Diversify at the source: three tips for driving diversity in your candidate pool
While diversity challenges don’t always stem from the source, without diversity in your candidate pool, there is little chance for diversity flowing into the workforce. And with diverse workforces driving value such as competitiveness, profitability, and retention, ensuring diverse candidate pools is well worth the effort.
So, how do you increase diversity in your candidate pool? Here are three ways to get started.
1. Modify the job description to resonate with a wider audience.
A compelling job description attracts great talent that’s perfect for the job. It’s not supposed to sound great for everyone – it’s supposed to attract the talent that will be great for the job, while alienating those that would not.
For example, “a master chef responsible for creating new menus that excite and delight our patrons.” This will not attract people who don’t cook. That is good.
The problem comes in when the job description inadvertently alienates those that would be fantastic for the job.
For example, “a highly-experienced senior chief that can command a four-star kitchen while he creates new menus that excite and delight our patrons.” This will alienate those who can’t cook, but it could also alienate younger people with “highly-experienced senior”, more collaborative less aggressive personalities with the term “command”, and women with the pronoun “he”. That is not good.
Update the job descriptions to be as inclusive as possible. Keep in mind, the goal is not to change or lower your standards, just to communicate them as inclusively as possible.
Here are a few examples of what to look out for (keep in mind, all of these are for unintentional alienation):
Titles and descriptions that imply age such as senior, junior, young, well-experienced.
Requirements specifying previously held titles.
Titles and descriptions that unintentionally specifies a personality type (aggressive, commanding, ninja).
Language that implies mastering abilities or responsibilities on day one for entry-level and jobs that have training.
2. Expand the reach for active candidates.
Many organizations use common job boards to get access to active candidates (i.e. people actively looking for a job). And that is great. However, every job board has a demographic by region, industry, and occupation that they attract and cater to. When organizations use those job boards, they are inheriting the demographic distribution of those boards.
For example, if a technology organization is only advertising on job board A, and in job board A 20% of its applicants for technology jobs are women, then the organization is tapping into a candidate pool of 20% women.
So how does this organization (or yours) increase the number of women (or any other demographic) applying to the job? Expand to include additional job boards and active candidate sources.
Here are a few examples of additional sources to consider:
Specialty job boards. There are a wide range of local, regional and national job boards and organizations that cater to specific and underrepresented groups. People with disabilities, Veterans, people over the age of 55, second chance candidates, women and people of color in technology, etc. If your organization is missing or is under-represented in specific demographics, chances are very good there are multiple organizations with fantastic candidate pools just waiting for your job.
University, college, and vocational school career centers & job boards. A wide range of educational institutions have cultivated great, diverse talent. Many have active career centers, job boards, career fairs, and alumni networks. When tapping into this network, include all relevant schools, not just the ones with the biggest brands and alma maters.
Community outreach. Many communities have opportunities and programs to tap into the local talent pool. From community center job boards and career fairs, to local chamber of commerce groups, to charitable and other non-government organizations serving to empower the community through job readiness and placement.
3. Expand the reach for passive candidates.
While there are favorite places to go for active candidates, many organizations also have favorite places to go for passive candidates (i.e. people who don’t know they want a new job until you tell them about yours). And that is also great. However, just like with job boards, communities of passive candidates such as specific organizations or networks also come with their own demographics.
For example, if a technology organization loves candidates from mega tech organization A, and 10% of mega tech organization are people of color, then the organization is tapping into a candidate pool of 10% people of color.
To expand the demographics of passive candidates, reach beyond the current networks, communities, and organizations to reach more diversity.
Pulling it all together: diverse sourcing for a diverse workforce
A few simple changes to what you say and where you say it can make a big difference in the demographic distribution of your candidates. Be as inclusive as possible in how the job is described and make the effort to get that job in front of a diverse population.
You can do it, we can help. Career.Place has cultivated relationships and partnerships across many different advocacy groups working hard to provide equal opportunity for their demographics. From integrating our unbiased candidate screening tool to a range of specialty job boards, to offering discounts to our partner communities, to brokering introductions so you find exactly who you need, we are dedicated to making sure organizations have access to the full range of talent.
So, if you are struggling to tap into specific demographics to find candidates, or you are an advocacy organization with fantastic talent waiting for the next opportunity, we would love to talk to you.