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Recruitment Intervention Strategies

Diversity in Hiring [2.2.2.c.1]

Most Americans know that it is unlawful to discriminate in employment decisions and that workers are entitled to an “equal opportunity employer.” However, both employees and managers are not always clear about what this means. Every U.S. citizen is entitled to the benefits ensured under equal opportunity (EEO) laws. However, EEO laws were passed to correct a history of unfavorable treatment of women and minority group members. The individuals who are protected by federal nondiscrimination laws in protected classes are listed on the EEO Web site. They include:
  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex (Gender)
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Age (over 40)
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability
  • Veteran status
  • Genetic history or conditions
Most states have nondiscrimination statutes similar to federal laws, but some extend the scope to apply to smaller employers or broader forms of discrimination, such as any type of age discrimination. Many states also prohibit employment discrimination based on factors not specified under federal laws, such as:
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Marital status
  • After-work engagement in legal behaviors, such as smoking
  • Appearance
  • Criminal justice history
Please note: Employers should consult with a local attorney well-versed in state and local laws to ensure full compliance with all antidiscrimination provisions.
The resources below address recruitment policies and procedures to help employers ensure that they reach out in efficient and appropriate ways to diverse groups and remain in compliance with all employment laws that apply to protected classes:
The Office of Minority Health provides national standards on culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) that are directed primarily at health care organizations. Behavioral health care providers are encouraged to use these standards to make services more accessible to diverse populations. Employers should keep these standards in mind throughout the recruitment process, using candidate search techniques that will reach a broad population reflective of your community/clients and attract applicants that respect the importance of these CLAS standards.
An article on tapping into a diverse pool of talent can help organizations reach new candidates. It describes key ways to recruit diverse employees, such as:
  • Establishing networks with minority colleges;
  • Offering internships and scholarships;
  • Sponsoring job fairs in minority communities;
  • Developing partnerships with minority student professional organizations;
  • Developing partnerships with minority organizations; and
  • Tapping into Web sites where resumes of diverse individuals can be found, such as the
The Web site has an extensive database of employment opportunities across all sectors nationwide. They provide a forum for diverse candidates to connect with employers who seek them. The site also includes a feature called “Diversity News” with articles in the following categories:
  • African American
  • Asian American
  • Disabled
  • Forty Plus
  • Gay and Lesbian
  • Hispanic
  • Native American
  • Veterans
  • Women
The site also has a list of work-related diversity organizations.
A description of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill, which prohibits discrimination in hiring practices against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers, was re-introduced in Congress on April 14, 2011.

Additional articles on diversity in recruitment can be found on the Web site, The Minority Advantage, in the section titled Diversity at Work. An article on bringing professional women back into the workforce addresses finding and keeping great female employees.
A Glossary of Cultural Competence Terms from the Office of Minority Health and the Community Toolbox are reprinted with permission on this Web site.
The American Association for Affirmative Action Career Center includes a place for recruiters and employers to review resumes and post jobs leading to increased diversity.

Additional information is available via the Resource Box.



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