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Leveraging ERG Ambassador Programs for Enhanced Candidate Engagement

Takeaways from an insightful discussion with OneReq community members on engaging your company's Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Affinity Groups to connect with late stage candidates.

Inspired by a question posted in the OneReq Slack, community members organized an impromptu virtual call to explore how recruiting teams can collaborate with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and/or Affinity Groups to establish stronger connections with candidates, especially those in the early talent pipeline. Here are key takeaways from the discussion.

Unlocking the Potential of ERG Ambassador Programs

Community members who have implemented ERG Ambassador Programs for candidates, shared their approaches and the advantages they’ve observed. Programs discussed extended to candidates of all profiles, ranging from VP-level professionals to interns, right at the offer stage. Through these programs, candidates are able to engage with a designated ERG representative. The selection of ambassadors is driven by ERG Lead nomination, and ambassadors are active members who can speak to their company culture and commitment to inclusion. Ambassador programs can also positively influence retention as ERG members are able to take an active role into the recruiting process.

Enhancing the Offer Stage Effectiveness

The heart of the discussion revolved around the offer process and the effectiveness of “get-to-know-you” calls. Community members underscored the importance of adhering to best practices to keep conversations within the professional and job-related scope, mitigating potential legal risks. The discussion also explored the possibility of creating tailored talking points for distinct candidate groups, such as working parents or former Big Tech employees.

Deepening Insights into Training

A few of the members collectively shared experiences with training best practices;

  • Training sessions which typically last around 20-25 minutes have garnered positive feedback from Ambassadors. 
  • The training focused on providing the new Ambassadors with conversation starters as well as detailed dos and don’ts of the interaction with candidates. 
  • Live training was most appreciated with a follow up of resources including the recording of the training for reference.
  • Additionally, the discussion touched on program management, revealing that a program coordinator in diversity inclusion or a technical recruiting lead typically handles the training logistics

 Strategies for Promotion, Recognition, and Measuring Success

The conversation continued with insights into the best ways to promote and measure the impact of ERG Ambassador programs. Strategies for promotion varied, with a consensus that mentioning the opportunity via interviewing email templates is most effective and inclusive. One recommendation was to create a ‘What to Expect’ guide, sent after the initial recruiter screen to highlight this as a potential opportunity for candidates. 

Recognizing the contributions of ERG volunteers varied across companies. Some offer virtual badges that Ambassadors can showcase in their email signatures or on their public LinkedIn profiles, while others provide special rewards such as additional equity or exclusive merchandise. 

Finally,  it was clear among the One Req Community members that measuring success and monitoring improvements in the recruitment process as a result of such programs was an extremely important step. Key data points for evaluating the ERG Ambassador program’s effectiveness include enhanced acceptance rates, improved quality of hires, pipeline metrics, candidate survey feedback, and reduced time for new hires to join ERGs.

Special thanks to our community members Natalie Chwalk, Bolu Alade, Becky Gavin, Molly Gregware, Rebecca Haffner, & Suzanne Caruso for contributing to the conversation!

About OneReq Connect

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