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  • Vast Majority of Employers Have Diversity Recruiting Strategy for Class of 2021

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Nearly 90% of organizations have a diversity recruiting strategy for the college Class of 2021, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s Job Outlook 2021 report indicates that this is the second highest level in the past five years. (See Figure 1.)

    “These findings emphasize the strong focus on strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion [DEI] efforts among our employer members,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director.

    “Organizations see the importance of having a diverse workforce and, therefore, have made DEI a business imperative, not only within their college recruiting departments, but within their corporate cultures as well.”

    Among other aspects, diversity recruiting strategies include the prioritized groups employers are seeking and the types of schools and organizations employers engage to source diverse candidates.

    For the Class of 2021, nearly all respondents with diversity strategies will focus on hiring African-Americans. Women and Hispanic-Americans will also be highly pursued, with nearly nine in 10 respondents directing their diversity strategies toward them. (See Figure 2.)

    More than three-quarters of respondents plan to focus on specific schools and organizations to aid in their diversity recruiting efforts. Among the employers that will use specific schools and organizations, more than four out of five will work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and more than half expect to work with the National Society of Black Engineers and/or the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to assist in their diversity recruiting efforts. (See Figure 3.)

    While it appears that fewer respondents favor HBCUs for the Class of 2021, there was a change in the survey questionnaire this year. In this year’s survey, participants were given more specific choices reflected in Figure 3, thus, the shift in overall percentages of preferred schools/organizations.

    Figure 1: Percent of employers with a diversity recruiting strategy: 2017 – 2021*

    Recruiting Class Percent of Respondents
    2021 87.2%
    2020 NA
    2019 82.1%
    2018 88.0%
    2017 80.3%
    *Data for the Classes of 2017 through 2019 were provided by NACE’s Recruiting Benchmarks Surveys. Since the survey was not conducted in 2020, diversity hiring strategies for the Class of 2020 are unavailable.

    Figure 2: Prioritized groups within diversity recruiting strategies: 2017 – 2021

      2017 2018 2019 2020* 2021
    African-Americans 94.4% 93.9% 93.6% --- 94.8%
    Women 90.1% 89.9% 94.3% --- 89.0%
    Hispanic-Americans 84.0% 88.5% 86.4% --- 87.2%
    Military veterans 75.3% 70.9% 71.4% --- 62.2%
    Multiracial --- --- 56.4% --- 61.0%
    Asian-Americans 51.9% 52.7% 56.4% --- 54.7%
    Native Americans 45.1% 44.6% 49.3% --- 51.7%
    LGBTQIA 46.9% 54.7% 48.6% --- 51.7%
    Students with disabilities 50.6% 52.0% 50.7% --- 46.5%
    *Data for the Classes of 2017 through 2019 were provided by NACE’s Recruiting Benchmarks Surveys. Since the survey was not conducted in 2020, the prioritized groups for the Class of 2020 are unavailable.

    Figure 3: Schools/organizations used in diversity recruiting: 2017 – 2021

      2017 2018 2019 2020* 2021
    Historically Black Colleges and Universities 83.5% 96.5% 97.8% --- 82.3%
    National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) --- --- --- --- 71.4%
    Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) --- --- --- --- 50.3%
    Hispanic-Serving Institutions 33.0% 41.2% 37.6% --- 38.8%
    Other 24.3% 19.2% 29.9% --- 31.3%
    National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) --- --- --- --- 18.4%
    Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) --- --- --- --- 16.3%
    Women-Only Colleges 18.3% 22.4% 19.4% --- 15.0%
    INROADS 17.4% 28.2% 16.1% --- 14.3%
    American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) --- --- --- --- 12.9%
    Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (Latinos in Science and Engineering) --- --- --- --- 8.8%
    Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) --- --- --- --- 6.8%
    National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) --- --- --- --- 4.8%
    Tribal Colleges 6.1% 4.7% 2.2% --- 4.1%
    *Data for the Classes of 2017 through 2019 were provided by NACE’s Recruiting Benchmarks Surveys. Since the survey was not conducted in 2020, the schools/organizations used in diversity recruiting for the Class of 2020 are unavailable. In addition, there has been a change in the survey questionnaire: In this year’s survey, participants were given more specific choices.

    About Job Outlook: The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys its employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related issues to project the market for new college graduates for the current class and to assess a variety of conditions that may influence that market. Data for the Job Outlook 2021 survey were collected from July 27, 2020, through September 11, 2020. This year, NACE not only surveyed 931 of its employer members, but it also surveyed 2,368 nonmember employer organizations. A total of 227 surveys were returned; 158 were NACE members and the remaining 69 were nonmembers. NACE’s Job Outlook 2021 report is available at www.naceweb.org/store/2020/job-outlook-2021/.    

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.


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