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How to boost diversity? Tap into underutilised talent pools

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce has crept to the top of most businesses’ priorities list. That’s because, around the world, across all sectors, leading companies have noticed how much of an impact diversity has on their bottom line. There are also countless studies that prove this too. One of the best ways to develop your firm’s diversity, which is often overlooked, is by tapping into underutilised talent pools. By putting your effort into targeting niche groups, and the people which have historically been left out of talent strategies, you’ll be able to access a variety of highly-skilled professionals who will bring a broad range of perspectives and capabilities to your business.

Why diversity matters

We have previously written about the business and ethical case for building a diverse workforce, and the reason why we’re making so much noise about it is because it matters so much. Not only is it now a legal obligation but also a societal expectation, particularly because of the widespread media reporting of gender pay gaps. Being praised as a diverse and fair company can have a phenomenal effect on your employer brand, and will certainly boost your image in the public eye and amongst applicants. However, if you are known as a careless employer in terms of equality, even if unintentionally, you will have the opposite impact and may risk your chances of attracting valuable talent.

Diversity is also crucial to stay competitive. According to McKinsey’s “Why diversity matters report,” companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity at the executive level are 33 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. The same goes for gender diversity, with companies in the top quartile for gender diversity being 21 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.

How to tap into underutilised talent pools

As many businesses have often stuck to their tried and tested ways of attracting talent, and may not have ventured further than their usual places for finding employees, it could be difficult in knowing where and how to get started. Here’s how to begin tapping into underutilised talent pools.

Build your employer brand

The ongoing talent war has made it extremely difficult to source high-skilled professionals. With many of these individuals already in existing roles, it’s important to develop your employer brand so that you can attract them when they’re ready. You can achieve this by being active on social media, posting relevant and insightful content, and you can particularly boost your appeal to diverse groups by sharing your company’s values and diversity focussed stories. People often feel much more comfortable joining a firm when they know that D&I has already been prioritised.

Upskill your existing employees

The gender pay gap is still a huge problem because of the lack of female talent at board level. You can avoid this within your own firm by conducting a process review to identify which members of your team are eligible to be upskilled and ready to take on a new, more advanced position. Not only can this improve your company’s diversity, but it will also cut recruitment costs and reassure you that you’re hiring a person in line with the company culture that knows the business well.

How to minimise bias

Unconscious bias can influence decisions in recruitment, promotion and performance management. As studies show that this can unintentionally impact any of us, it’s important that training is provided to make hirers aware of this and the consequences that come with it.

That’s why it’s also crucial to continually review processes and monitor diversity levels. To have a true representation of your clientele and the wider public, you need to know where your company stands, and where you are falling short.

With disabled people hugely under-represented in employment, it’s important to remove any barriers in the recruitment process. Ensure your positions are accessible by everyone and that there are alternative ways of applying. By assessing people on their ability to do the job, rather than on education or experience, you will be guaranteeing that you are hiring talent based on their skills, rather than on any bias or old habits.

For more help with creating an effective talent strategy, get in touch today