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4 tips to diversify your talent pool


How can you engage diverse candidates to your roles, and what mistakes could you be making now? Here are 4 tips to make your business an attractive place to work. 


With 57% of people wanting their employer to take more actions to increase diversity, it remains at the top of HR’s priorities. However, with statistics like more FTSE100 companies being lead by men called David and Steve than women and ethnic minorities – the issue of a lack of diversity remains rife. 

Attracting diverse applicants remains one of the biggest barriers for businesses today. Implementing some simple changes can help you accommodate the needs of all candidates and help widen your talent pool. 

1. Job advertising

Market the job description towards the pool of candidates you’re aiming for. Think about the areas that would attract them to a role.

  • Is your office accessible and wheelchair friendly?
  • Do you offer flexible working to support working parents?
  • Are your board and hiring managers diverse?
  • Do you have mentoring programmes?

If your employee experience is only tailored to an exclusive group, the candidates you attract will follow suit. You need to implement the adjustments your target pool needs before starting the recruitment process. 25% of new employees leave within a year, and those that haven’t receive sufficient support will be a part of that group. 

2. Sourcing candidates

If you have a happy workforce that recommends your business, you’ll attract the best candidates. Referrals are proven to generate greater profit and reduced turnover so focus on improving employee satisfaction and you’ll benefit from retaining and attracting excellent talent.

If you have members of staff that are part of communities you’d like to engage with, encourage them to lead the conversation. They’ll provide you with invaluable insight on what their community needs from an employer, and what you could do to improve their experience. 

3. The recruitment process

Unconscious bias can result in candidates being unintentionally disadvantaged. Ernest & Young made headlines after announcing they were introducing blind hiring, and have since benefitted from a 10 percentage point increase in recruits from state schools. While blind recruitment doesn’t come without its criticism, it can be an excellent starting point for businesses new to diversity hiring. 

Interviewing stages also need to meet the needs of all candidates, so that its a fair assessment. Be more than just accommodating, proactively make adjustments that will improve the candidates’ experience. Examples include providing: large font print documents, pre-assessment centre and interview prep calls, interpreters/scribes, subtitled video content or extra time for tasks. 

4. Onboarding

The on-boarding process can be a deciding factor in how long an employee intends to stay with you. Take hold of the opportunity and emphasise to them the importance of diversity and inclusion to your business.

“An inclusive onboarding experience is like adding someone to your game of musical chairs: You can’t add someone new without stopping the music and adding a chair. Creating a meaningful experience means slowing down, making adjustments, and including your new hire.”

– Wavelength

Some of Wavelength’s top tips for inclusive onboarding include:

Prepare the team for a new member. The team should be ready to set time aside for the new hire to demonstrate new processes and answer questions. Where appropriate, any adjustments the employee will need should be briefed to the team so they can support. 

Provide a smooth transition. The move into a new job can be stressful. To ensure it’s a smooth transition, make sure the line manager has allocated enough time for settling in. Give them enough time to meet the team, learn your software and understand processes.

Contextualise what they’ll do. Spend time explaining your products/services; the purpose of your business; the company goals you have and the part they play in achieving them. 

Personalise their experience. On-boarding can be paperwork heavy, add a human touch with face to face interactions. Have a catch-up over coffee or pop by their desk and have a conversation rather than sending an email. 

Simple adjustments make a big impact

It’s no longer acceptable to cater your employee experience to a select few. Every business decision has to take into consideration the varying needs of all people. Being proactive in the changes you make will speak volumes. Take action now and you’ll organically attract diverse talent to your company.

Here at Arch Apprentices, we work with businesses to tackle their diversity issues through apprenticeships. We offer programmes that attract entry-level talent into your digital, IT, data, HR and finance teams. We’ve been working towards closing the digital gap since our inception in 2012 and since then have had over 3000 apprentices come through our doors. 

Struggling to manage your levy? Interested in building a diverse digital and data talent pipeline but not sure where to start? Have a chat with one of our experts today on 020 3906 7116.

Stephanie Khan

Stephanie is a former Marketing Apprentice, and now a Content Marketing Executive at AVADO. Since completing her apprenticeship, she has become an advocate for apprentices and the benefit they bring to businesses. She writes about modern apprenticeships, the levy, and the digital skills crisis.

Posted September 9, 2019