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The Importance of Diversity Recruiting in This New Era of College Recruiting

A conversation on inclusion, diversity, and using labor data in recruiting strategy

September 17, 2020 by Isabella Minudri

As our world becomes increasingly digital, we know that college recruiting will never be the same. How can employers make a positive change to their diversity recruiting? What’s the best way forward for companies and students? 

In Emsi’s recent webinar on diversity and recruiting, a panel of employers, educators, and data experts discussed the importance of using data to understand each fresh wave of graduates in four specific areas: 

  • How you can use data to inform diversity recruiting strategies
  • The importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging
  • How you can use graduate data to understand student diversity
  • How to approach this new era of college recruitment


Jason Bartusch
Director of Partnerships,

Nathan Snider
Sr. Account Manager,

Mike Borelli
University Relations and Partnerships Manager,

Bessie Willis
Hampton University

Mandy Lancour
Associate Director, Professional Development & Career Education,
NYU Stern School of Business


Shereada Harrell
Director of Career and Professional Development,
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University














How can you use data to inform college recruiting strategies?

As Vanguard’s Mike Borelli put it, “informing data is the lifeblood of organizations.” Successful recruitment depends on data in so many ways. How many students attended your organization’s events? How many are on track to graduate with the necessary skills to fill your open positions? Data can answer these questions, in addition to showing the ethnicity of grads, the outcomes of exams, and the market availability of the talent you’re searching for. 

Businesses and universities need to communicate this data regularly in order to drive economic prosperity. Colleges should look at where their students are engaged and focus more attention and funds in those areas. The benefit here is that when you understand where your students are engaged, where they’re hired, and where they’re succeeding, you can create better relationships with both students and business partners. 


The importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in college recruiting

If there was one thing the panelists all agreed on, it would be the value of honesty in diversity recruitment efforts. “Students can tell if you’re sincere,” said Bessie Willis of Hampton University. If there’s no higher purpose to your diversity recruitment efforts, students will lose interest in what you have to offer. 

“We recognize that having diverse teams and then creating environments of inclusion and belonging are really important for driving business outcomes,” said Borelli. “The more diverse voices and opinions we can get around a table, the better our client outcomes will be.” 

Relationships between universities and businesses should be long-term. Steady partnerships help you recruit successfully and create loyalty among your students. But remember that a long-term relationship with a school doesn’t guarantee a good relationship with students–your recruiting efforts must adapt to each new wave of employable grads. 

Generation Z in particular, as Shareada Harrell stated, “is a different type of student.” But like any generation, these students need to feel connected–and it’s obvious right away if they have nothing in common with a recruiter. Businesses need to get the right people in front of students; sticking with the same recruiters for every generation could backfire quickly. 


How you can use graduate data to understand student diversity

To accurately understand the diversity at a specific college, you need data. Emsi’s Diversity Snapshot is a great resource for making data-driven decisions. With this tool, you can compare graduate diversity in target schools to similar universities at a program level. You can also benchmark groups of college candidates against the university makeup of current workers in target roles. 

Diversity recruiting snapshot








How to approach this new era of college recruiting

In the wake of COVID-19, the upcoming recruiting season will look different than in previous years. There are so many outlets for virtual connection these days, but let’s be honest: we’re all feeling the Zoom fatigue. In the workplace, virtual meetings are the norm–because some things just can’t be said over email. But while virtual access to students is becoming easier and easier, the ability to forge personal relationships with students is fading away. NYU’s Mandy Lancour suggested implementing various types of events, such as virtual and in-person events, to reach students of all engagement and learning abilities. 

Our panelists had a few other ideas on how to forge personal relationships with students:

  1. Limit the volume of information you send out to assure that students don’t feel overwhelmed; e.g., don’t send four pages of info that could easily be condensed into one.
  2. Record sessions so that students in different time zones can watch on their own time.
  3. Give students time to plan for your recruitment process.
  4. Reach out! Students want to hear back from you about their applications, good news or bad. 
  5. Know what your organization stands for and communicate it to students with sincerity. Students will know if you’re just trying to check the boxes.  


Show grads you mean what you say–and do it with data

When it comes to recruiting college grads, transparency is the best policy. They want to know your mission, your vision,, and why diversity is crucial to your organization’s success. Labor market data is a great way to not only get familiar with what students can offer you, but also to better understand what you can offer to students. 


If you’d like to find out how your business can use Emsi data to drive recruitment, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch! 

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