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Diversity employer branding: 5 communication strategies for more diversity in the company
Campfire – Employer Branding Tools 5 April 2024

Diversity employer branding: 5 communication strategies for more diversity in the company

In today’s world, characterized by generational diversity, addressing young talent from Gen Z and Y often becomes the focus of HR debates. In addition, many companies have been trying intensively for several years now to address different genders as potential employees. All too often, however, other essential diversity factors such as socio-economic backgrounds are pushed into the background. This blog post sheds light on why it is crucial for companies to attract applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and how a targeted employer branding strategy can help.

Diversity enriches every company
Quelle: Pexels / Alexander Grey
Diversity enriches every company
Quelle: Pexels / Alexander Grey

Diversity is more than just gender and age

When it comes to diversity in the work context, many people think primarily of gender and age and forget about other characteristics. However, HR managers would do well to also aim to attract applicants from different socio-economic backgrounds. This explicitly includes people from non-academic households who may have completed a related course of training instead of a traditional degree course. The challenge lies in the fact that preference is often still given to employees with academic parents.

Another decisive aspect is the ethnic origin of potential employees and their parents. Many sectors are still dominated to an above-average extent by people without a migration background. In addition to possible prejudices on the part of recruiters, this is also due to the fact that employment biographies are sometimes less straightforward due to structural disadvantages. A simple example: Students who have to finance their studies with part-time jobs without the help of their parents may need a semester longer to complete their degree or are less likely to be able to spend a semester abroad or complete a large number of unpaid internships. An effective employer branding strategy also targets these groups of people in order to expand the applicant pool and counteract the shortage of skilled workers.

Goodbye shitstorms: Why diversity is also important for business development

Hiring diverse talent not only brings a greater variety of life experiences to the company, but also has a positive impact on business development. Mixed teams offer different perspectives and approaches to problems, which leads to more innovative solutions. In addition, diverse groups are better able to put themselves in the customers’ shoes, which in turn has a positive impact on the brand image. A classic example: In addition to awareness training, diverse teams ensure that social media posts or commercials do not trigger shitstorms due to discrimination.

A table at which employees work together
Diverse teams can also better understand different customers
Quelle: Pexels / fauxels

Stories that touch: How storytelling enriches employer branding

In order to target people with non-academic parents and a migration background, it is crucial to expand employer branding accordingly. In addition to traditional HR measures, storytelling plays a central role. By telling real stories of employees from a wide variety of backgrounds, potential applicants are shown that they also have a real chance of getting a job at the company – regardless of a straightforward career path or a “typical German” name.

Diversity recruiting is particularly important for medium-sized companies and highly specialized B2B companies, which often have difficulty attracting talent. Storytelling is particularly relevant here to give interested parties an insight into everyday working life and the corporate culture. The more specialized the industry, the less potential applicants can imagine working there. Captivating portraits of various current employees make it easier for them to identify and see themselves in the job. A particularly successful example of good storytelling in the B2B sector is the construction company STRABAG. Further best practices and more information on how to best implement employer branding in this industry with storytelling can be found in our large construction report.

Tips for building a diversity-oriented employer branding strategy

To develop a successful employer branding strategy that specifically addresses diversity, companies can use these tips as a guide:

Target group analysis: A comprehensive target group analysis is essential in order to understand the different people to be addressed. This includes not only the usual demographic characteristics, but also socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic diversity and other diversity factors. The foundation for a targeted approach is laid by carefully analyzing the needs and habits of potential applicants.. What is important to them? What messages can we use to reach them? Which media do they consume regularly? Based on these questions, targeted communication planning for recruiting can then be started.

Storytelling with diversity: Storytelling is perfect for presenting authentic stories from employees with different backgrounds. These stories can be shared on all platforms such as the company website, on social media or at recruitment events. This shows that diversity in the company is not only tolerated, but valued and, above all, how people in the company experience this in concrete terms in their everyday lives.

Diverse images and content: It is important that all communication channels portray a wide range of people with different characteristics. Diversity should not only be visible in texts, but also in images and graphics. This strengthens the PR message and at the same time creates a positive visual identity for the company. Emotions also play a major role here. With the right visual language, not only the head is addressed, but also the heart says “yes” to the company. After all, emotional criteria also play a major role in the choice of workplace.

Active participation in PR-effective diversity initiatives: Involvement in diversity initiatives strengthens credibility and shows that the company is serious about diversity and that “diversity” is not a euphemistic marketing measure. If the basis is right and the commitment is not just theoretical, activities in this direction can be communicated extensively in PR measures. Participation in high-profile events and cooperation with civil society players, such as politicians and universities, enables the efforts to be credibly underpinned and the reach to be increased at the same time.

Internal diversity management: It is absolutely essential that internal diversity management goes hand in hand with external communication. An inclusive work environment is crucial to retaining employees and building a positive employer brand. Concrete internal measures to promote diversity within the company in coordination with the works council, for example, are essential. Internal communication measures are also important to ensure that diversity efforts reach all colleagues. Internal PR activities can encourage employees to internalize the corporate culture and become positive ambassadors for the brand in their everyday lives.

In summary, diversity recruiting is not only an ethical obligation, but also a decisive success factor for companies. A targeted employer branding strategy that appeals to diverse backgrounds not only expands the pool of applicants, but also promotes a company’s innovative strength and adaptability in an increasingly diverse world.

A successful employer branding strategy for diversity requires not only measures for external presentation but also far-reaching changes and commitment within the company itself. The associated communication should also not only be directed outwards, but also have an internal impact. Through clever PR measures in relation to diversity recruiting, the company can achieve a positive effect on public perception. Companies that actively promote diversity will benefit from more applications and also develop a stronger corporate culture.

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