In addition to profits, innovation and corporate culture, companies are now starting to brag about their employee diversity, and rightly so. Hiring from a limited pool of candidates, whether determined by age, race, alma mater or another limiting factor, will in turn limit the ideas and creativity that comes into an organization. If your organization truly wants the best mix of talent, you have to ensure your recruiting efforts are directed at a broad range of candidates.
But how do you do that and recruit a more diverse talent pool? Consider this advice.
Get involved in organizations
“I have found a lot of success in finding diverse talent through attending events and providing assistance to professional organizations and groups that cater to diverse demographics,” says Janine Truitt, chief innovations officer at talent-management consultancy Talent Think Innovations.
Many of these organizations will have their own job boards, but the networking is still a valuable opportunity, she says. You can find out what’s truly important to diverse professionals in your area then tailor your recruitment messaging to attract them.
Tap into employee resource groups
Truitt acknowledges that employee resource groups, or ERGs, are a bit controversial, but if your organization has them, they can be a great recruiting tool. “Not only does the ERG showcase the diverse talent you already have in your organization, but it becomes an internal network that can be leveraged for open houses or on-site job fairs allowing candidates to get a different perspective on how the company culture impacts diverse professionals.”
Allowing candidates to speak with a group based on their gender, race, age or even common interests will allow them to get a more accurate picture of life at your organization, she explains. It will also highlight that you’re an employer that appreciates and respects diversity.
Start using social media
Social media platforms are a great way to extend your recruiting message’s reach and make contact with a more diverse mix of candidates. In addition to general sites such as Facebook and Twitter, many industries have their own group chats or meetups. This can be a great way to reach a diverse pool of applicants within a specific market, says April Boyd-Noronha, a work relations expert and author of “Good Bosses Gone Bad: How to Survive the Workplace When Your Boss Sucks.”
Boyd-Noronha also recommends seeking out consumer feedback forums where people share information about companies. Often current and former employees will chime in on the discussions. “This is a source that may give recruiters a better pulse of what competitors are doing [or] not doing in HR.” Both positive and negative comments can give you insight into how to improve your messaging to appeal to a wider variety of candidates.
Remove existing barriers
Your organization may be unintentionally creating barriers to diversity. From a compliance standpoint, this can be easy to fix, says Edwin Jansen, head of marketing at Fitzii, a predictive applicant tracking system that makes hiring more objective. His recommendations include not asking “irrelevant personal questions in an application form or an interview and [putting] a diversity and inclusion statement in every job posting.”
Another way to remove barriers is to showcase your existing diversity. This will make applicants and candidates of different races, ages and backgrounds feel more welcome. “Steps as simple as showing diverse employees on your careers page have been proven to improve diversity hiring,” explains Jansen. “Use diverse interview panels. Remind candidates that they can ask for all kinds of accommodations and go out of your way to show that you are welcoming and adaptable to their needs. Show that you welcome diversity and candidates will follow suit.”