10 Ways to Diversify your Talent Pool

10 Ways to Diversify your Talent Pool

October 9, 2020

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It’s a well-known fact that diversity is fundamentally good for business. A McKinsey study found that firms in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians, with each 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity in senior leadership correlating with an average 1% increase in cash flow. A diverse team has diverse perspectives that lead to unique problem-solving techniques and more innovation. From race and gender identity to neurodiversity and level of education, workers from a variety of backgrounds build stronger teams. And building these stronger teams starts with recruiting.

Firms in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.

It’s essential that DE&I initiatives are built into your talent acquisition process. Oftentimes, referrals and inbound candidates lack diversity, so it is crucial to focus on your outbound sourcing strategy to address this issue. But what is the best way to source for a more diverse candidate pool? Should you filter to specific characteristics? Or broaden your search to find the unexpected standout?

Many sourcing tools offer “diversity filters”. These filters purportedly allow you to exclusively search for women, African Americans, Latinxs, veterans, etc. candidates. While this sounds ideal, it’s prudent to be wary of these new filters as they are filtering out potentially great, equally diverse candidates that don’t fit these strict characteristics.

Additionally, the tech behind them is uncertain. It’s too early to tell if these filters work accurately and provide the expected results. The good news is, finding underrepresented talent is achievable without these filters, and without narrowing the pool so drastically. By fully automating your sourcing process with platforms like Fetcher, you greatly reduce human bias and widen your prospect pool, thus increasing the likelihood of capturing a more diverse top of funnel.

Unconscious and conscious human bias is pervasive when it comes to recruiting. For example, white applicants receive 36% more callbacks than Black Americans and 24% more callbacks than Latinx applicants. This statistic hasn’t changed since 1989. Unfair hiring practices often, but not exclusively, emerge when time-constrained humans try to manually shrink their pipeline. Automated sourcing and outreach helps to solve this problem. When software itself sources and emails candidates upfront, there is no need to manually filter candidates out. Once you’ve calibrated your search, the software runs on autopilot. Without human constraints, this tech broadens your top of funnel, pulling in more qualified candidates, and resulting in a more diverse talent pool.

White applicants receive 36% more callbacks than Black Americans and 24% more than Latinx applicants.

Software alone, however, won’t solve all diversity issues. The good news is, there are plenty of practices, in addition to automated sourcing and outreach, that your team can implement to get the ball rolling.

We’ve outlined some of the top ways to diversify your talent pool below…

  1. Review your website and job postings to ensure you’re using inclusive language. A job posting is often a candidate’s first exposure to the position and your company. You want a posting that encourages underrepresented talent to apply. Words are powerful and there are many you should avoid in order to attract the right applicants. And there are tools now available to help you with this, like Textio and Gender Decoder.

  2. Consider nontraditional educational backgrounds. Coding camps, boot camps, community colleges, and nano-degree programs produce expert candidates. Not everyone has the privilege to attend traditional four-year colleges or take classes during the day, but this does not mean they’re not as qualified.

  3. Recruit from Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and schools with a high diversity index. Consider partnering with one of these schools for internships to boost the diversity in your talent pipeline.

  4. Look over your hiring requirements to make sure they aren’t overly restrictive, but instead appeal to a wide range of candidates. Women typically only apply to job posts if they meet 100% of the criteria while men apply if they meet 60%. As women and minorities are not promoted as often or as quickly as their white male counterparts, they will often have less accumulated years of managerial experience. Ask yourself if you really need a manager with 10+ years of experience when a candidate with seven years and the right skill set would be just as effective. You may be dissuading underrepresented candidates from applying.

  5. Eliminate as much inequity as possible by standardizing your interview process. Use a standard list of questions and compare candidates’ answers horizontally. People are naturally biased and any way you can level the playing field for all interviewees will remove potentially biased decision making.

  6. Require diversity and inclusion training for hiring managers. D&I education doesn’t have to be costly. There are plenty of online courses available, some of them free.

  7. Invest in your Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and see a ROI in your recruiting efforts. ERGs are fantastic ways for underrepresented groups to connect, share resources, and offer support and a sense of community. ERG leaders can help hiring managers understand systemic barriers their peers face while job hunting. When underrepresented employees feel supported and valued at work, they’re more likely to refer peers from similar backgrounds. If your company doesn’t have any ERGs, now is a great time to establish some.

  8. Showcase your commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion prominently on your website. Information on your ERGs, diversity statements, and pictures that demonstrates your Diversity & Inclusion efforts are simple and effective additions to your company site that highlight your values.

  9. Aim for diversity at every level, from entry to senior execs. You will attract a more diverse applicant pool if they see underrepresented minorities holding positions of power in your organization. It demonstrates that you actually value diverse voices.

  10. Strive for diversity from day one of starting your business. It’s much easier to grow a diverse team from the ground up vs. later in the game. But as with any important initiative, it’s never too late to start. Invest in DE&I today to see the long-term benefits tomorrow.

A diverse team leads to financial benefits, and it is also essential when it comes to attracting (and retaining) the best talent. 67% of active and passive job seekers deemed a diverse workforce as an important factor when assessing companies and job offers. In order to keep top prospects interested in your open positions, it’s imperative that you’re working towards these important goals. Again, there is no one tool or filter that will solve your lack of diversity problem.

67% of active and passive job seekers deemed a diverse workforce as an important factor when assessing companies and job offers.

There is no quick fix to erase hundreds of years of systemic oppression and bias in the workplace. But diversifying your workplace begins with a company culture of inclusion, and by taking the right steps now, you will establish your company as a place underrepresented minorities want to work, with inclusion woven into every fiber of your workplace. Widening your applicant pool to create a diverse pipeline is a great place to start, and we’re here to help.

Looking to diversify your talent pool by automating your top of funnel? Check out Fetcher.ai!

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About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.

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