A Guide to Diversity Sourcing in 2023

Asha Martinez

Asha Martinez

10 min read

With the rise of globalization in today's economy, incorporating diversity in the workplace is a must for companies worldwide. The recent PwC survey found that 57% of CFOs plan to invest in diversity and inclusion initiatives next year.

Today employers prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion more than ever, and hiring teams must instill an effective diversity sourcing strategy to meet their diversity goals.

This blog will give you an in-depth look at the concept of diversity sourcing, practical strategies, and best practices to implement when designing a diversity sourcing strategy.

What is diversity sourcing?

Diversity Sourcing is the process of finding talent from various diverse backgrounds, such as genders, languages, races, cultures, sexual orientations, geographies, and disabilities. It creates an environment that supports diverse backgrounds and perspectives, leading to various ideas, awareness, and ways of doing things. Diversity sourcing solutions result in a diversified workforce that can increase organizational performance.

Why is diversity sourcing important?

Diversity in the workplace is a booming trend in the business industry as it provides substantial benefits for performance, innovation, and productivity. A study shows that companies with diverse management teams produce 25% more revenue due to innovation.

Some benefits include a team with a wide-ranging skills and experience, language and cultural awareness, and a diverse candidate pool.

Diversity is a powerful tool for the growth of your business, as there is a collaboration of experts with different ideas and views. It enables the team members to discuss the pros and cons of any initiative and make decisions based on a broader range of information, resulting in better outcomes overall.

Due to these tangible benefits, diverse workforces are efficient at solving problems and drive better innovation and creativity at work. It creates an accommodating workspace with an environment supporting diverse perspectives on any issue.

What is a Diversity Sourcing Audit?

A Diversity & Inclusion audit (D&I) enables you to understand where your organization stands in societal diversity. A diversity sourcing audit can help your company in the following ways:

  • It identifies the ways to improve your internal processes and assures diverse selection and recruitment.
  • It attracts diverse talent who progress through your organization with effective performance management.
  • It helps identify which areas to prioritize if you have a general goal of diversifying your workforce.
  • It makes it easier to establish a robust organization-specific case for better workplace diversity making it more likely that key players within the organization are on the same page.

Take a look at your organization's job functions, processes, departments, markets, etc., before you make any procedural changes to a more diverse workforce on board.

Use a data-driven approach to drive your company's diversity and inclusion strategy by conducting a company-wide D&I engagement survey, gathering and analyzing employee data for trends and intersectionality.

12 Proven Tips to Source Diverse Candidates

According to a survey, 85% of CEOs say having a diverse and inclusive workforce has improved their bottom lines. Read on to learn how to recruit a diverse workforce at your organization.

Sourcing diverse candidates for your team should be based on merit and designed to discover deserving candidates while excluding biases from the recruitment process. Here are 12 helpful tips on sourcing diverse candidates:

Review your previous job ads.

Let's start with the primary recruitment step: posting ads for a particular job opening. As they say, 'If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk. So, to recruit diverse candidates, you must look into your past recruitment ads and make changes to address a wider variety of candidates.

Ensure that your organization is an inclusive workplace, especially when competing with more well-known organizations. Look for ways to be inclusive to appeal to candidates from different backgrounds and let the candidates know that you're seeking them out. Avoid using jargon in your job postings, as it may confuse potential candidates and can deter them from applying in the first place.

For instance, avoid using gender bias in job titles. Instead of using terms like “Chairman” or “Salesman”, use more inclusive terms such as “Chairperson” or “Sales-representative”.

Avoid using “his/her” in your job descriptions since many in the LGBTQ+ community do not identify themselves with these pronouns. Instead, you use “they/them,” which also applies to gender non-conforming individuals.

Adding a statement such as “apply even if you don’t think you meet all the criteria” will encourage more women candidates to reach out.

Target sources where diverse candidates gather.

Sourcing diverse candidates from various places is an excellent way to ensure your talent pool is diverse. Instead of targeting candidates from just one source, again and again, try to reach out to different sources to get a broader choice of candidates.

