As workforce demographics change and global markets expand, workplace diversity has become more than a nice-to-have — it’s necessary for your company to grow and stay competitive.
Not only that, but both your company and your employees reap tangible benefits from workplace diversity, including a healthy company culture and business gains. In fact, research shows that diverse companies
- Have 19% higher revenue
- Are 1.7 times more likely to lead in innovation in their markets
- Are 70% more likely to capture a new market
So how do you attract diverse, top-talent job candidates to your open positions?
Below, we’ll take a look at what today’s diverse populations of workers are looking for, and how you can shape your company’s online presence to attract candidates from a wider swath of groups.
What repels diverse candidates
Too often, employers unwittingly put obstacles in the hiring process for candidates — especially top-talent candidates from diverse backgrounds. When it comes to your online presence, there are a few types of candidate kryptonite that can kill your company’s online presence, like:
- Overused buzzwords
- Implying that certain types of protected classes of people will not be considered for open jobs (e.g. “Seeking applicants with a youthful perspective on social media”)
- Cliched job descriptions
- Complicated application processes
- Job posts that are too lengthy, too edgy, too selfish or too vague
Additionally, websites that don’t showcase how your company gives back to its employees or is full of images of only one type of person can be a big red flag for the types of candidates you want to attract.
How to attract diverse candidates
So now that you’ve got an idea of what not to do, here are some recommendations for creating an online presence that’s more inviting to a wider variety of candidates.
Incorporate diversity into your employer brand
It may seem like a no-brainer, but in the flurry of trying to fill in new job openings, this can be easy to miss.
“Depending upon the colors, photos, and copy, for example, it could be inferred that your organization is male-dominated, only for millennials, or lacks racial and ethnic diversity,” writes Michael Schneider of Inc.
When it comes to building a more diverse employer brand with your online images, a good rule of thumb is to use photos and other collateral on your company’s website, LinkedIn profile and other digital profiles that includes a visual representation of the types of employees you want to attract. This way, you’re casting a wider net and taking extra steps to ensure certain demographics don’t feel excluded when they’re researching your company.
Take advantage of sponsored content
Having the most attractive content in the world won’t help you if you don’t get it in front of the right eyeballs. By targeting the types of candidates you want to attract with sponsored content, you can make sure your blogs, job posts, social media posts and more are getting seen by the right people at the right time.
The great thing about social media is that you can use it to strengthen your employer brand, and show how, who, and what makes your company diverse. Think: “Day in the life” posts that give insight into different jobs in your company. Or, snap photos of your staff at trainings, events, volunteer opportunities, or even just doing their thing around the office.
Think about what makes your company unique and why people would want to work for it, and use that as a jumping-off point.
However, don’t go overboard and publish misleading or false content. Candidates can see right through the “fake news” of overly staged photos or exaggerated claims about how diverse your organization is, and they won’t be afraid to call your company out. So keep it genuine and authentic.
Highlight how your company invests in employee growth
The very best job candidates want to know how your company will help them grow as a person and as an employee. When creating a job description or writing about your organization online, include the programs and perks your company offers help your employees, like:
- Employee resource groups
- Continuing education and conferences
- Financing for industry-relevant licenses or certification
Keep in mind, not all employees want the same things. Research by Harvard Business Review shows that employees from diverse groups put emphasis on different programs and offerings from companies.
Female employees, for example, looked for tools that will help them balance their careers and family responsibilities. Employees of color emphasized advancement-focused tools like formal sponsorship programs and individual roadmaps for advancement, as well as resources that focus on transparency and a career pathway. LGBTQ employees wanted inclusive and accommodating day-to-day experiences.
Obviously, what your company can offer to stakeholders will depend on your size, industry, workforce and more.
Network with diverse organizations
When all is said and done, it takes more than writing a laundry list of your company’s perks and blasting your newest job opening posts to every online job board. In fact, 65% of candidates will not consider working for a company whose values don’t resonate with them. Therefore, it’s important to clearly communicate the company’s culture, mission and values in an authentic way, and this includes partnering with institutions that support the types of candidates you want to attract.
“People support those who support them,” says Tameka Williamson of Celestial & Associates Consulting to Forbes.
Willamson recommends creating a recruitment strategy that goes beyond passively posting your open jobs online and hoping for the best. She recommends creating a strategy that includes establishing a strong presence and relationship with historically black colleges and universities and minorities, women and LGBTQ organizations to cultivate and recruit desired talent.
Outcome equals intent
Authenticity and a true desire to establish a more diverse workplace are the keys to attracting diverse candidates. Put these powerful strategies into action, and watch your hard work turn into a more diverse pool of potential employees, a stronger workforce and a more successful business.