How to create a Diverse Talent Pool – Importance of it in transforming a business – A Guide
Table of Contents

Not surprisingly, based on a survey by LinkedIn of 9000 business leaders and talent leaders across the world, the number one recruiting trend was Diversity.  

Diverse companies have 19% higher revenue per BCG, 70% more likely to capture a new market, and 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders, per HBR. 

Diversity has now become a top priority for executives worldwide, with its proven impact on company culture and financial performance.   

The main reason for companies not meeting their diversity goals is their inability to source enough diverse candidates and also not to be able to retain diverse talent in the organization.

Let’s look at effectively building a talent pipeline of diverse talent and, more importantly, creating an inclusive hiring practice by providing them an equal opportunity at the company.  

What is a diverse talent pool?

A diverse talent pool consists of all the eligible candidates on the talent market who can effectively discharge the duties of a particular role as competently as the next candidate, regardless of age, race, culture, ethnicity, background, sexual orientation, etc. 

It has a rich representation of people usually underrepresented in leadership positions, roles, organizations, and sometimes whole industries. 

Our talent pipe-lines and, consequently, our organizations have a lower proportion of individuals who belong to ethnic and religious minorities, women, retirees, people with disabilities, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ etc., due to a lack of understanding and sensitizing our people and systems to understand the value that diversity brings to our culture, performance, and business.  

Importance of diverse talent for Enterprises

Diversity is integral to high-performance building teams, with proof from various studies that teams with people from diverse backgrounds focus more on facts & data, are objective, and make more informed decisions while solving problems fast. 

While most companies have made this a top priority, very few have a DE&I strategy with consistent practices and outcomes. That said, a minority have taken significant steps towards creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, Lenovo, L’Oreal, Johnson&Johnson, and Sodexho, to quote a few. 

A healthcare provider based in the US, Kaiser Permanente, has shown a clear commitment to growing diversity in their teams, with 60% of its talent being people of color and women being 75% of its talent & half its executive team. 

In 2020, it was awarded a place in the DiversityInc Top 50 Hall of Fame, for its notable work in DE&I, with hiring, retention, and promotion of women, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the dLGBTQ+ community. 

Clear benefits of implementing Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace are provided below:

#1 Decision-making based on facts or data   

Diverse teams bring diverse viewpoints and ways of thinking, enabling teams to brainstorm, challenge each other and help refine the thought process. They also tend to review data and facts at multiple levels, which helps to make better decisions using a more comprehensive sample of data

Learn – Data Driven Recruitment

#2 Improved Innovation  

Companies with higher diversity are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their business space. Higher diversity helps bring more opinions, views, and ideas and encourages healthy debates and discussions, helping create better products and services. They are better at solving problems due to a bias-free approach helping foster creativity and innovation at work.  

#3 Attracts high-quality talent 

A diverse workforce is crucial for 67% of potential candidates to take up opportunities with an organization. Investing in diversity also improves the satisfaction index of the workforce, prompting them to refer friends and family, helping strengthen the culture and performance of the company further. 

#4 Higher engagement with lower attrition 

With a heightened sense of equality, fairness, and belonging, employees trust the leadership and each other. This leads to employees being more engaged and more likely to invest their efforts in driving higher outcomes for the organization.

Their investment in the company’s success and is passionate about the work make them stay longer with the company. 

Read – Employee Recognition Programs

#5 Competitive Edge

Diversity gives the company a competitive advantage over its peers, based on a study by HBR. Companies with higher ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above the industry mean, and those with the best gender diversity are 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean. 

8 Ways to Build a Diverse Talent Pool  

Diverse companies have 19% higher revenue, are 70% more likely to capture a new market, and are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders

Not having a diverse talent pool puts organizations at a competitive disadvantage, causing them to miss on crucial talent, who could have brought in diversity of thought, and strengthened the culture and performance of the organization.  

Here is how to create a Diverse Talent Pool:  

#1 Talk loudly about Diversity & Inclusion  

To attract high-quality, diverse talent, leverage social media, company websites, career sites, and job posts to highlight the wholesome work culture and business impact due to diversity and inclusion practices. Ensure that the views and experiences of diverse talent are captured in rich videos and pictures and displayed prominently.

Care must highlight transparent DE&I practices with team collaboration and communication. Include examples of how the company demonstrates the values of diversity and inclusion instead of just talking about it. 

#2 Inclusive JDs & Job Posts 

It is critical to have bias-free, gender-neutral language in the hiring communication, such as JDs, job posts, and hiring emails that appeal to the diverse talent community. Talk more about the diverse, inclusive, and fair work culture and how they would become valued members, able to voice their opinions on all company platforms.

What appears as acceptable hiring communication may not be so to underrepresented groups and hence the need to include diverse team members to review any such job posts or emails before being sent to job-seekers.

Leverage tools such as Textio and Gender decoder to keep the language bias-free and gender agnostic and to appeal to all potential candidates. 

#3 Build a robust Recruitment Funnel of Diverse Talent 

Review the current recruitment funnel and rank sources based on the diversity of the candidates sourced so far. Include diverse academic and other minority institutions in the screening criteria, helping find more diverse talent for the open positions. Leverage Employee Referrals with a specific focus on minority and underrepresented groups to build a more non-homogenous workforce. 

