The benefits of having a diverse workforce and leadership team are well documented (you can read our previous blog to learn more). It makes companies more profitable, more efficient and improves their reputations both internally and externally. However, in the tech industry there is already intense competition for talent, so encouraging diverse candidates makes a difficult job already harder.

At Recognition One we have 6 practical steps to bring diversity into your talent acquisition strategy. We’ll show you how best to find, attract and retain diverse tech talent to take your leadership to the next level.

Find Diverse Candidates

1. Do you job (description) better!

“We’re a kick-ass scale-up with a work-hard play-hard culture looking for Rockstar developers to help us crush our goals like Liverpool are crushing the league right now”

Hands up if you’ve ever read a job spec with an unusual focus on beer pong, “work hard, play hard” attitudes and pop culture references related to gaming or sports? Although on the light end of the spectrum, these examples are very reflective of the effect that unconscious biases can have on your talent acquisition strategy. Aggressive or gendered language like “rockstar,” and inaccessible pop-culture references can make your company unattractive to prospective candidates, which can be harmful to your company’s brand. You should also consider the effects of focusing on specific technology experiences rather than skills, and the prominence of soft skills like collaboration, in discouraging female applicants.

2. Share your commitment to diversity, and to the voices of women in your team

Do you use social media to communicate your commitment to diversity, the success you’ve achieved, or the women you promote? If not, then you need to change this right now! From low hanging fruit like highlighting positive career progression and sending women to recruitment sessions (a still all too uncommon occurrence), to pushing out that your company actually implements mentoring paths for under-represented groups, we recommend this as an essential part of any talent acquisition strategy. You need to show that you have a commitment to diversity instead of to PR or quotas to capture the best candidates for your role.

Make Them Want To Be Hired

3. Address the gender pay gap

Salary is the most important thing for 33% of female candidates when considering a job offer

1 in 3 women consider salary to be the most important factor in choosing a job. That’s not a surprise to anyone recruiting in the tech sector, especially if they work in a scarce talent ecosystem. But it should be a surprise that 40% of women wish companies were more transparent in the interview process. This is reflective of the fact that the gender pay-gap still exists, and this makes it harder for organisation to hire diverse workforces and leadership teams. Given that salary is also the third biggest reason for people to leave their job, it becomes clear that this is a major component of your talent acquisition strategy. You need to be rigorous and transparent in creating pay structures which treat all your employees equally.

4. Interview better

Remember the talk about unconscious bias before? Well this equally applies to the interview process. It’s important to use the kinds of standardized competency-based interviews, and personality assessments, that are applicable to more than just the people creating them. If possible, you should try to make sure your interview and assessment processes have as much input from as many voices in your company as possible to create a best-outcome scenario.

Make Them Want To Stay

5. Create a female-friendly environment

Creating a safe and comfortable work environment should not just be about providing the bare minimum

10% of women have left a job after experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, which is unacceptable. But creating a safe and comfortable work environment should not just be about providing the bare minimum for your employees by eliminating sexist languages and behaviours. It’s about positively adding value to your work culture with clear policies on things like work-life balance, parental leave and mentorships. 16% of females will leave a job based on lack of these policies, while poor management in general is cited as the second biggest reason people leave their jobs. A comprehensive talent acquisition strategy doesn’t stop when a candidate starts their job, but rather continues to ensure a long and lasting contribution from each person.

6. Reward people fairly (and transparently)

The most common reason for women to leave their job however is that their ambition isn’t recognised. As seen in our previous blog, women commit to learning for longer and deeper than men, are more educated and are more trusted by their peers, yet they are still paid less and promoted less frequently. You need to implement policies based on fair and transparent performance goals which can be seen to let them work on a long-term carer plan without having to adopt “aggressive” traits.


We know diversity have multiple benefits for a company and can help them achieve more. We know that the tech industry is challenging at the best of times when it comes to recruiting the best talent. We now know that adding diversity into a recruitment strategy can start with some small steps to make a positive impact. 

Recognition One are talent partners for VCs, Scale-Ups and Enterprises and we have a lot of experience of how to make your recruitment strategy work on a much deeper level. It matters who you work with, so email us or give us a call to learn more.