In an increasingly changing and diverse organizational environment, companies obviously try to hire the best individuals. But in the recruiting process, it is unclear whether diversity climate cues are more likely to attract or deter prospective employees.
In a recent article (Avery et al., 2013) researchers examined how diversity climate cues in recruitment lead to particular outcomes, such as intent to pursue the job. Perhaps more importantly, they examined why these cues had the impact that they did.
PERSONAL BELIEFS ABOUT DIVERSITY CAN AFFECT PERCEPTION
The researchers conducted two studies. First, the researchers examined whether personal beliefs about diversity – called “other-group orientation” – impact the relationship between how people perceive the organization’s diversity climate and their intention to pursue a given job.
The study found that individuals who were high in other-group orientation had higher intentions to pursue the job when they perceived that the organization had a diverse climate. This indicates that a prospective employee’s other-group orientation might play an important role in the recruitment process.
THE ROLE OF IDENTITY AFFIRMATION
Additionally, the researchers examined whether “identity affirmation”– or how an individual feels that an organization affirms his or her identity – plays an intermediate role in the relationship between diversity climate perceptions and job-pursuit intentions.
The researchers found that when an applicant’s other-group orientation was high, their diversity climate perceptions were an accurate predictor of identity affirmation, which in turn predicted their intentions to pursue the job.
THE BIG PICTURE TAKEAWAY
Do diversity climate cues really work in recruitment? The present research suggests that, at least for some individuals, it does indeed. Those who are open to different types of people seem to respond well to such cues by demonstrating an earnest intent to pursue the job. Organizations should keep this in mind when designing (and promoting) their diversity and inclusion strategy.
Avery, D. R., Volpone, S. D., Stewart, R. W., Luksyte, A., Hernandez, M., McKay, P. F., & Hebl, M. (M.) R. (2013). Examining the draw of diversity: How diversity climate perceptions affect job-pursuit intentions. Human Resource Management, 52(2), 175–193.