Sourcing
candidates

Why it matters?

The job descriptions for your open roles are written and ready to go. But, to ensure you secure the best (and most diverse) individuals for your teams, actively sourcing candidates is just as important.

It’s no secret that locating top talent can be difficult. And that’s at the best of times, let alone during our current candidate-short market. So, when sourcing candidates with diversity in mind, it’s important that your company values DEI first.

Let's get back to the basics

By the time you get to sourcing candidates for your vacancies, you should have already defined your recruitment process, what DEI means in practice for your organisation, and created an inclusive job ad.

Before embarking on your candidate search, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions:

Does your mission statement clearly articulate your interest in and commitment to diversity?

Does your company culture value DEI?

Ensuring that you have a clearly defined mission statement and well established company culture is imperative before embarking on your candidate search.

Widen your search

While it’s helpful to have an understanding of platforms with a proven track record of success when hiring, it’s also important not to be too strict in terms of where you’re primarily sourcing. As mentioned previously, job descriptions should avoid language skewed to particular groups when diversity is the goal - and the same principle stands for where you’re searching.

If you focus too much on ad platforms stereotypically associated with younger people when hiring for a junior role, such as Instagram or Tik Tok, you could be missing out on a diverse pool of talent. Consider placing your ads across a number of platforms and mediums to reach a wider pool of candidates.

So, where exactly should you start when hiring with DEI in mind? We break it down…

Polaroids image with collaged facial sections of a diverse range of people.
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Where to source candidates

Look internally

Before turning your sights to external job-seeking activities, you should look internally first. Are there existing employees who would be a great fit for the role? Or would like the opportunity to be considered for it as the next step in progressing their career?

You want to make sure everyone in the company is aware of growth opportunities. Ensuring you have a strong internal recruitment system in place is important in being inclusive. It will also foster the growth of your employees and promote retention. According to LinkedIn, employees at companies with a high proportion of internal hires i.e. with high ‘internal mobility’, will stay with their company almost twice as long as at companies with lower mobility.

So, how can you foster an inclusive culture and support career progression within your organisation?

01

Ensure job openings are accessible to everyone by posting them in a dedicated careers hub and promoting them within your internal comms channels. You never know if your Payroll Officer wants to make a switch to your P&C team, or whether your junior software developer wants to make that leap to a mid-level dev.

02

Offer mentorship opportunities. What support do your employees need to take that next step? Be a mentor and help them with their progression.

03

Listen and talk to your people. Is there someone in your team who wants the opportunity to be considered for a more senior role, or to move departments? See how you can support them in their career goals. Demonstrating genuine care about the progression and dreams of your team members is a sure-fire way to create a truly inclusive environment your people can feel comfortable in.

Careers hub

It’s a great idea to establish a dedicated career hub for your company. As the hub is something you own, you will have full creative control over it and can ensure it is created in a way that promotes inclusion. When you have a job opening, this can also be one of your first ports of call for advertising.

So, how exactly do you set it up in a way that ensures inclusivity? Here are a few tips:

01

Use inclusive language that doesn’t single out or isolate any groups. Head over to our previous "job description" section for some tips.

02

Highlight your company’s commitment to DEI. Include overviews of your initiatives, how it is an integral part of your culture, and your commitment to it in the future.

03

Use diverse imagery to ensure everyone feels represented. Team images are a more authentic means of highlighting your team’s DEI efforts, as opposed to stock imagery.

04

Ensure your site is mobile-friendly as this may be candidates’ only means of viewing your vacancies.

05

Make the site as accessible as you can. For example, include subtitles on videos, use readable fonts, and consider text colours. For more tips, there are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines you can follow here.

Online job sites

Not to be overlooked is the trusty old job site. A simple and effective way to attract talent and alert candidates of job openings, job sites provide your roles with exposure. This automatically opens you up to a wider talent pool. To maximise the diversity of your candidates, it's definitely worth posting on job boards specialising in diverse hiring e.g. diversity.com

Referrals

Referrals from people you trust can be a great way to recruit talented candidates. According to employee referral software platform ERIN, it takes 60 days on average to fill a position, while it only takes 35-40 days on average with an employee referral. However, you’ll need to be careful that you’re not only recruiting people like you. To create a truly diverse culture, you should welcome candidates with diverse perspectives to avoid affinity bias and drive innovation.

You should also consider implementing a company referral scheme to encourage team members to get involved in sourcing, offering financial rewards or other perks for recommendations and successful hires. If you would like to make sourcing a team activity, it’s also a great idea to provide each team member with a hiring role and a job profile (including the required skills) so they know who to look out for. This ensures they have a seat at the table and their voice is heard when building out their team.

Established programs

Another great way to source candidates is to establish a program, such as an internship, traineeship or grad program which aims to foster the growth of candidates - with the intention of placing them into permanent roles with your company down the line. You could even leverage programs run by other organisations, such as university internship programs, or community-run initiatives to source talent. This is a great way to provide opportunities to those who may be struggling to get their foot in the door.

Groups and networking events

Have you considered using networking events to source candidates? Reaching your ideal candidates where they hang out, for example, coders at a coder networking event, is a great way to find tech professionals and connect with them personally. A few other places where you can connect with diverse candidates include:

  • Alumni associations
  • International colleges and universities
  • Women’s colleges and universities
  • Professional businesses focused on supporting diverse populations

Recruiters

Candidates aren’t always easy to find on your own. It may be worthwhile to use the services of a specialised tech recruiter. They have the resources, networks, and detailed knowledge of the industry, helping you to place the best people in the roles you need to fill.

Provide a hand-up for local talent

Talent RISE is a registered charity born out of the desire to facilitate real-world solutions to the barriers young people face with employment. If you recruit across the UK, Australia or New Zealand, Talent RISE can help connect you with a diverse community of young talent looking for a hand-up the career ladder. 

Providing a placement or work experience for young people through Talent RISE is not only a great way to introduce diversity within your organisation but it also helps you engage with the local community and boosts morale and engagement for existing team members. Find out more by hearing Jo-Ash’s story:

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If you can provide a young person with work experience, find out how Talent RISE can help by registering for an informal chat here.

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