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Sourcing Series: Top techniques for hiring diverse talent

Gurprit Bhambra
By Gurprit Bhambra
on June 01, 2016
Sourcing series: top techniques for hiring diverse talent

Diversity is a hot topic, with many firms under pressure to look at the composition of their workforce and increase diversity within their company. The challenge is not an easy one; it is a long-term strategy that needs to be woven into the company culture by getting buy-in from senior leadership. In addition, the talent attraction process needs careful thought, planning and strategy dependent on your goals. Thankfully, there are several techniques you can try to help you improve your sourcing game and hone in on the diverse candidates you’re looking for.

Images

Sourcing through images is a powerful way to quickly locate visibly diverse talent. Google is home to one of the largest databases of images and being able to use Boolean strings to target candidates is a simple yet effective strategy. For example, you could create a search to 'X-ray' or view public profiles through Google, targeting a job title and location and then click on images to hone in on diverse profiles to add to a candidate slate.

Social groups

Hosting offline networking events has become immensely popular and also an avenue for recruiters to find large groups of diverse talent. Meetup.com is one such site, with thousands of social groups that meet on a regular basis, based on common interests. The range of groups is vast, from hobbies to technical interests and travel, and, as they are global, it is easy to search for groups that are based in a specific location. These groups also provide a great opportunity to proactively build partnerships that are mutually beneficial. For example, if you’re trying to attract women to work in the technology industry or tech roles, the 'Women who code' Meetup group could provide a great platform to meet talented individuals. Alternatively, your business could look to partner with them in other ways such as hosting or sending a speaker from your company to their events.

Diversity hiring with images

Conferences/speakers

Websites such as Eventbrite make it easy to search for conferences where you will be able to network with diverse people related to the industry or skill set you’re hiring for. Alternatively, you can look into sending a diverse hiring manager to speak or participate in discussions. Sometimes, the best candidates are referrals, so if you look to attend the event as an interested participant and remove the hard sales approach, you can use the opportunity to discover good recommended candidates.

Hashtags

Most businesses and events make use of hashtags (#) to make their content easily discoverable. This is a great method of classification and allows people to follow conversations and brands. Many events and conferences will use a hashtag for people to comment and post, bringing the dialogue online and making it available to those who have not attended. By identifying conferences of interest, you can follow hashtags and read through posts to source for diverse talent. If you are an attendee, you can also join the dialogue and bring your company to the forefront of followers online and use this as an opportunity to create interest in the business.

Talent mapping

Proactively identifying diverse talent and creating talent maps is a great way to ensure you have a strong pipeline of candidates. This is especially useful for hard to fill/niche roles where more in depth research and deep web sourcing is required to identify passive candidates. In addition, there are various websites and tools that provide data and workforce analytics that will help you to target diverse talent and understand the market. This is also great to put in front of hiring leaders and explain the market, your approach and the availability of diverse talent.

Tools/technology

It seems as though technology is advancing at lightning speed and new innovations are appearing almost daily. There are now tools and technologies that can even highlight unconscious bias in your job descriptions and adverts, during the shortlisting and interview processes. For example, Gapjumpers.com is a great tool which offers 'blind auditions', ensuring bias is removed and helping hiring managers to keep their focus on finding qualified candidates.

Hiring process

Another couple of ways you can ensure you weave in the focus on diversity is by creating diverse candidate slates and adding diverse hiring leaders to your interview panels. This can also be driven through metrics, e.g holding your recruiters accountable for adding diverse candidates to their slate. A diverse interview panel will help to ensure there are different perspectives brought to the table when it comes to the decision on who to hire. Both strategies will make sure that diversity is actually represented and your candidates who make it through to the interview stages will see that too.

diversity hiring

Measuring success

It is very important to take a regular look back on the goals that were set for diversity and report back to your executive team on your progress. One of the ways you can achieve this is by creating a diversity scorecard that outlines your hiring metrics and goals. You can also use this to review areas with room for improvement.

Putting diversity into practice

At Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), the importance of diversity means we weave it into our talent acquisition solutions from the very start. When launching a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solution, diversity hiring is a core part of the process, rather than something that is tagged on as an afterthought. This is reflected in our acquisition of GettingHired, which specializes in helping people with disabilities find gainful employment.

A prime example of our holistic approach to diversity in action is our recent work with an IT software and solutions company:

While recognizing the importance of diversity, the business was struggling to become as diverse as it wanted to be. Working with the client, AGS first defined an inclusion strategy that highlighted the categories of diversity to target. This was followed by a sourcing strategy that proactively targeted the kind of candidates the business required.

To achieve success, the need for diversity was woven into the AGS recruiting team's day-to-day operations. Some of the sourcing techniques used included:

  • Strategic attendance of relevant events
  • Diversity awareness and education training for the client's recruitment team
  • Diverse candidate slate program, which targeted recruiters to present at least one diverse applicant per requisition
  • Strategic partnerships with relevant groups, such as the DirectEmployers Association

The following results were achieved:

  • Candidate diversity up 400% for sales positions
  • Candidate diversity up 50% for development/operations roles
  • Increased awareness of the importance of diversity
  • Clear strategies on how and where to recruit diverse talent

How can you implement a diversity strategy that delivers measurable results such as these? Download AGS' whitepaper to find out.

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Gurprit Bhambra
Written by Gurprit Bhambra

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