Opportunity Employment: A Commitment to Diverse Talent

As a job or internship seeker, there are so many ways to evaluate a company’s commitment to diversity. A common suggestion is to look at the company’s website or social media accounts, but sometimes it can be hard to know what to look for.

Grads of Life is an organization that helps employers create talent strategies that promote equal opportunity, racial equity, and economic mobility. They conduct research on hiring practices, offer advisory and design services, and even provide case studies on diverse hiring initiatives. One unique element of Grads of Life’s approach is that their work and efforts do not just stop at the recruitment of diverse talent; they also pay attention to what happens after the hiring process is over by using a term called “opportunity employment.” Here is how they define it:

Opportunity Employment: A strategic approach to inclusive talent management; a commitment to recruiting, hiring, retention, and advancement practices that prioritize equity, opportunity, and mobility for diverse talent

On their website, Grads of Life features six Opportunity Employment Principles, listed below. Their research has shown that if an employer employs these principles, they benefit from increased diversity, improved retention and employee engagement, and boosted brand perception. The six principles include:

  1. A culture of inclusion and belonging
  2. A transparent data-driven approach to equity
  3. Proactive and intentional recruitment
  4. Minimized barriers to accessing roles
  5. Family-sustaining wages and benefits for all employees
  6. Systems that support on-the-job success and ongoing professional development

While conducting your job or internship search, think about creative ways you can learn about whether or not a company employs the principles listed above. Can you find some of this information on their human resources page? Can you ask some strategic questions during an interview to get some answers?

If you’d like to discuss your strategy for assessing an employer’s commitment to diversity, consider scheduling a career coaching appointment with a career coach via Handshake.


Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels