How to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your candidate sourcing strategy
3 mins, 50 secs read time
As a recruiter, your main focus is to find and attract great talent to your company. These candidates are not always aware of your company or the positions available, so you need to actively seek them out.
Some of the best candidates come from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities and have a variety of experiences, perspectives and ideas to bring to the table. That’s why it's essential to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your candidate sourcing strategy. This will not only increase the pool of qualified candidates, but also give you access to unique points of view that can drive innovation and benefit your business.
To help you get started, we’re sharing five ways to broaden and diversify your sourcing efforts in order to tap into a wider range of talented candidates.
1. Expand your candidate search
Using the same recruitment methods and platforms can hinder a company's candidate sourcing strategy by preventing it from reaching a more diverse talent pool. If you don't adjust your recruiting strategies, you’ll likely continue attracting the same kind of candidates, which is what you don’t want. That’s why expanding how you search for candidates is crucial to accessing more diverse prospects.
To improve and diversify your pool of candidates, you can advertise job openings on platforms that cater to underrepresented groups, such as niche job boards, community groups and professional associations.
To connect with a more diverse talent pool, try these job boards: Black Tech Jobs, JobBoard.lgbt and Tech Ladies.
2. Audit your job listings to be inclusive
When you’re working on your job listings, it’s essential to thoroughly review them to ensure they’re free of bias. When recruiters create job listings, they can unknowingly narrow the pool of applicants by the audiences they target, the language they use and the places they publish listings.
That’s why it's essential to think about your target audiences and how your language might affect them when creating a job listing. For instance, using gendered pronouns can deter some potential applicants since it’s not inclusive (and seriously old-fashioned). Try using neutral language in your job listings instead to encourage people to apply.
3. Be flexible about qualifications for the job
When outlining the role requirements, it’s important to evaluate how restrictive they are as this could dissuade some underrepresented people from applying. For example, studies have shown that women only apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the requirements.
To widen your pool of applicants, review the skill requirements listed for the job to determine if there’s some flexibility there. For example, maybe you don’t need someone with 10 years of experience when a candidate who has 8 years of experience and the relevant qualifications might be just as effective in the role.
4. Consider unconventional educational backgrounds and qualifications
It’s important not to limit your candidate sourcing strategy to people who have traditional bachelor and master degrees. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend a traditional four-year college, but that doesn’t necessarily make them less likely to succeed in the role than those who can.
Most underrepresented groups aren’t able to obtain a higher education due to economic and social barriers, but it doesn’t prevent them from gaining valuable skills that your company could use. Skills and expertise can be acquired in many ways, such as through alternative education options like online boot camps, community colleges and certified programs.
When searching for candidates, focus on those who highlight specific skills in their profiles rather than degrees.
5. Join and engage with online communities promoting diversity
Another great candidate sourcing strategy for finding diverse candidates is joining and engaging with online communities that promote diversity. You can search for niche communities such as LinkedIn and use keywords that match your ideal candidate persona to discover potential candidates.
After joining, see where you might be able to contribute to the conversation and start building relationships with members by actively participating. Once you've done that, they'll be more likely to engage with you about open roles at your company. Be sure to investigate and understand the dynamics of the group before sharing more about your company and any open opportunities.
Implementing a diverse and inclusive candidate sourcing strategy is an ongoing commitment, and these are some effective ways to get started. By incorporating the strategies discussed above into your recruiting process, your organization can have a more diverse workforce and become a better place to work.