How to source diverse junior talent

10 Simple ways to source and hire diverse junior talent for your business

If you don’t learn how to attract, source and hire diverse junior talent, your dreams of diversity in your small business will be nothing but a fantasy.

As much as we can hope that our normal hiring methods will somehow magically yield different results, if we don’t make changes to actually attract diverse juniors, we won’t.

So here are 10 actionable tips to help you source diverse junior talent.

1 – Spot-check the language in your job descriptions

Hiring for diversity starts well before you begin typing out your job advert or description.

It’s easy to copy a random internet template, quickly speed-type out a job description and start advertising. But the language that you use can be sabotaging your diversity efforts.

So watch out for:

  • Pronouns – why say ‘he/she’ when you can say ‘they’?
  • Gendered language – for example, ‘lead’ is coded as a masculine word, whereas ‘support’ reads as feminine.
  • Wording – ‘salesman’ might roll off the tongue, but ‘salesperson’ is more inclusive.

2 – Does this job really have to be based in a central London office?

It’s no secret that it’s expensive to live in London. So why does every role at your company have to be office-based?

I get it, it’s nice to have the whole team working in the same office. But tying every job at your company to a specific location closes you off to applications from other parts of the world.

We all know that remote working can be super effective. So please, keep your jobs open to remote working!

3 – What’s your stance on salary?

Do you include a salary band on your job adverts? Or do you simply write the word ‘competitive’ and call it a day?

When you take the time to do some industry research and come up with a salary band, the application process is a lot easier on your candidates.

This is because they will know just by looking at it whether they can do the job and still pay their bills.

When you don’t include a clear salary band on your job adverts, this judgment call is impossible to make.

Including a salary band also puts your applicants in a better position when it comes to negotiations. And salary negotiations can be a daunting thing for candidates that don’t come from money or a fancy school!

But when they already know the highest and lowest amount you would pay for the role, candidates are in with a better chance of negotiating an offer in their favour.

And do you pay every single employee? Or are you considering taking on an unpaid intern?

If you stand behind taking on unpaid interns, you’re on the wrong side of history. And diversity.

Candidates from a lower socio-economic background will not be able to survive on an unpaid internship. When you’ve got no other source of income or financial support, they’re just unrealistic.

But when you pay your interns, you not only open yourself up to receiving diverse applications, but you show your interns that you value their time.

How to source diverse junior talent

4 – Are you dedicated to development and training?

One thing that you can pop into your job descriptions that instantly attracts juniors is development and training.

Everyone wants to join a company that invests in their team. And being dedicated to helping your employees develop in their careers is an amazing way to attract diverse candidates and knock down barriers.

Because if you can offer training, you get to hire for potential and passion over experience.

5 – Are you offering flexible hours?

For some of us, working 9 – 5 is unrealistic.

When you advertise strict 9 – 5 working hours, there is a wide range of candidates who don’t even both applying.

Talented candidates that happen to care for family members at home, have children or study usually can’t fit their other responsibilities around a 9 – 5 workday.

So consider moving your office to flexible hours!

6 – The gift of resources

This one is for all 100% remote companies.

Looking to take on a junior? Are you going to offer them the laptop or computer they need to keep up with their workload?

It might sound silly, but if you’re relying on all of your applicants having a speedy computer to work from home with, that’s what you’re going to get.

You’ll get applicants who can afford to own their own tech.

So if you want to attract juniors who don’t have the privilege of computer access, you’ll need to be willing to provide!

Another resource that you can offer remote juniors is the option of a co-working space.

When you’re still living with your parents in a small house with a big family, working from home isn’t really an option. There are plenty of juniors that have to share a bedroom or live with screaming kids.

Both of these things make everyday Zoom meetings impossible.

So offering them a place at their local co-working space is a great way to accommodate them!

7 – Hire for skills over experience

We say this so much that it could be our official catchphrase, but hiring for skills over experience is the best thing you can do!

Skills over experience means that you ignore where your candidates are from, the school they went to and the work experience on their CV. It means that you test their skills and choose the person who can practically do the job well, not just the person who’s experience is the most impressive.

We do this with our blind hiring process, where we give all of our top applicants a task. Then the task is handed over to our clients with no names attached.

The tasks that come out on top come from a range of candidates – some with lots of experience, some with next to none.

With a task-first process you can make sure that your hire can actually do the job, no matter their past experiences!

8 – Let’s talk about inclusion

A culture of inclusion is one of the top things that can attract diverse candidates to your company. But being inclusive isn’t just about adding that paragraph at the end of your job descriptions about being committed to diversity.

It’s about creating a culture that supports diverse employees. It’s about listening and letting diverse people take up space.

You can hire as many diverse candidates as you want but if your culture isn’t inclusive, you’ll be saying goodbye to them very soon.

9 – Take positive action!

If you’re really struggling to source and hire top diverse candidates, it can be a good idea to completely revamp your hiring process and run a positive action scheme.

You can run an official positive (or affirmative) action scheme thanks to the Equality Act 2010. But you do have to prove that:

  • The opportunity is a training role and not a job
  • That you’re targeting a group of people proven to be under-represented in your sector.

Positive action can be the simplest way of catching the attention of diverse applicants.

10 – Advertise in the right place

And finally, you’re going to have worse chances of attracting diverse applicants if you only advertise roles on top university job sites.

Find out where your ideal candidate hangs out. Maybe they look for jobs in Facebook groups for BAME women in tech? Or maybe a LinkedIn group for job hunters is the place to advertise?

Do a little bit of research and find out where your ideal candidate is hiding.

Sometimes when sourcing certain candidates is tricky, we go back to basics and run a word of mouth campaign!

I hope this guide helps you source and hire diverse talent. If you ever need any help finding talented diverse juniors, check out our hiring platform!

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
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