In GSG Connections by Belo Cipriani

Even though some San Francisco Bay Area businesses, such as organizations in financial services, are successful in attracting diverse candidates, other sectors in the eclectic Bay Area, like technology, still struggle to be inclusive. According to a diversity study released by Google in May, 2014, blacks and Hispanics make up only 3 percent of Google’s tech staff and worldwide women make up only 30 percent of their head count. And in the United States alone, just 35 percent of their employees are not white, with 30 percent of that 35 percent being Asian. Google’s diversity report points to a problem that has plagued Silicon Valley for decades — the dominance of white males in high-tech jobs. And although many Bay Area companies have some sort of diversity program in place, the diversity figures for many high-tech employers have remained low. Here are five tips to help your organization boost its diversity programs.

Start with your marketing

Although a lot of pressure is put on diversity staffing initiatives, the truth is the company’s image must match the company’s goals. Make sure to have fully inclusive marketing campaigns, and that all of your channels show diversity. Maintaining a consistent, diverse brand will attract employees from different backgrounds and will help supply future pools of candidates.

Get your executives involved

Managers are just as responsible for diversity as recruiters or other human resources personnel are. Encourage them to consider diversity not only in the people they hire, but also in the vendors they use. Whether it’s a woman- or minority-owned business, supporting diversity should come at every level.

Deepen your relationships with colleges and universities

While a lot of emphasis is placed on the spring college fairs, for better diversity results, engagement with schools should remain all year long. Have company representatives speak to the different ethnic clubs at a college. If possible, sponsor club activities and have a manager or recruiter come in to discuss your company’s business during months that celebrate diversity. Some of those months could be: Hispanic heritage month in September, disabilities awareness month in October, or African American heritage month in February.

Include non-profits

While many employers look to schools as sources of diversity, there are plenty of non-profits that can also yield diverse applicant leads. When recruiting, consider sharing your openings with non-profits and encourage them to share the job announcements in their newsletters and through social media.

Create diversity ambassadors

Whether it’s an employee with a disability or a female executive, have them share their experience of working at your organization. They can blog about their career path or create a YouTube video that details the parts of their job they find exciting. Diversity ambassadors help inspire and are the best way to get minorities interested in your company.

Belo Cipriani is a former staffing professional and an award-winning author. He writes the online column “Get to Work” for theSan Francisco Chronicleand has been a featured guest lecturer at both Yale University and the University of San Francisco. In conjunction with Granite Solutions Groupe, he also writes GSG Connections. Learn more at BeloCipriani.com.