‹  Back to Blog

The Diversity Sourcing Guide for 2021

Sourcing diverse teams can have numerous benefits for your organization and employees alike. For companies, strong diversity sourcing creates a workforce that makes them more competitive and more financially successful. For example, according to the Boston Consulting Group, organizations that have diverse management teams are able to boost their revenues by 19%, and in research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 85% of CEOs confirm that making their workplaces more diverse and inclusive has boosted their bottom line.  When it comes to employees, working in diverse environments helps to increase creativity, productivity, and overall job satisfaction—which goes a long way toward higher retention rates.

For these reasons, diversity sourcing is a winning strategy for your organization, and creating a plan to attract workers from underrepresented backgrounds is well worth the effort. Continue reading for tips on how to create an effective diversity sourcing plan that helps you attract, and retain, great talent from underrepresented populations of workers. 

Diversity Sourcing Best Practices

Diversity sourcing can be challenging, but by following these best practices, you can make your recruitment plan more successful.

1. Assess the Diversity Landscape

Before you can implement a successful recruitment plan, you have to start by understanding where you are in terms of diversity. While groups do you want to attract? What groups have you had trouble with in terms of retention? How many applicants from underserved communities have made it to a position’s shortlist? Study your company’s metrics carefully to get a full picture of the diversity shortfalls in order to create an effective plan that will help you correct them.

2. Create Measurable Goals

After you’ve painted a full picture of what you need to improve in terms of your diversity recruitment, it’s time to set some measurable goals. Whether you want to get more applicants from a specific group, interview more untapped talent, or hire and onboard a certain percentage of new workers, it’s important to create specific goals that you can easily measure and tweak as needed.

3. Partner With Colleges

An effective way to address diversity and inclusion in recruitment is to partner with colleges and universities that can connect you with students interested in your industry. Working with organizations that cater to specific untapped groups helps to make it known to these students that you’re interested in hiring workers that have been historically excluded. Likewise, creating internship programs and scholarships that target the groups you want to recruit can help you build relationships with accomplished students from underrepresented communities—thus building a pipeline of potential workers who will already be familiar with your organization when they graduate. Also, working with alumni groups can help you increase your company profile among diverse graduates.

4. Build Relationships With Diverse Industry Associations 

Just as you can attract talent by working with campus organizations made up of students from all backgrounds, you can also build relationships with industry associations that have diverse members. Whether you want to attract more people from a certain gender, racial background, or ethnic group, you can find professional organizations that cater to these demographics and build a relationship with them. This will send the message to professionals that you’re interested in diversity sourcing and you want to cultivate relationships with their communities.

5. Consider Keywords in Job Postings

The keywords you put in job posts can either encourage or discourage candidates from underrepresented backgrounds from applying for a position, so it’s important to use inclusive language. One way you can do this is by avoiding jargon in your job advertisements because it can alienate potential candidates who are not familiar with these terms because they’re not entrenched in the industry. Remember that great candidates from underrepresented groups may experience imposter syndrome—the belief that their experience and credentials are not good enough—and studies show that seeing a lot of jargon in job descriptions can make them feel like they’re not qualified for a position. Also, it’s important to strip job descriptions of terms related to gender and words that telegraph unconscious ableism.

6. Adopt a Data-Brave Approach

Diversity sourcing often requires that organizations tweak its hiring practices. One such tweak that can be effective is being intentional with the data you're receiving from your candidate pool. Instead of using a blind-hiring approach, where you can't see personal information on resumes and applications. Do the opposite. Get intentional. By using self-reported data from candidates, you're able to get really specific about hiring more talent from underrepresented backgrounds.

7. Nurture a Diverse Brand and Celebrate It

In order to effectively communicate with candidates that your company has adopted a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, you have to make that culture public. Be sure to make any diversity-related initiatives and policies known on your careers website. Also, celebrate your wins in terms of the diversity goals you’ve met on your social media pages. This will tell potential employees that you are committed to diversity and actually taking steps toward making your work environment more diverse and inclusive.

Whether you are implementing your first plan or working to improve the one you already have, these diversity sourcing best practices can help you reach your goals and create a more diverse workplace.


Stop setting diversity goals.
Start meeting them.

Join hundreds of businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, using Canvas to build diverse teams
See it in action