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Diversifying your talent pool in 2019

One of the keys to growth in 2019 and to accessing both the top talent and hidden talent will be to diversify your talent pool.

Throughout 2018, UK unemployment sat just above 4%, the lowest rate since the mid 1970s. Job vacancies in the UK are currently just over three-quarters of a million, almost 40,000 more than 2017, and almost 90,000 more than 2016. The number of EU workers in the UK workforce is now at its lowest rate since before the EU referendum.

So, in what is a candidate-driven market, how can employers make sure they are able to attract the best talent in 2019?

Diversifying the talent pools that you access will help your business to continue to find the right people in 2019. With 4 in 5 hiring managers recently indicating that they struggle to source the skills that they need to succeed, looking to different demographics and workforce groups will give you a significant advantage over competitors who are still sticking to their traditional talent pool.

What is a diverse talent pool?

Employers often have traditional talent pools that have in the past allowed them to access the talent they need. Diversifying your talent pool means looking to different ages, different demographics or different qualifications or strengths, as well as traditional talent pools to enable you to access the talent you need.

What diverse talent pools should you be leveraging?

There are a wealth of talent pools that are underutilised. Here are three to consider in 2019:

Over 50s:

It was recently reported that the makeup of the UK workforce will change significantly in the next decade, with Mercer estimating that the amount of over-50s in the UK workforce will increase by 14% between 2015 and 2030, whilst the proportion of under 30s will decline by around 25%. An open and inclusive hiring strategy that considers older workers will allow businesses to reduce the current workforce skills gap. These candidates often have a wealth of experience, and knowledge but are sometimes overlooked because they are ‘too experienced’.


Guidant Global's research also suggests that employers are looking to those with criminal records to solve the talent shortage. Guidant's continued partnership with Offploy, illustrates an understanding of this as a hidden talent pool, as well as recognising that it's our responsibility to help support the reintegration of these ex-offenders back in to society. Despite previous convictions, these candidates will often have the skills to succeed, as well as a drive to get back into employment.

Disabled talent:

Over the past five years, there has been an increase of over 30% of people with disabilities in employment. Despite this, there are still around 50% of people with disabilities that are not in employment. At Guidant, we understand the importance of helping to support our clients and the wider recruitment industry with being confident to recruit people with disabilities, so that we can get more people with disabilities into employment whilst also helping to ease the talent shortage.

How can you access more diverse talent pools?

Accessing underutilised talent pools is easier said than done, but approaching employee attraction in these ways will help you to access these talent pools:

  • Make sure an inclusive strategy is at the heart of everything you do when going out to market. This includes making your brand considerate and easily accessible for all potential workers.
  • Review how your brand is perceived in the market. Looking at your brand’s image online on business review sites such as Glassdoor is a great place to start, and will help you to identify areas for improving your employer brand.
  • Assess potential employees on their strengths and abilities, not just their qualifications or education. Brilliant candidates are often overlooked because they don’t have a specific qualification or level of education. Whilst overlooking these won’t apply in all cases, being open to considering talent because they have the right strengths for the role and they are a good fit for your business will allow you to access top talent that your competitors may be ignoring. 


Mercer: Workforce Monitor December 2018

Office for National Statistics:

  • Job vacancies
  • Unemployment
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