I was having a conversation with a hiring manager. She was telling me a story about how she was actively looking to hire a BIPOC candidate for a role but could not find any qualified candidates anywhere.
Really? I thought.
I was shaken by the comment. In my mind, I wondered, how that was possible. There are literally hundreds of HBCUs churning out thousands of brilliant students each year. And there are thousands of BIPOCs with all kinds of professional experiences. Even if she were looking for a BIPOC Rocket Scientist she could find one…
That is if she knew how to look for the right candidate properly.
While all this was going on in my head, physically, my lips did not know what to say.
And to be honest, that’s what bothered me most about the conversation—that at that moment, I wasn’t able to say hey, did you try A, B, C?
According to a LinkedIn survey in 2018, out of 9,000 talent leaders and hiring managers across the globe, diversity was the number one global recruiting trend. I love that people are actively trying to build diverse teams but what are the best practices for sourcing the talent to build those teams?
I didn’t exactly know.
To be prepared for the next time anyone tells me, or you, that they’re struggling to find BIPOC talent, I went looking for the answers.
I searched the internet for expert advice on the topic and even asked some people in the community to weigh in. Below are my results.
Best Practices for Sourcing Black Talent
If you don’t have a diverse network to circulate the opportunity among, find one.
Karen M. Ricks from Our Kitchen Classroom suggests finding niche professional networks to circulate your openings. “Share your job post with Black professional organizations”. Many exist around the world that could offer access to a membership of thousands of highly-educated, well-trained individuals who may be seeking employment or other freelance jobs across a variety of fields and industries. A search for talent can be far too general, but it’s entirely possible for those who are actively seeking Black talent to find it in abundance when they make a concerted effort,” says Karen.
Post the position on niche job boards
Chad Price, CEO of Life Grows Green recommends leveraging niche job boards. “Companies have to change how they are reaching out and promoting. You can’t always network in the same circle, advertise in the same places, or even share the same types of job postings to attract [diverse] talent. Instead of expecting your audience to bend to you, you have to bend to them.”
Create your own (opt-in) network of diverse candidates
Jobvite recommends offering opt-in talent networks for diverse groups you are in contact with i.e create your own talent networks for diverse professionals. This would allow you to stay in contact with these future candidates to share relevant information, like job opportunities, and build ongoing relationships. “When the right job comes along for a given candidate, you’ll have an easy way to get them into the hiring process.”
Hire a specialist
Diversity Jobs suggests, hiring a specialist to help with your search. Diversity specialists and Diversity Managers are two types of professionals that can help to guide employee recruitment, retention, and engagement which can be effective when sourcing talent.
The next time you hear anyone say they’re struggling to find black talent, hit them with this article.
The world is filled with qualified diverse talent. They exist in abundance. What’s often lacking is an awareness of the best practices on how to find them. Hopefully, this guide can help!