Identify relevant channels to reach diverse audiences with vacancy advertisements. Besides the usual web recruitment, social media postings such as LinkedIn or Instagram can also present you with a broader talent pool. There are many online and offline women-centric groups for women in technology, which could be a great source to meet and connect with high-caliber female candidates directly.

Here are a few job channels you can leverage to boost your diversity sourcing efforts:

BlackJobs.com aims to provide high-paying job opportunities to the African-American community. 

Female Executive Search helps organizations find qualified women who are senior leadership-level candidates. 

GTA Black Women in Tech enables African-American women to find jobs in the tech world.

Out in Tech can allow companies to connect with members of the queer community by providing opportunities in the tech industry.

Encourage referrals from existing ERGs or minority employees.

Your current ERGs or minority employees can significantly help get new job postings out to the broader community and specific demographic. Reach out to employees already on your team. Our networks tend to be made up of people who are demographically similar. It’s called the “affinity bias”. Leveraging this “similarity effect” with minority employees will likely increase diversity at the top of the funnel.

Create a diverse candidate referral program by offering an employee bonus for referring URMs. This strategy works best when you communicate intentional messaging about having a diverse organization. This way, your employees and potential candidates will realize that the company values their opinions and presence and will be more inclined to refer their networks.

Provide internships to targeted groups.

An excellent way to encourage promising candidates to join your team and get experience is by offering internships to candidates from specific backgrounds.

Reach out to colleges, universities, and community groups to provide opportunities and connect with students. For long-term success, link your recruiting strategies to universities with programs that align with the candidates your company is looking for. Providing mentoring is a great way to invest in up-and-coming URM talent.

Incorporate diversity into your employment brand.

The best way to increase diversity in your employment brand is when diversity is rooted in your company's vision and culture. Candidates should know that your brand values people and opinions from all walks of life.

Discuss the importance of diversity with your team members and embed those values into your company culture.

Show that your brand emphasizes inclusivity and how it connects to people of all communities. Add diversity content to your career sites, such as images of company events, demographics showcasing your company's diversity, and information about diversity resources on offer.

Create diversity and inclusivity policies.

Simply saying that your company values diverse recruiting strategies and teams will not help; you'd rather have to abide by those values daily. It is vital to apply company policies that appeal to diverse candidates.

Contemplate changing time-off policies to include community events, religious holidays, etc. Encouraging flexible work hours so that candidates can continue to support their communities while working makes the company more appealing to a broader group of people.

Encourage your employees to speak up if they think specific policies hinder diversity. Individual biases will always affect how they perceive and navigate the workplace. Hence, supporting an open and honest dialogue is essential to ensure everyone feels welcome.

Creating and promoting these policies in your outreach messages to potential candidates is an excellent strategy.

Introduce diversity targets.

Diversity targets can be a specific percentage of the entire staff that has been carefully thought of and considered across the board.

For example, you can set a diversity target where women must comprise 40% of your organization's total number of employees.

Another example of a diversity target could be doubling the number of Black or Latinx representation in your current organization.

To build a diverse team, you need people who truly understand what diversity means. Having a diverse recruitment team can not only implement the strategy but also add to it.

This way, the company can show that there has been no bias in selecting candidates, which could benefit the business as a whole.

Reduce unconscious bias.

Everybody is naturally biased when it comes to numerous things, and most of the time, this unconscious bias dictates how we behave. However, in a diversity and inclusion recruitment strategy, you should minimize its impact as much as possible.

The first thing you must do is examine the reason for unconcious bias. Are your hiring teams diverse? Is there a bias in your sourcing process? Answer such questions to understand how you can eliminate bias in your recruitment.

Send out candidate surveys to URM candidates to understand their experience with your hiring team, so you can take a closer look at any gaps that surface and fix them accordingly.

Another popular method is to use blind resumes, where you "black out" any personal information on the resumes. Essential information like names, date of birth, school, and location can sometimes contribute to a biased assessment of the candidate, even though it may not be done consciously.

You can also adopt the Rooney Rule approach where one leadership position has to be filled by an ethnic minority.

Automate shortlisting by using an ATS.

