I’m always surprised to find great ideas regarding Hispanic recruitment in the most unlikely places. Today I came across this marvelous posting via LOHAS (a lifestyle of health and sustainability website) that provides a very smart and practical approach to multi-cultural communication. Of course, when I read these types of articles or blog posts, I immediately apply it to my focus and interest. The LOHAS multi-cultural communication headings (from which I borrow liberally) lend themselves nicely to Hispanic campus recruitment strategies. I’ve adapted my own content and applied it to what organizations might consider when recruiting Hispanic college grads. You may also want to check out the entire LOHAS post, just to see how my perspective differs from the original content. Thanks to LOHAS for the great post.
My Take: Eight Communication Strategies for Recruiting Hispanic Grads
1) Check Your Assumptions at the Door: Begin With Yourself: Great advice. There are many assumptions and stereotype regarding any ethnic group – many of which are founded on nothing more than repetition. As an organization looks at recruiting Hispanic college grads, forget the assumptions and focus on the realities. Get informed. Lacking this understanding and awareness can undermine your on campus efforts not matter how good.
2) Understand the Cultural Context(s) of Your Audience: Do Your Homework: What a fabulous point. Whether it’s cultural training for your recruiting team or the college you’re visiting (particularly if it’s a Hispanic Serving Institution), be aware and educate yourself – context is everything.
3) Invest Before You Request: Create Community-Centered Partnerships: Nothing can be more important to any Hispanic group than knowing an organization is sincerely invested in creating a relationship. Swooping on and off campus once or twice a year will yield only minimal results.
4) Develop Authentic Relationships: Maintain a Long-Term Perspective: Develop those relationships at all levels including faculty, student organizations, national affinity groups, and special interest advocates. Open those communication channels. Generating AND maintaining those relationships via mutually value-added activities is essential.
5) Build Shared Ownership: Engage, Don’t Just Involve: It’s one thing to come on campus and recruit, it’s quite another to build a relationship and become part of what I call the “extended family” of organizations. These organizations offer support and resources in innovative ways – again assuring mutual value for both campus (students) and the organization.
6) Walk Your Talk: Lead By Example: Indeed, your organization should demonstrate that you have a proven track record of recruiting, retaining, and promoting Hispanics. Coming to campus with glossy diversity recruiting materials isn’t enough anymore. Showcase your success stories live and in person.
7) Relate, Don’t Translate: Place Communication Into Cultural Context: A “minority” recruitment approach is too broad. Be focused. If you want to appeal to Hispanic college grads then use the right approach, communication strategy, and resources.
8 ) Anticipate Change: Be Prepared to Succeed: How will your organization adapt to your new strategy? Recruiting is only the first step in creating a genuine Hispanic recruitment effort; what about retention? Leadership development? Prepare for your successful recruitment efforts – now.