How to attract a more diverse range of candidates

Whether it be diversity of age, disability, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, no workplace should want to exclude any person. It’s a priority at Peoplebank and many other forward-thinking companies to make everyone feel like they have a chance when applying for a job. Furthermore, after a candidate lands a job, they want to feel comfortable in that particular workplace. I don’t think there’s a need to explain why companies need diversity. We all know it's more than statistics that show how it increases revenue, or better company culture -  it’s simply the right thing to do. 

Here are some ways to create a more diverse workplace by attracting diverse candidates.

Write the job posting carefully 

The first issue is that of tricky wording. Sometimes we write in a way that reflects ourselves personally (for example, I am a millennial, mixed, but mostly white woman), I couldn’t write from the perspective of a different race, age or gender naturally. It would take some effort. And that’s what we need to do, we need to take some effort and analysis of our job ads because there are often connotations behind words that make them more masculine or feminine. We have to be wary and use words that will fit the company’s goals for diversification. It could be handy to get different people to write the job ad every now and then or use software that analyses our writing so that we are as fair as possible.

It’s also positive to advertise the company in the job ad. Of course, mention the role and responsibilities but also mention the company’s vision and collective aim. In recruiting, we often don’t mention the name of the company, but this doesn’t mean we can’t give a little information to candidates (with the client’s permission). By demonstrating the bigger picture, you will attract more diverse candidates. It will encourage open-minded individuals who align themselves with your companies values to apply for the position instead of just anyone who thinks they can ace the criteria set before them.

Offer and mention workplace policies that you know are appealing to diverse candidates

Recruiters and companies should be aware of these aspects and use them in conversation with candidates. On company websites, in job ads and in verbal communication it’s wise to mention and promote workplace policies such as flexible work and anti-discrimination. Create an opportunity to share any awards based on diversity such as the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality award. These will resonate in people’s minds and make them feel more comfortable about a workplace. 

Create a company culture that supports diversity

Don’t just advertise and write about how diverse you are. Show it too. In interviews have a diverse panel, in the job ad, share a picture of your diverse team. Often promote images of the workplace or work events on social media channels. Make sure you are promoting people from diverse backgrounds and genders (given they have the right experience and want the position). Celebrate and post about these promotions! Aim to simply treat people equally and it will show.

Use a range of sourcing methods

If you aren’t finding diverse candidates where you have initially posted a job, look elsewhere. Or even better, reach out to the candidates you are after. Scan your LinkedIn connections or advertise on a different website. Call people, InMail them, be active, not passive. Put yourself in the candidate’s position and think about what they want and what they would like to see. Think about how many of these people may not actively be looking for a different job. 

Strategically pick the pool of candidates you give to your client

When you do get a diverse range of candidates, strategically select who to send in for interviews. This should be standard practice in recruiting anyway. Think about the client’s requirements and select the best candidates for the position. The more diverse the candidate pool the more likely that a diverse candidate will be hired. Avoid saturating a candidate pool with the same kind of people and make sure all their qualifications and experience are as similar as possible. 

Be frank and honest with your candidates 

Let people know openly how encouraged diverse individuals are in the company. There is no point in hiding this fact. Being sneaky about diversity is pointless and defeats the point. There have been gaps and inequality, it’s no secret, so no one should be shy about trying to make a better future.