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Five tips to diversify and expand talent pools and solve talent shortages

At times when there is a shortage of available talent, diversity often gets a chance to step into the light. Through their extensive work with multilingual recruitment, Undutchables Sweden’s Marjan Stoit and Karin Björkman amassed five tips to diversify and expand talent pools.

Aubrey de Wilde on July 28, 2021 Average reading time: 3 min
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Five tips to diversify and expand talent pools and solve talent shortages

One benefit of a job seeker shortage can be that it forces you to accelerate the process of expanding your talent pool by taking the time to focus on diversity and inclusion. At the moment, there is a scarcity of available talent in many sectors which makes traditional recruitment less effective and requires a fresh and creative approach. In order to check if your company has embraced the benefits of focusing on diversity and inclusion ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my company have a diverse workforce already?
  • What score (from 1-10) would I give the diversity policy in my company?
  • Is there support for diversity in my company?

If the answers to any of these questions leave something to be desired, then keep reading for tips on how to improve your company’s approach to diversity!

Diversity as a business strategy

There are countless benefits to expanding your candidate pool to include more diverse talent. For instance, the opportunities for learning increase due to the differing opinions that a diverse workforce has to offer. It can also be beneficial commercially because different types of people will bring in or work better with specific types of clients, so your business will grow to include a larger and more diverse client group.

It is important to get to know your audience when you start on this journey to diversify your recruitment process. For example, what attracts Gen Z members to your company may be different than what attracts a Baby Boomer, but bringing both into the team is necessary and beneficial. So, before starting your recruitment process take a minute to get to know the diversity in the market and how you can best attract a broad talent group. Then you are ready to get started and jump in with these helpful tips.

Tip #1: Re-design your recruitment strategy

The first step to re-designing your recruitment strategy is to assess your current recruitment strategy. Define the needs the company as a whole as well as those of individual departments, and take the time to work with managers to re-write internal job descriptions to more accurately illustrate the roles within the team. Then, based on this information, you can break out your creativity to write strong vacancy texts to attract talent. Pay close attention to the wording you use and keep in mind how it will come across to your audience.

When you want to broaden your talent pool you need to use inclusive language and information to bring in both the ping pong enthusiasts AND other equally qualified talents.

Avoid biased language and write towards a broad audience. For example, maybe at your company everyone plays ping pong during lunch which can be nice to include in a job ad, but remember that not everyone loves ping pong so that piece of information will attract only a certain type of person. When you want to broaden your talent pool you need to use inclusive language and information to bring in both the ping pong enthusiasts AND other equally qualified talents. And it’s always good to learn more about vacancy writing tips.

We as humans are subjective in our decision making, which means that we will most often subconsciously hire people that are similar to ourselves. In order to avoid this natural bias it is extremely important to create a mixed interview panel with employees representing different views, both professionally (for instance, a manager and a peer level representative) as well as personally (for example, by including different ages and cultural backgrounds).

Tip #2: Train hiring managers

As mentioned above, we all have automatic responses and we all have biases whether we are aware of them or not. By training hiring managers and making diversity a top priority it is possible to combat this. Introduce managers to new and different talent pools. Educate them on how to recognise and avoid bias. There are even fun games and online tests to check yourself for biases. Make sure to highlight the many benefits of a diverse and inclusive work environment as well and encourage managers at all levels in the company to get on board.

Tip 3: Create an onboarding plan

A well-developed onboarding plan provides the support that new employees need to feel like they are part of the team, which can influence your retention of talent as well. Make sure that your onboarding process is inclusive and works for the diverse workforce that you are bringing in. You can do this by providing information about the company goals, values, and policies related to diversity and inclusion.

Make sure that your onboarding process is inclusive and works for the diverse workforce that you are bringing in.

It is also helpful to involve different perspectives within the onboarding process and introduce the new employee to colleagues at varying levels and with various backgrounds within the company. This can help to provide a motivating picture of the growth opportunities within the company.  Making sure that your onboarding software takes diversity into account is also essential.

For instance, ensuring that the employee can fill in the name they would like to be known by or that the options for gender are inclusive will help the new hire to settle in comfortably as well as give a clear view of the kind of company you are. Asking for feedback from employees about how you are doing on the diversity and inclusion front will also help to further inform your future decisions and improvements.

Tip #4: Work-Life Balance

 If a person is happy then they will also be a happy employee. You can influence this as an employer by taking the needs of employees into consideration. Sweden is known for their great work-life balance. This is supported by the government by promoting programs such as 480 days of parental leave, affordable childcare, easy to arrange absence in the case of a sick child, flexible working hours, and they have even been trying out a 6-hour work day.

When you include benefits that allow for a better work-life balance you will also attract talent that you may otherwise not have had access to.

While not all of these governmental initiatives are the same in every country, you as an employer can stand out by offering benefits to promote a healthy work-life balance. One that is becoming increasingly important to job seekers is flexibility, both in hours and location. When you include benefits that allow for a better work-life balance you will also attract talent that you may otherwise not have had access to, and thus broaden your talent pool.

Tip #5: Don’t forget about the individual

Recruiting new talent requires the use of many different approaches in order to make sure that you can find, bring in, and retain employees that will help move your company forward. Living in the digital age means that we have access to a lot of helpful tools, such as AI and algorithms to help with searching for candidates. It can be helpful to employ these tools in order to avoid human bias in identifying potential candidates. In addition, a data driving hiring process can help you be more effective by keeping track of KPIs and identifying which channels are most effective for finding talent.

At the end of the day a combination of hard and soft skills will determine who the right individual fit is for your company.

Using anonymous CVs is also a very smart way to avoid prejudice in your talent pool. Removing the name, age, photo, and any information that could be used in a discriminatory way, allows the hiring manager to focus only on skills and competency which will naturally expand the diversity in your talent pool. At the end of the day a combination of hard and soft skills will determine who the right individual fit is for your company. Using this all-around approach will help you make sure that you get the right person for the job, in an effective and non-biased way.

Remember, expanding talent pools and improving diversity and inclusion is a process, so don’t be afraid to just get started and just take it step by step. With each step you take it will become clearer to your managers, employees, and candidates that you value inclusion and want to take advantage of the benefits that a diverse workforce has to offer. Be willing to be flexible and adjust and just keep broadening your view and your talent pool as you go!

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Aubrey de Wilde

Aubrey de Wilde

Recruitment Consultant at Undutchables

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