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  • Focused D&I Recruiting Strategy Part of The Hartford’s DNA

    October 04, 2019 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A young professional brainstorms in a meeting.

    TAGS: best practices, diversity and inclusion, recruiting, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    The Hartford has formalized and fortified its commitment to building an inclusive and engaging culture, one in which employees are respected for who they are, recognized for how they contribute, and celebrated for growth and exceptional performance.

    “We value the diversity of our employees’ skills and life experiences, and invest deeply in their development so they can deliver on our strategy and propel our company forward,” says Mark Spatuzzi, manager of university relations with The Hartford.

    Spatuzzi recognized that to keep pace with the company’s overall commitment, The Hartford’s university relations (UR) team lacked a specific and sustainable diversity recruiting strategy that supported its commitment to building an inclusive and engaging culture. That is no longer the case.

    The objective of The Hartford’s UR initiative is to implement such a strategy and have it drive applicant flow and hiring within underrepresented demographics. The strategy is delivered via multiple channels: in house, on campus, and online by showcasing The Hartford’s culture through opportunities to network with its employee resource groups, hear from the organization’s diversity leader, volunteer with its community partners, and experience its social media presence.

    “Reaching your hiring goals involves more than simply filling positions,” Spatuzzi says.

    “For The Hartford, this meant identifying critical talent gaps within a particular demographic, creating a versatile strategy, and executing on it. Our diversity and inclusion college recruiting strategy was born as a result. This strategy is a multipronged approach at attracting underrepresented college students to our company.”

    He adds that, to accomplish these charges, The Hartford uses the following levers:

    • Campus relations—The Hartford’s URR team has developed deeper relationships with college cultural centers and student organizations aligned to the organization’s talent gaps.
    • Social media—It uses social media to showcase its culture and environment through pictures and online content.
    • Employee resource groups (ERGs)—The organization enlists its ERGs to serve as ambassadors at campus events and on social media.
    • Branding—The Hartford launched an “Early Career LinkedIn Life” page that focuses on candidates being “100 percent you” and highlight their ability to “fit right in.” It also created a new career fair banner spotlighting “real” employees and their ability to “Find a Career Where You Can Do You Every Day.”
    • Partnerships—The organization uses internal partnerships with diversity and inclusion, marketing/branding, ERGs, and hiring managers to reinforce and deliver on its strategy.
    • Community outreach—The Hartford aligns its efforts with organizations that share its vision—such as Gamma Iota Sigma/GammaSaid, National African American Insurance Association, Pathways Academy of Technology and Design—and engages in mutually beneficial activities.
    • Cultural experience—The organization showcases its culture to students during corporate visits and summer internships.

    The Hartford’s evaluation process for this program included diversity of applicant pool and hires.

    “We used various sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, our compensation department’s market availability studies, and our five-year averages to help set baseline diversity goals,” Spatuzzi explains.

    These goals accounted for several variables, such as geography and degrees awarded. It entered 2018 with the goal of 35 percent of its hires to be people of color.

    “We surpassed this goal in our early immersion, internship, and full-time hires,” Spatuzzi notes.

    The specific statistics for 2018 included:

    • 42 percent of early immersion hires into internships were people of color, a 14 percent increase year over year;
    • 40 percent of its full-time hires were people of color, a 25 percent increase year over year; and
    • 37 percent of its internship hires were people of color, an 11 percent increase since 2016.

    “Our 2018 applicant flow to our job postings also showed significant increase in representation among people of color across the board,” Spatuzzi says.

    For its efforts, The Hartford has received recognition from its partners and has been included in several national rankings and various publications focused on diversity and inclusion programs.

    “Our diversity and inclusion college strategy will continue to be a part of our DNA; it is what fuels our success,” Spatuzzi says.

    “We will continue to monitor and evaluate the program on an annual basis and make adjustments where and when they are needed. We will relentlessly pursue excellence, celebrate the achievements that come from it, and support each other every step of the way.”