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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

10 smart recruiting strategies for reaching a truly diverse talent pool

Hiring a truly diverse workforce begins with looking in all the right places for talent.

10 smart recruiting strategies for reaching a truly diverse talent pool
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There’s more to a smart recruitment strategy than ticking a list of skills boxes. In many businesses, needed skills can be learned on the job. However, lived experience is a unique factor each candidate brings to the table. When recruiting new talent, it’s not just important to know how to find candidates with the desired education and qualifications—you’ll also want to ensure those candidates are coming from diverse backgrounds and bringing unique perspectives to the table.

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True diversity in a company or organization can’t happen if job postings don’t reach a large, diverse audience. Developing strategies to reach a broader pool of candidates is essential. To help, 10 experts from Fast Company Executive Board share strategies you can employ to ensure your job postings reach a diverse group of candidates.

1. CONSIDER THE LANGUAGE IN YOUR JOB POSTING.

True diversity is not only about race, ethnicity, and gender but also age, perspective, and background. Look at how your posting is written. Does it have biased language that discourages candidates from applying? Does it ask for specific degrees that leave out talented candidates who do not fit within that narrow band? Your language should be welcoming and clear about what diversity means for your company. – Ximena Hartsock, Phone2Action

2. ASK YOUR EXISTING TEAM FOR REFERRALS.

Hire a diverse team and you won’t need a job posting. The best people happen via referral. They then land and want to stay in an inclusive culture that celebrates diverse thinking and backgrounds. Walk it like you talk it. – Kathleen Griffith, Grayce & Co

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3. TRACK CANDIDATE DEMOGRAPHICS.

To paraphrase Peter Drucker, I’m a big believer that you can’t change what you don’t measure. To reach a diverse group of candidates—and to ensure you’re interviewing and hiring a diverse group of employees—tracking demographics can make a big difference. Looking at the diversity of pipelines per role and per source will ensure you are focusing your efforts and spending in the right places. – Alexandra Cavoulacos, The Muse

4. LEVERAGE BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL NETWORKS.

To ensure broad postings, I am mindful about leveraging both formal and informal networks. I am willing to talk to folks to help them understand our needs so they can help identify diverse talent and recognize our commitment to diversity. – Melissa Bradley, Ureeka

5. INVEST IN RESOURCES AND TECHNOLOGY.

Reaching a diverse candidate base requires a multi-pronged approach. You need resources that get your company in front of diverse candidates and technology that removes opportunities for bias. Your career page should show inclusive benefits and learning and development programs. Also, utilize data to understand who your candidates are and to measure your success so you can adjust. – Ryan Simonetti, Convene

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6. EXPLORE NEW RECRUITING CHANNELS.

Put simply, be proactive. If you rely on the same old channels, you get the same old results. We recently expanded our reach, and it has made a world of difference to our applicant pool. Some stand-out sites such as blackswho.design, jopwell.com, and ladiesgetpaid.com have been especially impactful for us. – Bill Kenney, Focus Lab

7. CREATE A CULTURE THAT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY.

If your workforce is already not only diverse but also made up of people who appreciate diversity in their own lives, then—counterintuitively—word of mouth perpetuates diversity. – Esther Kestenbaum Prozan, Ruby Has Fulfillment

8. HIRE EMPLOYEES OUTSIDE YOUR LOCAL AREA.

In our team, we have employees around the world, so diversity has never been a problem. Maybe that’s the reason I don’t believe in diversity as some kind of goal. If diversity is in your company’s DNA, the right candidates will come. But if I were to look for more diverse candidates, I’d ask for referrals. Networking is a great way to source valuable candidates. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

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9. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH DIVERSE PROFESSIONAL GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES.

We maintain relationships with different pro-women groups and communities. We also have a natural process that happens when our female team members promote our job openings to their friends and colleagues. That’s a personal recommendation you can’t get anywhere else. – Yoav Vilner, Walnut

10. COMMIT TO HIRING THE BEST PEOPLE—NO MATTER WHERE THEY’RE LOCATED.

We have employees from around the world. Part of the reason this has been possible is that we have operated 100% remotely from the very beginning. So we hire the best people no matter where they are. And our entire workflow is done with cloud-based tools. If you want to make diversity normal, offer remote work and add online tools. Diversity naturally happens from there. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner