Top Strategies to Attract Diverse Candidates


Diverse teams can help companies improve their innovation, creativity, and overall results. As a result, many organizations are looking at how they can build a team of qualified candidates with a variety of social identities. Here are some of the top strategies to help attract diverse candidates. 

What is diversity recruiting? 

Diversity in the workplace is the idea that your team should reflect the makeup of society around you. Your staff should come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. This diversity may include gender, race, religion, sexual orientation socio-economic status, ethnicity, etc. 

  • Audit your job ads

To speak to more diverse candidates, conduct an audit of your current recruitment ads or job postings. Recognize whether these posts may have some level of bias in them. Are they geared toward a specific demographic or experience level? 

Some examples of gendered terms include “guru,” “ninja,” or “rockstar.” These are terms that are typically used to call out men more than women. Additionally, he/him pronouns are more often used in job postings, which can unfairly push away women. Consider rewording your job posting to make it more neutral as it’ll help you reach more people. 

Something else to keep in mind is that research shows that women often don’t apply to jobs unless they meet all the criteria. Men, on the other hand, tend to apply regardless. So, don’t necessarily make a long list of requirements or “nice-to-haves.” Keep your job descriptions short and instead review resumes and base your decision on interviews. You may find your ideal candidate is someone who wouldn’t have applied or even traditionally “qualified.” 

  • Encourage your diverse employees to refer their connections

Use the diverse hires on your team already as a resource. It’s likely that they’ll have a network of people with similar backgrounds. You should reach out to those individuals, encourage them to share job ads with their network, and give them the tools they need to properly promote your company. This can convey to your workers and prospective candidates that your company values diversity while boosting your diversity recruitment strategy. 

  1. Offer internships to targeted groups 

Somecompanies have begun internal diversity programs for both internships and co-ops for candidates with specific backgrounds. These programs can encourage emerging candidates in your industry to get experience, understand your company and its values, and join your team. 

If you’re interested in going this route, reach out to schools and community groups to connect with students. Your community may have existing programs to help diversity and inclusion, and you can join these initiatives to help give back. Offering some sort of online diversity training can be very beneficial in adding inclusivity to your workplace. 

Final Thoughts

Diversity and inclusion are noble causes for a company to strive for, but it can be taxing to figure out how to best move the dial on your own diversity strategies. Having an internal program is one thing…making your efforts external and working to recruit others is a whole different ball game. However, if you approach the challenge with the idea that this will continue to improve your company and continually make you more innovative, there’s no reason not to. You’ve got this!