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Recruiting a More Diverse Candidate Pool

diverse candidates means a diverse workplaceFinding diverse candidates to interview is the #1 barrier to increasing workplace diversity. Many organizations want to increase diversity but have trouble finding diverse candidates through their typical recruiting strategies. This blog will share what might be impacting your candidate pool and five steps on how to diversify it!

Finding Diverse Candidates

Before diving into the how, let’s explore why you may not be seeing a diverse candidate pool.

There are some external characteristics that can impact a company’s ability to recruit diverse candidates. Some companies are located in markets that are genuinely lacking large diverse populations. They cannot rely on a simple job posting to attract a diverse candidate pool. This calls for exploring additional recruiting channels, with intentional direct sourcing, and creating that more diverse talent pipeline.

There are also several internal issues like unconscious biases that could be causing issues in recruiting or sourcing diverse candidates. Other internal causes could be that your culture is lacking DE&I and/or there is little opportunity to grow within the organization.

If you are confident in your company’s culture and knowledgeable about the growth opportunities, are you marketing that in your Employer Branding?  If not, how would your candidates know you are a great place to work? Perhaps your company and brand story aren’t being properly told in your communications? This includes your job postings, your website, social posts, or any content shared over social by your team.

Lastly, it’s important to look at the language used in your job postings. These are not your internal formal descriptions. They should be crafted with a marketing eye on how to attract the right candidates. Try thoroughly reviewing your postings, career page and process (or, let us do this for you!). 

Creating a More Diverse Candidate Pool

Now that we know why you may be struggling to recruit more diverse candidates, here are our top 5 steps that may help you create a more diverse candidate pool (and ultimately a diverse workplace).

network on LinkedIn, don't just post a job listing1. Go beyond the Typical Recruiting Channels

The internet and social sites have made it easier than ever before to share job postings. With more roles being remote, we are seeing applicants from all over the country and the world. However, this increase in candidate pool geography doesn’t automatically mean you will be attracting the right candidates or a diverse candidate pool.

You can certainly share your job postings over LinkedIn or in various groups. However, we also recommend connecting to professional organizations that represent different diverse groups. Many of these organizations even have their own job boards that they can share your posting to. Increasing your recruiting efforts beyond your usual recruiting channels should help to increase both the funnel and diversity in your applicants.

Check out this article on 15 professional organizations focused on diversity in tech.

2. Standardize your Processes

Standardize your processes as much as possible during the application, interview and hiring process. To standardize your application, review the job postings to see if there is information that may prevent diverse candidates from wanting to apply. Also, read through the job qualifications and make sure they are all job-relevant.

Once you move to the interview stage, standardize your hiring process by using the same list of questions for each interview. This ensures every candidate is asked the same questions. Meaning you will have equal information on all of the candidates to help you make hiring decisions. When we don’t standardize our practices, implicit biases can slip in and affect our overall perception of a candidate.

3. Crafting your DE&I Statement and Policy

Be thoughtful in your Diversity and Inclusion statements and be sure you are sharing them in your job postings and on your career page. By including your commitment to DE&I for candidates to see, it shows your commitment and that you are working to ensure your organization is inclusive to everyone. You can also add a more distinctive EEOC statement to the end of your job applications. This will allow you to specifically outline and showcase your organization’s unique and active efforts in increasing diversity. Secondly, having D&I in your employment policies and practices, including outlining your commitment to diversity in your employee handbook, will help ensure D&I is something your company is building upon.

internal mobility (promotions) can help increase your number of diverse candidates. offering promotions is one way to show candidates they have a future with your company4. Develop Career Pathing and Internal Mobility

Internal mobility is the movement of employees across different roles within a company. Offering promotions gives your employees the opportunity to grow and develop. Internal mobility not only helps attract growth-minded talent, but it helps to retain that talent! Showcase to candidates that they can have a future with your company and that they won’t need to leave in order to gain career growth.

If your organizational structure does give a lot of room to move up, emphasize the professional development and learning opportunities available.

5Build and Maintain an Inclusive Culture

If you’re going to put in efforts to diversify your candidate pool, recruiting, and hiring process, make sure your company and culture live up to those inclusive standards. Ensure your values are practiced and your team can testify to your D&I policies and statements as well as the internal mobility and career pathing opportunities.

Moving forward

These five steps are all simple ways you can start attracting more diverse candidates, creating a more diverse applicant pool. It won’t take long for your company to see the positive impacts of having a more diverse culture and inclusive workplace!

Are you interested in diversity and inclusion but don’t know where to start? Check out the rest of our Be the Change: Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace series to learn more about how to implement more inclusive recruiting and human resource practices.

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