Minority Job Candidates Have to Overcome Ignorance of Recruiters

Published: Jul 09, 2007

By Anita Bruzzese/Citizen Times -- Ken Arroyo Roldan says that there is a dearth of diversity at the senior levels in American companies today, and executive search firms share much of the blame for that fact. By the way, Roldan works for an executive recruiting company. “We are the perpetuators,” he says. “We control a lot of the search for the new talent brought on board, and if there are not incentives to do it, it doesn’t get done.” Specifically, Roldan says that recruiters often ask employers to pay a 40 percent premium to recruit a minority “because they say it’s more difficult,” a fact that Roldan disputes. As diversity practice leader with Battalia Winston Amrop Hever Group, Roldan says that assertion is just one of the myths that compounds the problem of minorities in the workplace. Without minorities at the senior levels, he says, minorities fail to get hired in lower tier positions as well. “The titans of business really don’t care about this issue,” he says. “They have this ‘I gave at the gate’ mentality. Many executives have been sensitized to death (about minorities), but at the end of the day, are they exposed to others? No. It’s a gated community of white males.” He argues that a multipronged approach is needed to bring true diversity to the workplace, including the education of senior leaders and recruitment of diverse talent of workers at all levels of an organization.

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