Click for Diversity

Employers say they want to hire a diverse workforce, and employees say they want to work for companies that value diversity.

Previous Monster research has indicated that 85% of diverse online job seekers want to work for an employer who values diversity, and 95% of hiring managers view diversity among employees as being very important.

Yet for many reasons, diverse online job seekers are sometimes reluctant to disclose their backgrounds and unique histories because they fear it may be a hindrance to getting a job.

Now, Monster has launched a new feature that it hopes will bridge the gap. Customers can now add a “diverse candidate status” box as part of the online application flow. This means applicants can signify — by checking a box — whether they would like to be regarded as a diverse candidate when they apply for a job.

Monster says employers opting to use the “diverse candidate status” feature increase their visibility as diversity-friendly companies and are able to tap into the richness of Monster’s job seeker audience in a measurable way.

Asian Diversity.com, which helps organizations in incorporating Asian Americans into their diversity initiatives, thinks Monster’s diversity initiatives will make diverse candidate become more of a frontrunner.

“Obviously, with us being proponents for diversity, anything that furthers the dialogue is great. This puts action into Monster’s stance on diversity and signifies they are committed and want job seekers to notice how committed they are,” says Won Kim, the company’s vice president of business strategy.

He points out that many companies see diversity as a compliance issue, but diversity shows the public that companies are inclusive.

“Also, companies increase their opportunity to be more innovative, because they are trying to eliminate candidates who beforehand used to be a little tentative about saying whether they were a diverse candidate,” he adds.

While the company claims this new tool will help employers convey their commitment to diversity, the company’s Chief Diversity Officer, Steve Pemberton, says he doubts that this will put added pressure on companies to participate.

“Over time, if we are able to show a considerable return around diverse candidates, I think the pressure from companies will come internally from a service that shows competitive return. You don’t want your competitors getting an advantage you are not,” says Pemberton.

Asian Diversity’s Kim agrees, noting that “everyone likes to see diversity, but most companies that we see today still have executive boards comprised of white males. The most important color they see is green, as in the money,” he says.

“If they see this making a bottom-line impact, they are going to realize this isn’t a diversity issue, it’s an employee issue,” Kim adds.

Pemberton predicts that feedback from the job seekers will also help determine whether this is a successful adoption.

“Internally, we’re all waiting with bated breath, because I think…customers have long told us they want to show demonstrable return. We did our research that led us to believe that tactically, it’s what they wanted,” he says.

Existing Monster Diversity customers will have this new functionality created for them automatically for no additional charge.

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Who is Diverse?

To check the box, Monster is not mandating any certain requirements for being a diverse candidate.

In some ways, the company is redefining diversity as not a standard definition of what a candidate looks like, but what he or she has experienced.

“We do not define diversity for anyone,” Pemberton says.

“It’s no longer what you look like or your gender; instead, it is about your actual experiences. We could very well have a white male who grew up in Japan but attended an American university, and the company is looking to expand their footprint in Japan. This individual should check the box,” Pemberton says.

He says candidates choose to self-identity as “diverse,” though of course companies are precluded legally from asking candidates outright what makes them diverse.

“In many cases, it is not obvious why they consider themselves diverse. Sometimes, belonging to a specific organization or membership in a certain society makes it clear why they consider themselves diverse,” he adds.

Online job seekers also still have the choice of submitting their resume through Monster’s Diversity Channel, via one of its Diversity Alliance members, or by uploading it to Monster’s Diversity Resume database.

Monster Site Redesign

Also this week, Monster announced a revamped site “to empower job seekers and produce more quality job search matches,” according to a release.

Monster has modified searching by:

  • Narrowing existing searches using criteria such as job category, career level, and salary range. They can also sort job results by mileage from a targeted ZIP code.
  • Expanding the current search by using an integrated “More Jobs Like This” feature to see other relevant opportunities.
  • Flagging applied-to jobs on the search results page, which may help manage the overall application process.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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