"Smart Thinking:  How to Leverage Your Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) In The Recruitment Process"

by Deborah T. Owens, Founder and CEO of the Corporate Alley Cat


What does diversity mean at this organization? Can you share data with me that shows your diversity and that it’s something you value? How does your organization demonstrate inclusion both internally and externally? I want to grow at this organization, can you share your development programs and process for developing all employees?

Is your organization prepared and able to answer the above questions for employment candidates?

A Glassdoor study showed that 67% of active and passive job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. It found that 89 percent of Black respondents, 80 percent of Asians, and 70 percent of Latinos said it was important to them. What’s more, a significant majority of white respondents say workforce diversity is important. 

ERGs can play a vital role in developing and executing recruiting strategies for diverse candidates.

Here are four ways to partner with your Employee Resource Groups:

  1. Share and review your recruiting strategy.  Ask for and act on feedback regarding recruiting processes and sources.  Be open to identifying new and previously untapped recruiting sources including new universities, minority associations, media outlets and diverse social media sites.
  2. Create diverse interviewing panels. Numerous companies have found this to be an effective strategy for minimizing bias in the interview process. ERGs can be helpful in identifying and recommending employees to participate on these panels. Employees on the panels contribute different perspectives and insights on prospective candidates and their ability to contribute to the organization.
  3. Use ERGs to review key company materials including websites, videos and marketing pieces to ensure that they are welcoming and inclusive for all.
  4. Create a diverse group of company ambassadors. This can include members of ERGs being available to prospective candidates for one-on-one conversations and company visits.
These are just a few examples of how you can begin to work with and leverage your ERGs to recruit, retain and develop a diverse workforce.
More information:
Corporate Alley Cat: Ensuring professionals of color have the resources, tools and strategies to successfully navigate corporate America.
Diversity In Action

Last Updated: July 2017