5 Diversity Sourcing Methods to Reach Underrepresented Talent

Build a diverse talent pool of passive candidates

September 22, 2022

Diversity Sourcing Candidates meta

Attracting the best and brightest talent is your top priority as a recruiter. But the best and brightest won’t always come to you - they might not even know your company or its open roles exist!

It’s the reason more companies are adopting proactive diversity and inclusion hiring strategies - to ensure candidates from a range of backgrounds and experiences are aware of available opportunities. But are they working? According to a Gartner report, only 36% of organizations with DE&I strategies report being effective in hiring a diverse workforce.

One reason: many focus too much on inbound recruiting and not enough on diversity sourcing.

If this is what it’s like in your organization, then continue reading to learn how to source candidates for better diversity.

Why is diversity sourcing critical to building diverse teams?

Hiring a diverse workforce goes beyond relying on inclusive job descriptions and job boards to deliver diverse applicants to your pipeline. Those things are a great start, but to truly expand representation, you need to actively recruit diverse candidates and let them know you’re interested in them!

However, many employers only approach recruiting passively. The issue is that candidates from underrepresented backgrounds often don’t apply to jobs if they feel they don’t meet all the qualifications.

So to counter this, recruiters can employ talent sourcing to proactively identify passive candidates to diversify their talent pools.

When done regularly, organizations will quickly find diverse talent that can bring new ideas and innovation to the company. This is a major part of bringing a holistic approach to diversity hiring.

How to source diverse candidates

Now, there are several methods for finding diverse candidates who are actively and passively looking for new roles.

Let’s review the top diversity sourcing strategies to try.

Find diverse candidates on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is still a main arena for connecting with professionals about open roles without it feeling intrusive or out of place.

It can be time-consuming, but LinkedIn’s filtering and search features are what make it possible to discover diverse talent. By using certain key and hashtags, you can gradually pare down your search.

For example, to find candidates who identify as a woman, include “her” and “she” in the search to find profiles with those pronouns.

You can do the same with hashtags like #LGBTQIA to find folks who are a part of these groups. Or search for HBCU colleges to find diverse graduates from these institutions.

Want more tips & tricks for sourcing diverse candidates? Check out our October 5th webinar with expert panelists & Hung Lee of Recruiting Brainfood!

Attend themed career fairs

Career fairs are a hub for finding talent. But to ensure there’s diversity, find those that target a specific group or theme.

That’s what Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager at Financer, does.

“We recently attended a women-in-tech career fair. This gave us the opportunity to speak with talented individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who were all interested in working in the tech industry.

We learned about their specific skills and experiences, and gained insights into the different challenges they faced in their careers. As a result, we identified a number of potential candidates who we believed would be a great fit for our company,” says Antreas.

Look past traditional degrees and education

Don’t limit your diversity sourcing to traditional MBA and BA degrees. Many underrepresented groups don’t get the opportunity to obtain a high education due to economic and social limitations.

But this doesn’t stop them from obtaining valuable skills your organization can use. For example, some attend trade schools, and online courses, or venture into entrepreneurship and gain experience in various industries and roles.

So in your search, look for candidates who promote specific skills in their profiles vs. degrees.

Join diverse online communities in your industry

LinkedIn, Slack, Facebook, and even Twitter have communities targeting diverse niche groups. For instance, you can join LinkedIn groups incorporating neurodiverse professionals or the LGBTQIA+ community.

Think of keywords that match the profile of your ideal candidate and see what’s out there.

Once you join, notice where you can add to the conversations or start one of your own. Typically, group members will be more apt to engage with you about open roles once you’ve established relationships there. Take the time to understand the group’s dynamic before asking anyone if they are interested in learning more about your company or promoting an opportunity.

Proactively ask for referrals from your network

It takes one to know one. This is especially true with finding referrals from diverse people in your network.

If you have online and offline connections with diverse communities, ask them if they know anyone who has the skills you’re sourcing for.

Use smart sourcing tools to optimize diversity recruitment

Removing bias from hiring is easier to achieve with the help of people-driven technology. For example, Fetcher is an automated sourcing platform that uses machine learning and human intelligence to reduce bias in recruitment.

It also provides diversity metrics that identify the percentage of your talent pool that’s male, female, or a particular race.

You’ll have the data to prove it, plus diverse, qualified candidates sourced for you.

If you’d like to build an efficient diversity sourcing strategy and better understand the makeup of your talent pipeline, schedule your demo with Fetcher!


Check out our other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to connect companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration.

Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.

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Recruiting Life, Recruiting Strategies