Sep 08

How To Increase The Size Of A Diverse Talent Pipeline

Research Partners have just successfully completed a Minority search for a Senior Management role in a tier 1 Technology firm. Although we are proud of this positive outcome, finding enough talent to short list for our client was no easy task. Below I would like to share some tips to increase a diverse talent pipeline and highlight the importance of focusing on a long-term strategy, to make the possibility of increasing diversity in organisations more realistic.

Many companies in a variety of industries struggle to source diverse talent. One of the main issues is the lack of diverse professionals in the market (with some industries affected more than others), and the talent pipeline.  This becomes even more apparent the more senior the role. Diversity results in better decision-making and plays an essential role in a company’s long-term success. Companies without a diverse pipeline or strategy to build one, will continue to hire the same types of people. This will inhibit growth, progression, and their competitive advantage.

Here are 5 strategies that can help companies build a more diverse talent pipeline.

  1. Offer targeted internships, scholarships and develop talent from entry level roles

I have chosen to list this point as number 1 as I feel that it is so important that companies take a longer-term view to building pipelines of diverse talent. For you to increase your diverse pipeline, you have to make changes at the bottom of the organization too, consider creating and offering internships and scholarships for people from underrepresented groups. Within each organisation, ask for their help in promoting your internships and scholarships among their members. By creating entry level positions for diverse candidates, this could prove especially useful in attracting talent to your firm.”

  1. Recruit from diverse talent pools and institutions

To hire diverse candidates, you need to widen your talent pool.  Alongside female talent and various minority groups, are you sourcing for veterans, LGBTQ+ professionals, people over 40 and people with disabilities?

It is worthwhile to include more diverse colleges and universities and associations in your search. Searching at historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic and Latino organizations, or professional groups like the National Association of Asian American Professionals, LGBTQ+ Meeting Professionals Association and Women For Hire are great resources during the recruitment process.

  1. Advertise your jobs through diverse associations and forums

To reach diverse candidates, it can be worthwhile to place your job ads in relevant magazines, websites, associations and forums visited by female talent, underrepresented groups or dedicated to minorities.

  1. Leverage diverse job boards

Many professional groups have job boards where recruiters can post open roles that must be filled.  There are also many specialist diverse niche job boards that can be used to reach a more diverse candidate pool.

Diversity JobSite (a job board for ethnic diversity)

Hire Autism (a job board made for individuals on the autism spectrum)

LGBT Jobs (a job board inclusive to the LGBT community)

Recruit Disability (a job board for job seekers who have disabilities)

  1. Ask for diverse referrals

Although asking your existing employees for diverse referrals is highly recommended, asking your diverse employees can sometimes be more fruitful.  For example, a female data scientist is likely to know of other female talent in this area.  Offer employee referral bonuses to your employees who recommend candidates from underrepresented groups in your company.  Not only can employee referrals lower recruitment costs, they may increase employee engagement according to Harvard Business Review.

The deciding factor for some candidates to decide to join a business may be a company’s true commitment to diversity, which they will assess in many ways throughout the interview process. This ranges from the diversity they observe within the organization and the interview panel to the employer brand. As we all know, it is not easy to build and nurture a diverse pipeline.

What specific actions is your company taking to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce?

About The Author

Natalie Heilling is an International Executive Search Consultant and Co-Founder of Research Partners running various recruitment campaigns across Europe, North America, and Asia while helping clients reach their hiring targets with peace of mind. Natalie has worked in Technology and eCommerce for the last 20 years and helped US companies confidently establish themselves in Europe and emerging markets.

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