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Last year Fast Company shared a list of nine organizations with admirable diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. These well-known companies all focus efforts on the hiring process to bring in people with diverse backgrounds who aren’t equally represented elsewhere in the corporate world.

We can all learn something from companies transforming their talent acquisition processes. This article explores the practice of sourcing, which is one critical component of diversifying an organization’s workforce.

Recruitment Versus Sourcing

Recruitment is reviewing job applications and candidate resumes submitted by job seekers after a new position is posted. It is a reactive practice completed in response to submitted candidate data. In contrast, sourcing is the proactive process of searching for candidates for open or future positions. Sourcing includes gathering data about potential new hires, including active job seekers and non-seekers.

Although seemingly subtle, the difference between recruitment and sourcing is significant when hiring a diverse staff. Recruitment is about selecting from a pool of candidates who come to you. Sourcing is choosing which candidates will be included in that pool. Sourcing ensures that employers are intentional about diversity from the beginning of the hiring process.

One note about recruitment: Employers can apply DEI strategies here, too. For example, job postings should eliminate industry jargon, gender terms, and unconscious ableism. And blind resume review helps to reduce unconscious bias by focusing on an applicant’s skills only.

A Plan for Diverse Sourcing

Nothing happens without a plan. Here are four practical strategies to build diverse sourcing into your talent acquisition process.

Take a hard look at your brand. First, how do customers and potential employees perceive you? Are you known to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion? Do your mission, vision, and values explicitly emphasize it? Does your culture reinforce it? Ensure you are attracting the right talent based on your brand reputation.

Determine outcomes and metrics for success. Align sourcing efforts with your key business goals. Create evaluation metrics that will show progress along the way, with key milestones defined for success. For example, in what measurable ways will the diversity of your workforce change year over year? This is about building sourcing into your overall strategic plan as an integrated practice rather than a siloed initiative separated from business priorities.

Strike up new partnerships. Many activist groups and professional associations provide a wealth of connections for diverse new hires. Some well-known organizations include the NAACP, LGBTQ Task Force, and National Council on Aging. JobStars USA’s Diversity Professional Associations and Organizations list is an excellent resource for creating such partnerships.

Step outside of the sourcing box. Today, many companies use the same handful of social media and candidate platforms for sourcing, such as LinkedIn and traditional job posting sites. If you want access to diverse people, you need to diversify your tactics for finding them. For example, Jopwell is a site for Black and Hispanic job hunters, and include.io connects LGBTQ women with jobs in tech. Get creative about how you connect with prospective employees.

Start Sourcing Smartly

Sourcing is the first step to ensuring your talent acquisition process is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Sourcing takes recruitment one step further by creating a pool of qualified candidates who help your organization meet its DEI goals. It sets the stage for success at all levels of an organization’s talent management system because it puts the right people in the right places for optimal progress.

If you would like to learn more about sourcing and how to incorporate it into your people plans and processes for increased organizational performance, contact Brighter Strategies today. Through customized organizational development work, we create real, meaningful change. Learn more here.

Inclusive Hiring Framework

Attracting, hiring, and retaining talent are critical elements of any Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan. But having a diverse pool of candidates to choose from doesn’t just happen. Paying attention to sourcing techniques, the interview process, candidate evaluation and onboarding is necessary to developing a well-rounded workforce.

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