If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you’ll know that I’ve written a fair few pieces all around diverse teams…from hiring practises to understanding our own biases (check them out here). Therefore, it only makes sense to bring that all together and delve into the long-term strategy of developing a diverse pipeline.
I’ve intentionally described this a long-term strategy because that’s exactly what it is.
When it comes to building a pipeline, many founders and companies believe that this starts from the point of when your actively hiring however by this point, it’s too late.
Once the job description is written and the advert is posted, the majority of companies are hiring with speed being top of mind and therefore rely on the mainstream platforms to get results.
In actual fact, building the pipeline for a diverse team is formed from your day-to-day, it’s from the content you’re putting out, the perception of the business being formed, the conversations (or maybe lack thereof…) being had…. it all adds up in the long term.
As DEI - Diversity, Equality & Inclusion - continues to grow in importance and is a deciding factor for the Gen-Z workforce, building out the pipeline for the now & future is a necessity.
There’s an abundance of information available about hiring with DEI in mind, so much so that it can quickly get overwhelming and confusing about where to start.
So let’s break it down in on how to go about it - the starter edition!
1. Employer Branding: Share the company story & talk about your culture
The Workable definition:
Employer branding is a company's outward message about who they are and what makes them special. It serves two major purposes:
To attract new talent by enhancing the appeal of belonging;
To retain existing employees with job satisfaction through thoughtful communication strategies.
To keep it simple, employer branding is all about sharing the authentic journey and insights into the business!
Bringing the personal branding conversation to a business lens, reflect on the following:
What do you want people to say about your business service/ product?
What do you want people to feel when they think about your team & culture as a potential future employee?
What do you want people to know about what they can gain from working in your team?
Once you’ve been able to answer the above and really understand the outside viewpoint of the business, we then move to getting that messaging across…and that meant CONTENT!
Share the business values & journey: This is where the power of storytelling shines ✨ Take the audience on a journey about the business; everything from the product/ service with positive reviews & testimonials, how you are building the culture, lessons learnt over time, specific milestones, celebrating your team. etc. The list really is endless. All of these elements combined create a narrative that will resonate with individuals who share the your company's values and aspirations.
Your Employee Stories: Personal branding the new business growth & attraction strategy! Encouraging employees to share their experiences, insights, and journeys within the company not only humanizes the organization but also showcases its commitment to diversity and inclusion. When employees become brand ambassadors by sharing their own stories, values, and the positive aspects of working in a diverse and inclusive environment, it sends a compelling message to potential candidates. This approach not only attracts diverse talent but also fosters a sense of belonging among current employees, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive workplace culture and a stronger, more diverse talent pool for the future.
2. Tech and Underrepresented Communities
So, you’ve hashed out the details for your company brand, you know what you stand for, what you offer and now it’s time to get the message out there your potential future employees.
One of the best ways of building this outside of the mainstream platforms, is by taking the time to find the community channels that best serve your company - whether that’s by industry, by tech stack, by underrepresented group - consistently engaging and connecting with these communities will play a pivotal role to building the pipeline for the future.
The key to connecting with communities is firstly by understanding the time commitment you have available and also in what way do you want to engage:
Able to host/ sponsor an event
Able to volunteer to speak at one of their events
Provide mentorship/ internship opportunities
Undertake a partnership and build a longer-term relationship
Share your roles directly when hiring (in addition to an active form of engagement)
Provide advice and/ or insights within the community communication channels . etc
The main thing is to be ACTIVELY PRESENT!
Joining a community means very little if you’re not building connections, building that trust and taking the time to give before you ask to get!
3. Nab Gen Z Talent with Content Creators
Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, are a growing section of the workforce and are changing up the priorities; authenticity, inclusive cultures, supportive teams, meaningful work, positive societal and climate impact…the deciding factors on whether they join your company has changed.
This in turn means that the approach to attracting and resonating with the group may need a fresh perspective. More and more, in my conversations with DEI leads and specialists comes this topic of leveraging content creators; individuals who have amassed a significant number of followers and engaging with them to promote your brand/ opportunities.
Whilst we’ve seen the impact of using influencers across some of our favourite brands, this is still a relatively new area so will be interesting to see how this progress but certainly an area to keep your eye on!
In conclusion, developing a diverse pipeline for your team is a long-term strategy that goes beyond traditional hiring practices. It involves authentically communicating your company's story and values, actively engaging with underrepresented communities, and considering innovative approaches like collaborating with content creators to resonate with the evolving priorities of the Gen Z workforce.
Building a diverse pipeline is crucial in the era of increasing Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DEI) awareness, ensuring your company can attract and retain a diverse talent pool and remain competitive in the long run.