. Recruiters are charged with finding and hiring African Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Pacific Islanders and Native Americans to increase the proportion of these population cohorts in the overall employee population. A special drive is underway to attract, hire, and retain minority college graduates.

Current competition has intensified. Highly qualified minority candidates can practically write their own tickets. When these employees are hired, they are under tremendous pressure to perform. They’re under the glare of the spotlights, compared to their non-minority counterparts, on many dimensions. If they don’t perform extraordinarily, they can become lightning rods for criticism.

College recruiters face the same problems as employers. More and more colleges and universities are offering special packages to attract minority students, so they will have a more diverse student body…and graduates who are snapped up by employers, often alumni business owners and executives. Students wonder what values are most important for those recruiters and school administrators.

How can post secondary educational institutions attract the students they need when so many minority students in high school are not performing at high enough levels to qualify for admission? The challenges for minority recruiting are not at the graduate level. They are clearly deeper in the school systems and the communities they serve. Extra attention—smaller classes, tutoring, better books and other supplies, and role models are needed. The investment must be made now if the schools are to produce qualified graduates and workers for the future.

Employers are beginning to recognize that minority recruiting must reach into high schools and middle schools. Students who perform well and show promise will be offered jobs, internships, and college scholarships. Forward-looking recruiters will offer even middle school students opportunities to receive financial and academic support for 8-10 years with the promise of a good job and career to follow. More companies will adopt inner city schools, providing adjunct classroom instructors, in-kind support, and purchase of books and laboratory equipment, computers, and career counseling.


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