How Hiring Teams and Employers Can Broaden the Applicant Pool

Attracting a diverse applicant pool isn’t an accident, according to research from the recruiting experts at Datapeople. The company offers six ways for companies to broaden the applicant pool.

“A larger and more diverse applicant pool will yield a larger and more diverse final candidate pool,” says Datapeople spokesperson Charlie Smith. “But a canned job ad on a company website isn’t enough to attract a large and diverse applicant pool in the first place.”

According to Datapeople, there are six ways companies can increase diversity and improve overall hiring performance.

One, they can write inclusive job ads and publish them on both common and niche job boards so they’re accessible to all job seekers. According to the Datapeople R&D Team, things like bias, jargon, wordiness, titles that don’t match responsibilities and requirement wishlists yield smaller, less qualified and less diverse applicant pools.

“It’s not enough to copy and paste a job description and call it a job ad,” says Smith. “A job description is the really long internal document used by human resources. A job posting is the shorter version that better advertises a job. Hiring teams should use the job ad.”

Two, Datapeople says that companies can focus on the organic applicant pool and their commitment to diversity. According to the company’s research, sourcing, referral programs, third-party recruiters and other similar tactics can feel proactive, but they don’t necessarily bring more diversity.

Meanwhile, the Datapeople R&D Team analyzed recruiting trends among more than 10,000 companies from 2019 to 2021. They found that 86% of applicants come from organic sources like online job boards, LinkedIn and company careers pages. In another study on diversity statements, the company’s R&D team found that including a diversity statement in a job ad increases an employer’s perceived inclusiveness.

Three, Datapeople says that companies can lower the barriers to entry in order to expand their applicant pools. The company suggests reassessing education and certification requirements and only including those necessary to perform the role.

“Even lowering a bachelor’s degree to an associate’s degree or an associate’s degree to a GED can expand the qualified applicant pool,” Smith says. “As can second-chance hiring for convicted felons.”

Four, Datapeople says that companies can offer pay transparency, whether they’re required to by law or not. According to the company, pay transparency offers benefits for both job seekers and employers.

“Job seekers are all in on pay transparency because they don’t have to decipher ‘competitive salary’ or possibly waste time applying,” says Smith. “And companies don’t have to waste time with later-stage dropouts. More importantly, employers can mitigate pay discrimination right in the job ad. Because a published, locked-in pay range is proof that a salary is based on the job, not the candidate.”

Five, Datapeople says that companies can offer remote work wherever possible to attract more women to the applicant pool. The company’s research shows that remote jobs attract 120% more applicants than non-remote jobs and 120% more women.

Six, companies can customize benefits and perks for remote and non-remote jobs. According to Datapeople research, specialized perks are becoming more popular for remote roles while bonuses are becoming more popular for non-remote roles.

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