Recruit and Retain People of Color in IT

Good business, not good philanthropy.


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Many organizations want to diversify their workforce but encounter challenges. Learn how avoid these challenges:

  • Organizations are often unable to show the representation needed to be more attractive to talent that is different from existing employees.
  • Organizational culture that is not open to doing things differently.
  • Leadership is unsure of how to support managers to avoid bias (conscious and unconscious).
  • Technology is fast-changing and so is its workforce – attracting and retaining talented IT staff is competitive; unless underrepresented staff feel like they are included and belong, they are often tempted to leave.

Build a plan that positions your organization for IT and business success:

  • Establish criteria to recruit people of color.
  • Foster a culture that encourages a diverse team to stay.
  • Capture metrics to help you analyze gaps and targets.

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Module 1: Setting the Stage

The Purpose

Introduce challenges and concerns around recruiting and retaining people of color.

Key Benefits Achieved

Gain a sense of direction.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Introduction to diversity conversations.
  • Current State Analysis
1.2 Assess areas to focus on and determine what is right, wrong, missing, and confusing.
  • Right, Wrong, Missing, Confusing Quadrant
1.3 Obtain feedback from your team about the benefits of working at your organization.
1.4 Establish your employee value proposition (EVP).
  • Draft EVP
1.5 Discuss and establish your recruitment goals.
  • Recruitment Goals

Module 2: Refine Your Recruitment Process

The Purpose

  • Identify areas in your current recruitment process that are preventing you from hiring people of color.
  • Establish a plan to make improvements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Optimized recruitment process

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Brainstorm and research community partners.
  • List of community partners
2.2 Review current job descriptions and equity statement.
  • Updated job description template
2.3 Update job description template and equity statement.
  • Updated equity statement
2.4 Set team structure for interview and assessment.
  • Interview and assessment structure
2.5 Identify decision-making structure.
  • Behavioral Question Library

Module 3: Culture and Management

The Purpose

Create a plan for an inclusive culture where your managers are supported.

Key Benefits Achieved

Awareness of how to better support employees of color.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Discuss engagement and belonging.
3.2 Augment your onboarding materials.
  • List of onboarding content
3.3 Create an inclusive culture plan.
  • Inclusive culture plan
3.4 Determine how to support your management team.
  • Management support plan

Module 4: Close the Loop

The Purpose

Establish mechanisms to gain feedback from your employees and act on them.

Key Benefits Achieved

Finalize the plan to create your diverse and inclusive workforce.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Ask and listen: determine what to ask your employees.
  • List of survey questions
4.2 Create your roadmap.
  • Roadmap
4.3 Wrap-up and next steps.
  • Completed support plan
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