The postcode in which you grew up continues to be a strong indicator of your individual success. The school you went to, what your parents do for a living, and who they know continue to play an important factor in bolstering an individual’s potential. In many cases, more than merit or skills. 80% of jobs are found through networking, and people of color have to work twice as hard as whites to gain similar access to opportunities.
It's time that employers democratize access to early career opportunities and get the right talent, in the right role - schedule a consultation to learn how PwC, AIG, Red Bull, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs and many other leading employers are using job simulations to level the playing field.
Talent Is Evenly Distributed... Opportunity Is Not
We can all agree there is top talent at every college or university in the country. However, it’s very difficult to engage with students from every campus meaningfully.
Most campus recruiting teams don’t have the budget to send representatives to every campus nor the resources to host live mentorship events for everyone. To capitalize on economies of scale, many companies set their diversity, equity, and inclusion recruiting efforts on larger colleges and universities and focus on early identification efforts, locking in talent as early as freshman or sophomore year.
Many minority, first-generation, and disadvantaged students start at community colleges, study at smaller schools, or study part-time while working. Traditional recruiting tactics can leave a large percentage of bright talent out.
51% of Black/African American HBCU students reported feeling discriminated against in the recruitment process - Veris Insights
The education-to-workforce pathway is a product of a system that benefits the privileged. Those who are the first of their families to attend college do not always have the same level of access to internships and networks. From knowing when to apply, how to apply, and even what to say to questions like "Why do you want to work in this industry?" those without the benefit of access are immediately on their back foot. This problem, coupled with imposter syndrome, has many individuals taking themselves out of the race before they reach the starting line.
Reach Diverse Talent Where They Are
A lot of recruiters struggle with this scenario — the problem isn’t a lack of enthusiasm for diverse candidates but rather a lack of understanding and/or resources on how to find and engage them. Businesses are striving towards more diversity, equity, and inclusion in entry-level hiring. But,often, they’re hamstrung trying the same recruiting tactics they have traditionally employed: job fairs, networking events, campus visits, and information sessions.
Ethnically diverse companies perform 35% better than homogenous companies - McKinsey "How Diversity Matters" Report
The challenge is not convincing recruiters to attract, engage, and hire more diverse talent but to do it more effectively – many don’t understand how to increase their reach. They need help.
Lifting and shifting traditional campus recruitment activities to a handful of top-tier HBCUs is a well-intended strategy, but not likely to yield the results you seek. Many companies look for candidates that fit a type or mold. This mold doesn’t give credit to non-linear career paths, life experiences, and changes in direction. All of these add dimension, character, and resilience – very sought-after characteristics. Instead of asking “Why?” it might be time to shift the question to “Why not?”
It is important to reach diverse talent where they are.
Change Is Imperative, and Quick Fixes Are Not Enough
The system will not correct itself. It will take the entire talent ecosystem to empower first-generation, minority, and disadvantaged college students. However, employers are uniquely placed to make a difference. They can level the playing field by providing students with open-access opportunities that showcase the work employers do and how they do it while teaching them the skills along the way in a safe-space environment. Doing so virtually and at scale will empower this community of students in a way previously unheard of.
At Forage, we know there is a better way. Talent acquisition leaders play a critical role in building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. More inclusive hiring practices are long overdue and require a thoughtful approach. Forage is proud to partner with many of the world’s leading companies to support this goal. Our self-paced, on-demand job simulations offer all candidates an opportunity to experience working at top companies, like BCG, JP Morgan, EY, Fidelity Investments and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Schedule a consultation to learn how Forage can help your organization democratize access to your early career opportunities and advance inclusivity in the recruitment process.