#4 Adopt an Outbound Talent Reach approach 

Instead of writing a good JD for diverse talent and waiting for them to apply, adopt an outbound technique, finding and approaching talent from underrepresented groups, locally or globally, and engaging to bring them on board quickly.

Partner with and sponsor institutions supporting underrepresented groups such as women in technology and ethnic minorities in leadership positions, engaging with them and building relationships to support and provide opportunities to diverse talent for future openings.

Including employees in events with these groups also fosters trust and builds strong bonds, helping employees become more sensitive and aware of diversity and inclusion and increasing the chances of diverse talent considering the company for any new opportunities. 

#5 Create a fair & inclusive hiring culture

Starting from the JDs to posts to interviews and final onboarding, ensure that the entire recruitment process is fair and inclusive and designed to attract diverse talent.

Ensure that all JDs, job posts, and hiring emails are reviewed by people from underrepresented groups to help address any gaps or potential deterrents for diverse people to apply. Include the practice of “blind resume”, where inconsequential information is masked from the resumes to prevent bias from creeping in during the screening.

Have representation from minority groups in all interviews, helping conduct assessments & interviews fairly and consistently for all candidates, regardless of their background. This also increases the chances of higher conversions of diverse talent based on the demonstrated diversity and inclusion practices.  

#6 Set and track DE&I goals  

Set clear and measurable Diversity and Inclusion goals with KPIs for leaders and departments to give DE&I program the right focus. Measure and track the progress, enabling companies to progress faster with consistent results.

Also, highlight the journey of the leaders who have been successful in their DE&I goals with the key benefits to help further the cause and enable other departments to follow suit.  

#7 Train employees on unconscious bias   

Training and sensitizing employees on diversity and unconscious bias are important to build diverse talent pools, engaging with them meaningfully throughout the recruitment process and, once hired, retaining them long term.

These training sessions should be mandatory for leaders, especially in the Talent Acquisition and Business departments. This helps create a collaborative and innovative work culture where each employee feels valued and included in all aspects of work. 

#8 Curate a great onboarding experience  

Create an inclusive onboarding experience for the new talent, helping forge strong relationships right from the start. Learning more about their culture, background, and preferences and including them in the onboarding activities helps create a connection and a sense of belonging and enables the onboarding experience to be spectacular. 

Read – Best Onboarding Practices

Wrapping Up

Diversity & Inclusion are top goals for Corporate and Enterprise leaders across the globe today. Not considering or including an underrepresented group or section of the population means that companies miss unique ideas or ways to expand their business practices and the value provided to customers. 

Maintaining robust, Diverse talent pools, with representation from people who belong to different races, cultures, religions, backgrounds (both financial and migration), sexual orientations, etc., enables building diverse teams quickly. 

With ample evidence of a diverse workforce being more productive, innovative, and engaged, with the power to transform business products and services, it is critical to be mixed and inclusive in every facet of the business right from the start.  

FAQs on Diverse Talent Pools 

What is considered a diverse candidate pool?

A diverse talent pool consists of all the eligible candidates on the talent market who can effectively discharge the duties of a particular role as competently as the next candidate, regardless of age, race, culture, ethnicity, background, sexual orientation, etc. It has a rich representation of people usually underrepresented in leadership positions, roles, organizations, and sometimes whole industries. 

What is considered a diverse candidate?

A potential candidate who is a part of any of the underrepresented or minority groups looking for a fair employment opportunity can be considered a diverse candidate.

They could belong to any minority race, culture, ethnicity, background, age, or sexual orientation, which has no bearing on their potential performance on the job.  

How do you build a diverse talent pool?

Not having a diverse talent pool puts organizations at a competitive disadvantage, causing them to miss on crucial talent, who could have brought in diversity of thought, and strengthened the culture and performance of the organization.  

8 ways to build a Diverse Talent Pool are given below:

1. Talk loudly about Diversity & Inclusion  
2. Inclusive JDs & Job Posts 
3. Build a strong Recruitment Funnel of Diverse Talent 
4. Adopt an outbound talent reach approach 
5. Create a fair & inclusive hiring culture
6. Set and track DE&I goals  
7. Train employees on unconscious bias   
8. Curate a great onboarding experience  

How do you retain members of a diverse team?

Having a diverse workforce helps the business be more innovative and profitable. Key retention practices are as below: 

#1 Clear and consistent DE&I practices 
#2 Review policies and eliminate/reduce unconscious bias 
#3 Have unconscious bias training 
#4 Invite and implement diverse employee feedback 
#5 Curate great onboarding experience for diverse employees 
#6 Train leaders and managers to lead diverse teams
#7 Targeted retention plan for diverse talent
#8 Create an ecosystem for the success of diverse talent 

How do you make a job description more inclusive?

In order to attract diverse talent, use bias-free, gender-neutral language in the JDs, job posts & other hiring communication.  Ensure that all JDs, job posts, and hiring emails are reviewed by people from underrepresented groups to help address any gaps or potential deterrents for diverse people to apply.

Leverage tools such as Textio and Gender decoder to keep the language bias-free, gender-agnostic, and appealing to all potential candidates.

Talk to an expert

Tell us what you are looking for and we'll get back to you in a jiffy!