9 Tips on Finding More Diverse Candidates for Your Company’s Open Positions

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: What’s your best tip for finding a more diverse pool of candidates for your company’s open positions?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs in the employment market.

1. Ask for Referrals

Staying well connected with diverse networks has been our most effective strategy. This includes people currently on our team, our clients, and people in our broader personal networks. We are focused on diversity in all aspects, particularly racial and ethnic diversity; we tell people that when we ask for candidate referrals, which has increased the diversity of our candidate pipeline. — Madeleine Niebauer, vChief 

2. Get Active on Multiple Social Media Platforms

The key to finding a more diverse pool of candidates is to get involved with your community on multiple social channels. Social media websites are all a little different, and thus, the audience on each site tends to have different views and values. Spend time engaging with people from your industry across the most prominent social sites and you will see more diverse, qualified candidates. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights 

3. Review Your Messaging

Finding a more diverse pool of candidates starts with the messaging an organization uses in its job postings and on its website and social media accounts. Ultimately, the language we use is the foundation of inclusion and equity, so it’s essential to ensure the company’s vision and culture align with this goal across the entire organization. — Richard Fong, SeniorStrong.org 

4. Hire Remotely

Like much of the world, we’ve fully embraced a remote work environment in the last year. Once the expectation of having employees come into the office was eliminated, we suddenly had access to a much bigger global talent pool. We’ve recruited some great team members at reasonable salaries using platforms like Upwork, often from locations where the cost of living is considerably lower than New York City. — Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc. 

5. Remove Application Barriers and Biases

Review your hiring process, including assessments and paperwork. This can help you determine if some aspect of your process is having an outsized impact on candidates from protected groups. In some cases, you may want a system that removes names from resumes so that you can review people based on their skills alone. It’s all about making sure that a qualified candidate can show their strengths without any barriers getting in the way. — Duran Inci, Optimum7 

6. Find Other Avenues for Recruitment

Start posting your open positions in new places. Skip Indeed and LinkedIn; reach out directly to networking groups and headhunters who specialize in serving diverse populations. Be intentional about your outreach and you will see more diversity in your candidate pool. It is our job as employers to reach people where they are and to promote welcoming workplaces. — Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity 

7. Consider All Forms of Diversity

Diversity is such a key influence and strength at Fortress. We didn’t necessarily pursue it for diversity’s sake, which I think is a cheap way of doing it. Diversity happened very organically for us, and we’ve identified it as one of our key differentiators. Diversity isn’t just skin color. Pursue diversity of ethnicities, ages, viewpoints, genders, religions, ideologies, backgrounds, and more. — Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting 

8. Build a Community of Industry Experts

We are a digital agency in Miami, and finding local SEO experts is a challenge. We started a local South Florida SEO Meetup, which gave us a community to share job opportunities with and source talent from. Often, when new prospects move to an area, they look to groups on Meetup to get established. — Matthew Capala, Alphametic 

9. Engage With Professionals on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become a great platform for finding a more diverse pool of candidates. Instead of just creating a company profile and posting jobs, try to stay active and engage with people in your industry. The more you share and interact, the more potential hires will get to know your business, what your culture is like, and what you’re looking for. Give them a glimpse of what you’re all about. — Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 

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