When sourcing talent, access to a wide array of potential candidates is critical. Making diversity a central tenet of talent sourcing allows businesses to engage with individuals whose varied experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives can help bring previously unforeseen levels of expertise and knowledge to a company.

That diverse influx of talent can also provide a slew of business benefits. According to a Boston Consulting Group survey, a diverse collection of employees is inherently more creative and innovative, especially at the management level. Furthermore, those companies’ EBITA margins are 10% higher than organizations that fail to prioritize diversity at the management level.

However, identifying and elevating diverse talent into management positions begins with empowering HR teams to incorporate more diverse practices into their traditional sourcing methods. Support your talent acquisition team by taking the following steps:


Establish goals. 

Committing to widening a talent pool takes more than words. It takes conviction and a cohesive plan that ensures that diversity and inclusion goals are integrated into all levels of a company — from the bottom to the top.

Those goals need a blueprint, one that can be outlined in a mission statement featured prominently across all company messaging to spotlight an organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion. HR teams can then use this vision when crafting job postings and take other steps to craft sourcing practices in the image of these company ideals.

When those objectives come into focus, develop the metrics necessary to prove that expanded hiring practices are on the right track. Set benchmarks for employee retention and financial performance that quantify the benefits of diversity and inclusion and expanded talent sourcing. This gives your HR team a path to follow that regularly brings in the best applicants, regardless of location or background.


Define diversity. 

Diversity and inclusion programs often get tied to what we can see or easily define. Tangible traits such as race, gender, and ethnicity often take precedent — and understandably so. However, don’t overlook other important factors tied to diversity that HR can explore during the talent sourcing process.

When attempting to diversify your talent pool, be sure to look at variances in location, experience, and cultural point of view in addition to the usual characteristics of a diverse pool (e.g., race, gender, and sexual orientation). Is your company planning to embrace new work processes or adopt new collaboration solutions? Get outside of your typical sourcing methods and look for candidates who have experience or knowledge in those areas. Is your company interested in bringing on nontraditional workers to help supplement your full-time staff? Explore hiring diverse contingent workers, freelancers, or remote workers to see what they bring to the table.

Diversity is more than looking or acting differently. It’s about thinking differently and bringing new perspectives into the fold. At a minimum, ask the above questions and see how and if they align with your diversity and inclusion program mission statement and overall goals. Then, enable HR to source talent based on the answers you find.


Include vendors. 

Diversity and inclusion goals shouldn’t be limited to day-to-day employees; a company’s vendors and partners are equally integral to its regular workflow. If your organization prioritizes diversity, your vendors — particularly your contingent workforce vendors — also should.

It’s relatively simple to figure out a vendor’s commitment to diversity. Let’s say you’re working with a contingent worker vendor and want a refresher on its diversity principles. See whether the vendor has a prominent diversity and inclusion mission statement or look at the makeup of candidates they send your way. Does the vendor have diversity and inclusion goals, metrics, or benchmarks it’s trying to attain?

Use those findings to assess each vendor’s commitment to diversity and determine whether it aligns with your own. Vendor partnerships reflect on both parties, so you should only work with companies that share your point of view and are invested in keeping you on the path toward your own diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A talent search aligned with your company’s diversity and inclusion program goals can help bring the best and brightest minds to the workplace. Develop a plan to source a diverse array of top talent, expand your definition of a diverse workforce, and collaborate with vendors to bring this deep talent pool to fruition.


Written By: Sara Jensen, Vice President of Business Development at IES

Sara Jensen is the vice president of business development at Innovative Employee Solutions (IES), leading global Employer of Record in more than 150 countries that specializes in contingent workforce solutions such as outsourced payrolling, independent contractor compliance, and contractor management services. Founded in 1974, IES has grown into one of San Diego’s largest women-owned businesses and has been named one of the city’s “Best Places to Work” for 10 years in a row.

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