Building a Diverse Candidate Pipeline for a More Inclusive Workforce

Diversity and inclusion aims to narrow the gap by placing candidates from underrepresented groups into roles across the organization. Over the past year, the number of diversity, equity and inclusion roles in organizations has increased significantly. However, a lot remains to be done to narrow the gap further. Building a more diverse workforce goes beyond hiring candidates from underrepresented categories. Therefore, the organization must adopt a holistic approach to diversity hiring. Otherwise, it is likely to see a continuous turnover of employees who join at first. They leave later on as they don’t fit into the existing work culture.

What can companies do to build a diverse and inclusive workforce in the long term?

Companies can build a diverse and inclusive workforce in the long term by implementing proactive initiatives such as inclusive hiring practices, DEI training, promoting inclusive leadership, and creating an inclusive workplace culture. These efforts contribute to fostering an equitable and innovative environment over time.

1. Devise strategies for building a diverse candidate pipeline in recruitment

The first step is to have a plan in place for hiring diverse candidates. It could be through referrals. Additionally, make sure you communicate the specific categories you want to hire. Enlist recruiting agencies. Their jobs are to focus on underrepresented groups. They refer candidates, and they are more likely to know those who fit a specific profile. Identify agencies from where you can hire to get a more diverse workforce. Use blind recruiting when evaluating different candidate profiles. Do this by removing non-essential fields from resumes. This ensures fair and inclusive candidate screening. Be proactive and establish contact with candidates from underrepresented groups. This makes it easier to reach out to them when you need to hire.

2. Adopt tools for equitable recruitment

For more equitable hiring, look beyond the familiar places or channels you use for recruiting candidates. Explore a wider range of job boards and sites Focus on ones that target specific sub-groups. Therefore, you reach out to a more diverse candidate base. Additionally, use social media filters to make sure your advertisement reaches different audiences. Finally, consider using intelligent software to remove the subconscious biases of internal recruiters.

3. Unconscious bias training to ensure a diverse candidate pipeline

Almost everyone makes decisions based on unconscious or implicit biases without being aware of them. These biases occur due to thought patterns built over the years and become automatic. This results in discriminatory or prejudiced decisions. We may think they may be fair or rational. However, they are not. Small biases can multiply in a workplace in groups. Several employees or team members are involved in decision-making. Each person contributes their biases to the decision. Thus, imparting proper training on the unconscious bias will help your team. As a result, they make more open-minded decisions about recruiting a more diverse team and daily operations. This includes discussions and accepting ideas.

4. Build an inclusive company culture

Diverse hiring needs to be clubbed with inclusion for success. Hiring candidates from underrepresented groups can contribute to a more diverse workforce. However, they won’t have a reason to stay unless every employee feels included. They have a sense of belonging and loyalty. Moving towards an inclusive environment calls for changes across all levels of the organization. This happens through training, openness, and altering habits.

5. Capture and review the data

The impact of diverse recruitment should be periodically assessed by capturing relevant data. This includes employee demographics or opinions through tests, surveys, and focus groups. Also, it includes employee feedback when they leave the organization. Reviewing the data will present a better picture of the organization’s diverse recruitment and equity. Also consider inclusion initiatives to take corrective measures to resolve issues.

Building an inclusive and more diverse candidate pipeline should not be a one-off effort to fill a specific job role. It needs to be a continuous process that fosters real change. This can be done through training, altering habits, and open communication. Additionally, it is done through resolution of DEI initiatives and issues. Candidates across the organization feel they belong to an inclusive community this way.

Recommended Podcast

Episode 85 : Accessibility – Embedding IDEA into Systems

Recommended Reading

Harward Business Review : Don’t Give Up on Unconscious Bias Training — Make It Better


Diverseek serves as a platform for meaningful conversations, education, and advocacy surrounding issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.