By: Jonathan Kidder
Companies are seeing the value in having a diverse workforce. Every company wants to attract and retain the most qualified applicants and finding applicants with a diverse background can be very challenging. I have had my own difficulties trying to source for diversity. It’s taken me several years to understand the market and to come up with a strategy that worked for me. You can waste a lot of time in the wrong places. I don’t recommend going to job fairs or outplacement firms – I have never had success with using these resources. Passive talent does not take the time to go to these types of events. Here are some of the things I’ve found that do work:
[Facebook Ads] These ads can be a cost effective way to target certain demographics. Videos are popular on social media and it helps if you can include a job description with a video ad. This would be the best way to target diverse applicants in a certain location. For less than $500 you would have a creative advertisement that draws in views and traffic. You can also use boolean to directly source on Facebook. It’s really an untapped market for talent. I feel that Facebook will become a new resource for recruiters with difficult searches. You can learn more here.
[Meetup.com] Another great resource is to find meetup events in your area. Depending on where you live, this can be a goldmine of people with diverse backgrounds, skills, and interests. In the past I have used these groups for names. You can cross reference those names on LinkedIn directly. If your plan is to build your name or company in the market, I really recommend going to at least one meetup per month.
[Colleges & Universities] Target a variety of schools with diverse populations. I’ve had success by just googling different schools and their diversity outreach programs. You can even email the career service department. Usually career services are more than willing to post your job and broadcast your opportunity on email chains or alumni websites. You can also ask about opportunities to set up a table at any future events they might be having.
[Non-profits & Associations] Do some research on non-profits in your location. These organizations have many community-building events. They have a strong network that could really help with a tough search. I would recommend having them post your opportunity and see what other ways they can partner with you in finding qualified candidates.
[Religious Institutions] I’ve had some success by contacting different churches and religious organizations. They usually have event calendars listed on their websites. This is a great way to find community based events.
[Search LinkedIn] You can always search LinkedIn directly. I’ve had success searching for candidates proficient in other languages this way. You can cross reference LinkedIn by using Meetup.com groups or Facebook events to find candidate names.
[Network with referrals] Always ask your employees for referrals. Usually the hiring manager has strong ties with the local market. They may have colleges and events in their network that they already know of. You can even have an applicant with a diverse background write a testimonial of their experience at the company. This could help with building a culture that supports and attracts top diverse applicants.
Overall, takes a lot of effort to build a diverse pipeline. I’ve had a lot of success with attracting diverse applicants but there are always ways in which I can improve my strategies. I recommend writing down all your ideas and creating time-bound goals. What are some of the creative ways that you engage diverse talent?