Resources for Recruiting and HR Professionals to Build More Inclusive Companies

June 10, 2020

Photograph of black lives matter sign

As the United States continues to roil in the aftermath of events all across the country to protest systemic racism and to support Black Lives Matter, many companies and employees struggle to find the right thing to say or do.

The pressing concerns about what to do are heightened for those in talent acquisition and other parts of HR because your jobs are entirely about other people — you are the “human” in human resources. So, you want to be at the forefront of addressing pervasive problems confronting any group of people in your organization.

We have curated a guide for TA and HR professionals that can serve as a first step. We’ve started with resources that are tailored to your roles — tips on how to source and hire talent from underrepresented groups and how to create diversity and inclusion within your organization. Then we’ve linked to sources that can help you become an ally or take action at an individual or company level. 

This list barely scratches the surface, but it’s a place to start. Because we know that while it’s a time to listen carefully, it’s also a time that demands more than silence and inaction. 

How to diversify your sourcing 

“There just isn’t enough diverse talent out there” is never an excuse. Talent is evenly distributed; opportunity is not. Explore new places and new ways to find employees from underrepresented groups.

How to recruit and hire with diversity top of mind

TA teams can make an enormous difference in whether their companies have workforces that reflect the diversity of their customer base or the communities where they reside. 

How to build diversity, inclusion, and belonging into your culture

Most companies want robust diversity — it’s the right thing to do and it elevates the bottom line. But diversity, inclusion, and belonging can’t fall just on the recruiting team. It needs to be baked into everything the company does at every level.

How to practice allyship

Being an ally for your black colleagues requires humility, courage, and ongoing learning. Here are a few resources to help start:

  • 5 Tips for Being an Ally. A short video (3½ minutes) that is smart and funny and makes the reality of privilege understandable for everyone.
  • Guide to Allyship. An open-source guide to help you become a more effective ally.
  • Be an Ally. Tips on educating yourself, being a role model, practicing accountability, and taking action.

How your company can help level the playing field

Companies can do so much — from putting some of their cash in black-owned banks to “banning the box” (getting rid of the question about previous convictions on job applications) — that will help push their country toward racial justice. 

  • The 10 Commitments Companies Must Make to Advance Racial Justice. An article in the Harvard Business Review calls for businesses to commit to pay equity, make Election Day a paid holiday, lobby for good, and take seven other actions.
  • Corporate America: It’s Time to Stand Up Against Racism. A moving plea from the state treasurer of Connecticut for businesses in the United States to take action. Now.
  • Corporate Responses to Racial Injustice. This article published on LinkedIn lists six symptoms of race-based injustices in the workplace that range from workforce demographics that don’t in any way mirror the broader community to diversity and inclusion professionals and employee resource groups being expected to remedy injustices perpetuated by managers and colleagues.
  • U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism. Two business professors share some do’s (give employees of color “the space to be angry, afraid, disenchanted, or even disengaged from work”) and don’ts (“do not rely on Black or brown people to educate you about what happened in order to justify their hurt and outrage”).

How to take action as an individual

You may feel tongue-tied or even paralyzed at times, but there is so much you can do — from educating yourself (reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching shows and films) to supporting criminal justice reforms.

Where to donate

If you or your company would like to donate money to an organization or fund that can make a difference, here are some starting option.

National organizations:

  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice.”
  • The American Civil Liberties Union. The mission of the ACLU is “to realize [the] promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.” The organization has been at the forefront of every major civil rights battle of the last 100 years.

Minnesota-based organizations:

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