You can leverage your ATS to narrow down your list impartially to the most high-potential candidates. Use the screening tools in your ATS to look for candidates with the most potential and skills.

This way, you'll eliminate any personal opinions about specific candidates from the equation and focus only on the data relevant to the job description. Shortlisting candidates based on definitive requirements will help you achieve increased diversity.

Refine your Screening Process.

Like your job ads audit, where you reconsider what you look for in a candidate and how you talk to them, an essential aspect of diversity recruiting is to rethink what traits you value the most in candidates.

Reflect on how you're screening and testing the candidates, and question yourself if you're directing the results toward specific categories of people. If you think you are, consider changing your testing methods, and if you're unsure, ask your peers to acquire a diverse range of opinions.

Seed talent pipelines with diverse candidates.

Diverse candidates are less likely to be selected when they are the only ones from a specific demographic among the shortlisted candidates. You can apply a diversity recruitment strategy called "the two in the pool effect" to overcome this decision bias.

The advantage of having multiple people from the same demographic significantly increases the possibility of at least one of them being hired. Therefore, seeding your qualified shortlist with an equal number of diverse candidates will result in a more even playing field when choosing the one to hire.

Diversity Sourcing Best Practices Recruiters Should Follow

Diversity sourcing can be challenging, but following these best practices can make your recruitment plan more successful.

Begin a Conversation with your Team.

You can bring experts to talk about unconscious bias all day or hire a Chief Diversity Officer. The key is to actually have an honest conversation to understand what diversity and inclusion mean to your team. It could be about physical appearance or race and gender. Make sure you don't miss out on involving your team in the conversation because only one person cannot define diversity and inclusion.

Keep the aperture wide to counteract polarization. If it's simply an initiative inside your company focused on women, that's fantastic. But include and encourage men to participate! Otherwise, they say, 'I'm not going in that room.'

Identify Your Diversity Sourcing Goals.

Setting diversity sourcing goals before your hunt for diverse talent is essential. First, you must find the opportunity in your business model and analyze whether it suits your demographics. Once you decipher your aim and choose the metrics to measure your diversity sourcing efforts, you can get started. You can set your diversity goals in the following ways. For example,

  • Compare your diversity landscape to the industry average
  • Calculate the number of job offers extended to URMs
  • Track your funnel activity by calculating the percentage of offers accepted by URMs

Refine your Existing Diversity Sourcing Strategy.

Once you have a list of diverse candidates, you must streamline your candidate engagement strategies to make them more diversity-friendly. Send personalized messages to ensure you can strike a chord that resonates with the candidates.

When looking for candidates, dig deep into their interests, skills, and experience instead of just glancing at them. Looking for recognizable universities or companies in their resume will not be helpful; instead, look for what they have achieved.

Analyze the projects they might have worked on, contributed to, or owned; they might have taken up various levels of responsibility in their current role. Tenure doesn't always equate to impact. Consider the diverse business areas they might have impacted through their organization's social media or blog presence.

Build Relationships With Diverse Industry Associations.

Just like recruiters attract young talent by collaborating with student-run organizations, you can also build relationships with industry associations that include diverse members.

Suppose you want to attract more people from a particular gender, racial background, or ethnic group. In that case, you can find professional organizations that cater to these demographics and build relationships with them. It sends a message to prospective candidates that you’re interested in working with them regardless of their background and wish to cultivate meaningful relationships with their communities.

Showcase Diversity on Your Social Media.

Once your company adopts a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, you must make it public to communicate with candidates effectively. Ensure that all your diversity-related initiatives and policies are posted and updated on your careers website.

Celebrate and showcase your diversity goal wins on your social media pages. This will show your potential employees that you are committed to diversity and making your work environment more diverse and inclusive.

How can Covey help?

It’s evident that talent leaders today need to leverage diversity sourcing to build their teams, but manually scaling for large-scale enterprises is labor-intensive. Luckily, Covey can help!

With Covey’s powerful augmented sourcing solution, recruiters can find the best talent without hiring expensive agencies. Schedule a Demo with us now if you want to scale up your sourcing needs.

Built for endless use cases
across all talent teams.

Ready to see Covey in action?