There is a cause for celebration every single day of the year. From National Hot Dog Day to International Day of Happiness, there are no shortages of people, foods, inventions, and historical events to commemorate. Perhaps the best recruiting opportunities come from those days of celebration that draw attention to marginalised groups — namely your diverse workforce and the countless numbers of groups with which they identify — like Cerebral Palsy Day and National Coming Out Day — that both occurred this month. They offer a novel way for you to curate the content that your candidates are seeking. In this blog post, we delve into how you can leverage days of celebration to generate the recruitment content you need to attract the new generation of talent that is flooding the market — Generation Z and hot on their heels, Gen alpha.
To help you pan for content and events on international days of celebration, we have crafted this handy infographic, highlighting the days you need to put in your calendar for 2019/2020.
Why International Days of Celebration Are Important
International days of celebration provide the perfect opportunity to amp up your efforts to engage with a variety of groups that your diverse employees and candidates belong to. That means acknowledging their contributions on the days that mark their celebration, whilst also embracing and advocating for change regarding the ongoing limitations or discrimination they may still be facing in wider society.
The acknowledgment of these celebratory days is also essential in ensuring that stigma is eliminated from the workplace. With recent incidents of job seekers being told to refer to depression as “low mood” on applications or to avoid all mention of depression altogether, the need to assure candidates that your workplace is supportive, understanding and accepting is paramount. And the way this is done is simple — by empowering your diverse employees and giving them a voice to communicate their experiences a work.
True and timely stories delivered by members of these groups centered around the employee experience will produce content that your candidates value and showcase employee advocates they are able to recognise and relate to. This could be content specific to the team, the diverse talent group that they align with or a specific business area. This highly specific and personalised content underpins the success of the candidate experience that you are delivering, particularly as the content it generates represents a significant departure from the generic career site content that saturates the HR space.
As we determined in our research report, Diversity Recruitment: What’s on Candidates’ Minds?, candidates are hungry for information that demonstrates your vested interest in their progression and your support of the groups with which they identify — and the various systems in place to support them at work.
How Your Diverse Employees Can Showcase International Day Celebrations
You're probably already celebrating days like Employee Appreciation Day or Pride. These examples are a drop in the bucket of the countless initiatives taking place across companies globally, and it’s important to showcase these events to diverse applicants.
An optimal way of showcasing how the celebration of these international days of celebration feed into the company's overall attitude to diversity and inclusion is by leveraging employee voices, who can deliver authentically told experiences at scale. After all, in an age where social proof reigns supreme, the need to deliver compelling evidence of company claims is more important than ever.
Here are three creative ways to use international days to support your recruiting events and content.
1. Host a Live Chat on International Days to Target a Specific Group or Role
International days of celebration provide perfect themes for live events. For example, Citi hosted a live chat called “Meet The Team : Citi Pride” during Pride month in June as well as a chat called “Meet The Team : Citi Women” to specifically highlight how these diverse groups are welcomed and accommodated at Citi. Citi also scaled this content by making it available to candidates via job adverts and a hiring newsletter following the event. In this way, candidates who missed the live chat could read the answers to questions asked during the event prior to applying to their chosen role.
Why not host a live chat showcasing employees in STEM/STEAM roles in a chat on National STEM Day which is coming up on 8 November? Think about the roles you’re trying to fill and groups you’re trying to attract and plan live chats around international days that might interest those candidates.
2. Plan a Hackathon in Celebration of Science and Engineering Days
Fun events like hackathons or coding competitions are great ways to connect with software engineers and other technically skilled candidates. As the demand for tech talent skyrockets, so does the pressure to fill the hundreds of job openings available. During these events, candidates get to learn about your products and the company while your development managers get to see what candidates are able to produce. Corporate giants such as Accenture and banks such as Societe Generale conduct hackathons as one way of finding machine learning (ML) and data science talent, alongside their more traditional routes like recruiting on college campuses and bringing people into the office for tech meetups. With each ML/ data science hackathon attracting an average of 1,500 to 2,000 participants, it comes as little surprise that companies can assemble a full team in as little as 10 days.
The benefit of hosting these hackathons is, ultimately, raised brand awareness. These hackathons, which invite outside talent to test or hack a new product, overcome a challenge or build a product, directly challenge the external image of a business. The company ASML, which manufactures machines that help make computer chips, has a strong reputation as a hardware manufacturer but needed to grow their software development teams. By hosting a hackathon, ASML was able to access new talent in the field of software development. According to Jojanneke Meewis-Strijbos, their manager of labour market communication, ASML achieved heightened brand awareness amongst their target audience through targeted social media efforts both during and after the event.
Are there roles in your organisation that you could grow a talent pool for by hosting and streaming a hackathon or other interactive event (like Hour of Code, meet-ups, etc?
3. Showcase Employee Video Testimonials in Your Recruitment Marketing Campaigns
One company that is leveraging the importance of international days of celebration to create the recruitment marketing content that will drive candidates to apply is PayPal. In March this year, they shone a light onto the stories of female-run businesses . Crucially, the brand made use of Millenial’s favourite means of information consumption — video — to film PayPal’s EVP, chief business affairs and legal officer Louise Pentland in conversation with a number of CEOs, Co-founders and SVP’s of female-led businesses as part of their #BalanceforBetter campaign ranging from Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Water, and Yunha Kim, founder and CEO of Simple Habit, to name just two. By showcasing these initiatives, Paypal demonstrates its established commitment to gender diversity, leading by example — they have some impressive statistics to boast — women make up 37% of VP roles globally, up by 9% since 2015, and they make up 43% of its global workforce.
Another example of a company drawing attention to a national day of celebration is Vodafone, whose support of Pride filters all the way through their business. Vodafone is overhauling its recruitment process in an attempt to appeal to a larger range of genders and sexualities. They have focused on writing more inclusive job ads and modernising their code of conduct and have introduced a support program for LGBTQ+ graduates. During Pride week, they hosted a global webinar, celebrating LGBTQ+ within their company, and they have created highly personal videos of LGBTQ+ employees to highlight their everyday struggles. See Vodafone’s Diversity and Inclusion — see their ‘Power to Nour’ video here.
So take inspiration by leveraging video to highlight your employees' experiences at your company whether for Pride month or for other celebrations like the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Have your employee advocates bring to light the propositions you’ve laid out in your statements and policies and share how their working environment truly caters to their needs and supports their personal initiatives.
International days of celebration are more than a few isolated days of happiness. They provide the means to highlight and address how your company is ensuring a sense of inclusion, support and accommodation for all your employees, across all diverse groups. Leverage these events across your recruitment channels including video testimonials, live chats, and events like hackathons to generate the authentic recruitment content you need to showcase to candidates that your diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond lip service. Show candidates that as an employer, you add value to your organisation to honour, not only your business objectives, but the wellbeing and engagement of your employees.
For an in-depth breakdown of diversity talent acquisition, check out our comprehensive guide.