Improve candidate sourcing to build more inclusive teams

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Wherever your company is in its diversity and inclusion process, one component is crucial for permanent change: candidate sourcing. While hiring managers, recruiters and HR departments might have good intentions and actively prioritize hiring more diverse candidates, the companywide policies these individuals support are barely moving the numbers. 

Why are current diversity and inclusion programs still not meeting their full potential? The same tried and true recruiting and sourcing methods are used on a constant rinse-and-repeat cycle. If you’re serious about increasing diversity on your teams and making your workplace more inclusive, you have to meet candidates where they are – from professional groups to niche job sites. 

These three strategies can help companies source diverse candidates across a variety of perspectives, experiences and identities. 

Analyze your outreach 

What colleges and universities do you recruit from? What about professional organizations?  

A great way to either adjust your educational partnerships or to launch a new recruiting initiative would be to prioritize relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as traditionally Black sororities and fraternities. Add these schools and organizations to your list of partnerships or reach out to start a new relationship and recruiting pipeline for your company. 

Plus, many professions have demographic-specific organizations to promote career advancements for marginalized or underserved populations. Be intentional in seeking out identities and perspectives you’d like to add to your team. Start with groups like the Association of Latino Professionals for America and Ascend: Pan-Asian Leaders, and check out lists of LGBTQ+ career groups and women in business professional organizations.  

And don’t forget about the communities surrounding your office, headquarters or where your employees live. There are likely to be great organizations to support and recruit from in your own backyard. 

Use job board postings and HR tech to diversify candidate sourcing 

Niche job boards should be your friend. Find job boards that align with the specific talent you’re trying to reach, whether it’s veterans transitioning from military life or supporting LGBTQ+ creatives, for example. (Or use one that allows you to select which boards to automatically post your jobs.)  

HR tech data can also be instrumental in sourcing more diverse candidates, specifically Boolean search strings and supply and demand data. Use Boolean search strings to find the names of professional groups, sororities and fraternities, diversity groups, and other organizations or job boards where people congregate online. Supply and demand data will give you ethnicity and location data, helping you find where the candidates you want are, context on compensation and education, skills expectations, and market competition. 

Expand your public presence through events and media partnerships 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, companies would participate in “diversity” hiring fairs organized by community groups. These were often in areas with underserved populations impacted by systemic racism and might otherwise have limited career opportunities. Many of these fairs have gone virtual - participate in one or find community groups and organizations that can help you get connected to host your own.  

Partnerships, collaborations or projects with media outlets that service specific demographic groups can help you reach new audiences, share your company culture and develop a talent network of interested candidates. 


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