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What is one way a company can attract more diverse candidates to apply for open positions?

To help you attract a diverse pool of candidates, we asked HR/recruiting professionals and business leaders this question for their insights. From including details about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to highlighting employee resources, there are several ways to attract more diverse candidates for job openings.

Here are 13 ways to attract more diverse job candidates: 

  • Add Details About DEI Efforts Online
  • Sponsor Events With Affinity Groups
  • Announce a Blind Screening Process
  • Highlight Employee Resource Groups
  • Display a Diverse Talent Pool in Job Ads
  • Be the Kind of Company Diverse Talent Want to Work For
  • Be Cognizant of Pronouns and Verbiage
  • Offer Workplace Flexibility
  • Feature Results-Based Job Descriptions
  • Post Jobs Locally
  • Make Diversity Part of the Company Brand
  • Set a Specific Goal
  • Create Inclusive Job Descriptions

Add Details About DEI Efforts Online

Include details about your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on the company website. If you have a DEI policy on your website, it is already a step in the right direction, as candidates do their research on this topic. The Cadence Education website contains our commitment to DEI in the form of a personal statement from our CEO that is easy to locate. This is powerful because it illustrates a clear intention from the top of our organization that DEI is a priority.

Jeanne Kolpek, Cadence Education

Sponsor Events with Affinity Groups

Companies often rely on their current employees for referrals. Instead of that approach, perhaps companies can sponsor various events with different affinity groups and organizations that are embedded within minority communities. This is a great way to expand networks with diverse groups within your industry in a way that aligns with your company vision and values.

Rronniba Pemberton, Markitors

Announce a Blind Screening Process

Promoting a blind screening process is one method of attracting more diverse candidates for open positions. This action acknowledges that bias often exists within the hiring process and shows an effort to eliminate barriers that candidates often face in the application process. You can supplement this practice with skills-based assessments so that the applicant pool is narrowed down based on capability rather than recruiter impressions or general screening software algorithms.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Highlight Employee Resource Groups

Mentioning employee resource groups is an excellent way of signaling that a firm has strong diversity policies. That strengthens the confidence of applicants of minority backgrounds and encourages them to learn more about the employer. Even if a particular candidate doesn’t belong to the group already represented inside the firm, it still sends the message across. It may also result in casual share or placement on diversity-oriented job boards, which boosts the recruitment outreach.

Michael Sena, SENACEA

Display a Diverse Talent Pool in Job Ads

Rather than restricting your recruiting and marketing to images of non-diverse candidates, show graphics that reference a more diverse talent pool to prospective employees. Better yet, regularly feature employees from diverse backgrounds in your company literature, describing their projects and achievements. These features will probably say more about your hiring preferences and practices than promotional hiring materials could convey.

Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume

Be the Kind of Company Diverse Talent Want to Work For

If you want to attract a more diverse pool of candidates for your open positions, then you really need to take a look at your company’s PR strategy. Dive into whether your company is perceived as being a brand that showcases and applauds diversity. If your company isn’t talking about or acknowledging issues that are important to diverse communities, then how can you expect people to think you want diverse talent? 

This doesn’t mean your company has to go and post a Twitter rant about some controversial issue, but DEI efforts can be made in a more discreet manner. Partnering with a non-profit to have your employees volunteer, donating time or resources to causes that align with your company, or becoming an ambassador for a good cause are all ways that can improve brand perception, the satisfaction of your employees, and attract the kind of talent you want to hire.

Tom Mumford, Undergrads

Be Cognizant of Pronouns and Verbiage

One of the best ways to attract more diverse candidates is to provide as much agency and autonomy to the identity of prospective candidates as possible. Specifically, this means not using or assuming blanket masculine pronouns. 

Rather, with each specific description of the role, use the pronouns “he/she/they” in unison with each other. This will demonstrate a clear dedication to identity politics while also creating an immediate culture of inclusivity.

Lucas Nudel, Pride Palace

Offer Workplace Flexibility

A long commute, I’ve found, is a great indicator of staff resignation. Because working from home and having flexible work hours are generally associated with more varied communities, giving work from home choices and flexible work hours not only attracts more diverse candidates but also helps reduce costly turnover. 

Diversity hiring is defined as recruiting based on merit with extra attention paid to reducing biases based on a candidate’s age, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal traits unrelated to job performance.

Herbert Riggs, UnscrambleX

Feature Results-Based Job Descriptions

Some studies have shown that men apply for job offers with 60% of the required skills. Women, on the other hand, do not do so if they do not have 100%. Why is this? It is due to their self-confidence, which is influenced by social and educational factors or, in other words, the negative impact of unequal socialization.

To avoid this entry filter, it is recommended that you forget the long lists of requirements in your job offers and focus more on results. What will the person filling the vacancy have to achieve in the next six months? And in a year? If the candidates believe they can do it, they will apply more easily than if we ask for requirements or previous experience.

Miruna Cristina Necula, PhotoAiD

Post Jobs Locally

Companies shouldn’t be afraid to post their job openings in local forums, newspapers, and community newsletters. There are always people looking in those places who wouldn’t find the listings on larger platforms like LinkedIn. There’s value in helping contribute jobs to the community. It also may help widen the pool of diverse candidates.

Ryan Brown, Kenra Professional

Make Diversity Part of the Company Brand

If a company wants to attract diverse candidates, then it needs to make diversity part of its employer brand. Knowing that the company values diversity lets candidates know that they will have representation and be supported. By promoting diversity as part of the employer brand on social media and the website, it will catch the attention of those looking for companies who share those values. 

Holding conversations with employees on the importance of diversity is a way to start cultivating a culture based on those values. The goal is for diversity to permeate throughout the company, so candidates will want to be part of the culture.

Payel Gupta, Cleared

Set a Specific Goal

One way to attract more diverse candidates to apply for open positions is to set diversity hiring goals. Be as specific as you can and share your goals with input from your human resources department and any other stakeholders to make sure they know the expectations as well. You can also decide, for example, how many women you would like to hire and in what time frame. Setting the goals and making sure everyone at your company who is in a hiring position is well aware of them can help you achieve success in this area.

Sheila Chaiban, One Ocean Beauty

Create Inclusive Job Descriptions

Attracting candidates starts with a job description, so you should make it as inclusive as possible. A simple expression that you are an equal opportunity employer can sound fake, so why not go further and make your entire job description inclusive. To do so, I recommend using Ongig’s Text Analyzer, which helps to identify any discriminatory language in your job posting.

Rafal Mlodzki, Passport-photo online

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