Increase talent pool diversity.

Many organizations’ employee referrals feed their talent pools. That is a recruiting strategy in which employers encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates for jobs in their organizations. When there is a “war for talent,” organizations even give monetary bonuses to employees whose referrals become recruits.  

Affinity bias and discomfort with what is “different” result in homogeneous networks. Unsurprisingly, candidate profiles resemble your current employees when they refer future candidates. That makes employee referrals an ineffective strategy for HR departments looking to expand their candidate pool.  

Let’s explore three actions that will help increase talent pool diversity.

Action 1: assess your applicant pool

Action 1: Assess your applicant pool.

First, gain insight into your current situation to improve diversity in your applicant pool.

Gather data to measure and assess diversity gaps. This data will help you prioritize and define targeted actions with a significant impact. Go through the following checklist to evaluate your talent pool diversity.

  • Data collection:
  • What do you know about diversity in your talent pool? Which socio-demographic applicant data do you have access to because candidates share it on their resumé or during an interview?
  • What data do you save anonymously in a database that allows you to process the data further?
  • Does the data go beyond age and gender? For example, do you look at other characteristics like ethnicity, parental status, educational background, etc.?
  • What are ways to gather more data, keeping privacy and data protection laws in mind? Who can help with this task?
  • Data processing:

After collecting data, what happens to it? What does your process look like, and who is involved?

  • Do you regularly check what you can learn from this data?
  • Do you regularly report conclusions to senior management?
  • Do you follow up with specific trends, e.g., the lack of candidates representing a particular age group or only receiving candidates from the same university?
  • Do you investigate the root causes for trends? E.g., your organization gives guest lectures at only one university or is present at job fairs in certain regions.

Action 2: sourcing candidates

Action 3: composing a shortlist

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