Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Adjust Your Talent Acquisition Strategies for a Diversifying Candidate Pool

The talent market is constantly changing. In recent years, it has shifted to become increasingly diverse. These shifts occur for many different reasons, including the aging population working longer, layoffs forcing individuals close to retirement back into the workforce, and a general increase in the amount of talent available.

While many professionals are focusing their talent acquisition strategies on hiring a more diverse workforce, it’s challenging to actually prepare for an already diverse market.

As your talent pool expands and diversifies, here are the four talent acquisition strategies you need to adopt:

1. Write inclusive job posts

The words you use in job posts set an immediate tone for the rest of your talent acquisition strategies. Job seekers will quickly assess if your company is the right fit for them based on:

How you describe the role and ideal candidate

When describing the role and ideal candidate, use gender-neutral words. Always stick to the pronoun “they,” rather than he/she. Even when speaking about a singular person, it’s appropriate to use the word “they.” This shows candidates you’re not looking specifically for a male or female candidate and helps you stand out to LGBTQ candidates as inclusive.

Also, avoid gender-coded words. These are words that are stereotypically geared toward one gender over another. For example, “dominant” and “competitive” are biased toward men. Whereas “nurturing” and compassionate” are more geared toward women. 

How you describe required skills and experiences

Keep required skills to a minimum. Sharing an extensive list of skills, experiences, educational requirements, and level of seniority limits the number of candidates who apply. This doesn’t just mean the most qualified candidates will apply. Instead, you may only get the most confident applicants. 

Sit down with your team to discuss a role’s must-have skills. What performance objectives do they need to succeed in this position? Create an exhaustive list, then ask your team to narrow it down as much as possible.

2. Portray a growth mindset

Diversified talent pools are full of candidates with a variety of skills, values, passions, and experiences. Many of these candidates may be the right fit for your company or a current entry-level role. But if your talent acquisition strategies ask candidates to know everything required before beginning the role, they may feel unqualified or like they’ll have no room for growth.

Invest in training and upskilling at your company. Share these opportunities in your employer branding efforts. When writing the job description, discuss the value the company places in nurturing clients as they grow their skill set. Post pictures and videos of current employees putting these resources to use, and the success stories that come along with them.  

3. Optimize your career site

People of all ages, ethnicities, and social backgrounds now have access to your career site. They’re using it to research job opportunities and get a feel for your company brand. Are they seeing images that portray the future of your company? Do they understand why anyone should want to apply for a role at your company?

Discuss with your team where you want to see the company in five years. Assess your current career site to see if the images and words align with that goal. If not, it’s time to optimize. Update images to portray employees of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and belief systems.

Explain why it’s important for anyone who feels they’re qualified for a role to apply. Share the company’s values, goals, and passions to catch the attention of anyone who is fitting.

4. Update company culture

Your company culture will shift as your talent pool diversifies. All of your employees must feel safe, seen, and heard in your work environment. If they don’t, your efforts to hire and maintain a more diverse workforce will fail.

Use pulse surveys to gauge where employees stand with your current culture. Sit down with team leaders to discuss where changes need to be made and how they can implement those changes to improve psychological safety and employee success. 

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Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.