Recruiting for Equity at HBCUs and Beyond: CURRENT PRACTICES AND PITFALLS


Recruiting for Equity at HBCUs and Beyond: CURRENT PRACTICES AND PITFALLS

This new study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) explores employers’ commitments to and understanding of the issue of equity in recruiting (EiR). Funded through the generosity of organizations that sponsored NACE’s 2021 HBCU Summit and conducted in partnership with the Center for the Study of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (the Center), the study focuses on what employers are doing to recruit and retain diverse interns.

Generally, the study set out to investigate the current strategies, practices, and challenges employers experience when recruiting for equity, particularly at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). The year-and-a-half long study consists of interviews with senior recruiters and leaders from 17 different employing organizations that yielded rich insights on the current practices and pitfalls in which employers are engaging.

As such, the study addressed the following four questions.

  • How do the senior leaders and recruiters understand the idea of recruiting for equity and its impact on the company’s vision, mission, and goals?
  • How do senior leaders establish strategies for recruiting for equity, and how do HBCUs/PBIs fit into that strategy?
  • What are the current strategies, plans, and practices that companies deploy to recruit or equity?
  • What are the perceived barriers that impede companies from recruiting for equity?

The study focused on internship programs as a means for recruiting for equity for three main reasons.

  • First, the internship program is a critical component of employer recruiting strategies; in fact, NACE survey research suggests that internships provide the best ROI for recruiting entry-level hires (NACE Winter 2022 Quick Poll: Spring Recruiting and Career Services).
  • Second, internship programs themselves are generally more compartmentalized within an organization and can be changed more easily than some other aspects of a business.
  • Third, intern cohorts turn over each year, which makes assessing change easier than assessing change among the employer’s non-intern workforce. Consequently, for organizations that want to move the needle quickly, the internship program is a logical starting point.

March 2023. 8 1/2" x 11”. 33 pages. PDF format.

If you attended NACE’s HBCU Summit 2023, or your organization participated in the survey, or you purchased a copy of the report, you can access the report at MyNACE > Research Reports > Recruiting for Equity at HBCUs and Beyond: Current Practices and Pitfalls.