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The first step in building a diverse and inclusive workforce is to ensure diverse pipelines of candidates in the recruitment process.

by Kara Yarnot

Vice President, Director of the Talent Acquisition Center of Expertise
Science Applications International Corporation

The first step in building a diverse and inclusive workforce is to ensure diverse pipelines of candidates in the recruitment process. At Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), diversity recruitment has always been a priority. However, our traditional recruitment methods were not resulting in significant improvement in our workforce demographics. With a need to hire over 7,000 people this year, job boards, both general and diversity-focused, career fairs, and print and online diversity advertisements were not generating enough diverse candidates to ensure a robust slate of candidates for each position. We needed new sources.

While developing our online and social media recruitment plans for this year, we discovered that social media sites have higher usage rates among women and minorities. A few studies that we referenced concluded:
[sws_pullquote_right]”While developing our online and social media recruitment plans for this year, we discovered that social media sites have higher usage rates among women and minorities.” [/sws_pullquote_right]

  • 76% of online women visit social media sites vs. 70% of online men.The 2010 ComScore study further reported that women spend a larger proportion of their online time on social media (16%) than men (12%).
  • A 2011 Pew Research Center Study found that 25% of black internet users and 19% of Hispanic internet users use Twitter vs. 9% of white internet users.
  • The same Pew Research Center Study indicated that 51% of Hispanic and 46% of black internet users use their mobile phones to access the internet vs. 33% of white internet users.

We considered these studies as we revamped SAIC’s online and social media recruitment strategy. The overall strategy is designed to increase our pipeline of qualified candidates, market to the passive job seeker, improve the candidate application experience, and reduce the administrative burden on our recruiters. The social media diversity data helped us to prioritize our plans, maximizing our exposure to qualified diverse populations.

To expand our recruitment advertising reach to diverse populations, SAIC took the following steps:

  1. Focused advertising spend on social media sites dedicated to professional networking.
  2. Increased the visibility of our career opportunities and engaged with users on Facebook and Twitter; we added a career section to our corporate Facebook page and we created a separate Twitter account, @SAICjobs.
  3. Launched the SAIC Talent Community through a partnership with our recruitment marketing vendor, which allows potential candidates to opt-in to career communications from SAIC without having to complete a profile in our applicant tracking system.
  4. Launched a mobile-friendly version of our career site to ensure a positive user experience for candidates searching for career opportunities via their mobile phones.

These steps caused us to invest our recruitment marketing budget differently. We recognize these kinds of changes are necessary in order to remain relevant and accessible to a diverse and inclusive workforce.

KaraYarnot
Kara Yarnot is responsible for enterprise-wide strategic talent acquisition programs and initiatives. She and her team design and develop key programs including employment branding and marketing, redeployment, recruiter development and training, contingent labor, employee referrals, diversity staffing, college and intern recruiting, and strategic systems implementations. Kara holds an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park and a BS degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

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