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Tips for driving diversity by finding new candidate sources

For many, diversifying your workforce starts at the source. The more diversity in the candidate pool applying for your job, the more likely there will be diversity in the resulting hires. So, if you are not getting the range of diversity you want in your candidate pool, it may be time to change or expand where you are sourcing your candidates.

“I’m already using the biggest job boards, what other options are out there?”

A lot.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of options available for candidate sourcing – from large job boards and huge recruitment firms to specialty job newsletters, community programs and boutique recruitment firms. And just like looking for great candidates, finding great sourcing providers is not about finding the single one that does everything. It’s assembling the right team with a variety of strengths which can be used individually or together to achieve the goals.

So, how do you find all these sources?

1. Search the internet

Yes, it is obvious. And it’s a great place to start.

Search terms like: “job board” will give you long lists of major players, minor players, and millions of other results.

Search terms like “jobs in my area” and “job boards for Veterans”, “jobs for disabled people”, “jobs for truck drivers”, will give you long lists of specialty and targeted associations, organizations, community efforts, and job boards. Search for what’s relevant to you – location, discipline, demographics, etc.

When doing these initial searches, keep in mind not all candidate pools are created equal or are true to their marketing materials. Some will claim far more than they provide, others will only be valuable in a narrow scope such as job type or location.

Document your initial findings – make a list with links to the providers that you find and some initial notes. Then, when you’re ready, you can narrow down your options with basic criteria and investigation.

2. Identify educational institutions

No matter the educational institution – high school, college, university, vocational program, trade skill program, etc., part of the success of the institution is what happens to the students after they’re done. That means many of them will have job assistance programs.

Identify institutions that provide the skills you need in the geographies you need (unless the positions are remote or there are relocation packages, then don’t limit geography) and find their career offices, alumni services, outplacement services, or equivalent.

Don’t have time to search through a bunch of websites for the right office or number? Try this. Call the main number and say: “I’m looking to hire and I think your students could be a great fit for my organization. Who should I talk to?” Chances are good, you’ll get you who you need.

Also, don’t forget virtual colleges, community colleges, local trade schools, and high school equivalency programs. There are also organizations like Goodwill and The Last Mile which provide training and readiness for the homeless, formally incarcerated, and other marginalized groups.

Add the institutions and their career/placement programs to your list.

3. Look to the community

Beyond the educational institutions, there are many other organizations that exist to help people prepare and find jobs. From local unemployment offices to Veteran Affairs offices to Chamber of Commerce and other community programs.

Check with local and state level governments for local resources. Also, look for outplacement firms, associations, and local association chapters catering to those you want to hire (for example, looking for TA – organizations like ATAP and SHRM come to mind).

Add all of these to the list.

Bringing it all together

Driving diversity at the source means diversifying your sources. With a little time, a computer, and a phone, you can quickly end up with a fairly long list of options. From there, you can evaluate your options to select which to try, which to use, and which to cross off.

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