Finding candidates

By communicating a foundation of values about openness and diversity in job postings and websites, companies and organizations can attract the group of foreign-born academics. But at the same time, it is important that the picture is consistent with reality, so that it does not become counterproductive. A large part of the recruitment today is done by searching existing networks. A labor market is then formed of different circles that people are either part of, or not. Therefore, work actively to reach out to new networks. Analyze where you are today, which target groups you have contact with and which you do not reach.

Table of contents:

A) Inclusive marketing and communication

B) Advertising and distribution of job opening

C) Search / Headhunting / LinkedIn

D) Widen the networks by creating new contacts

Foreign-born academics in the study testify to situations where they have come to workplaces where employees, management and board did not reflect these ambitions internally and where there were also no specific goals for diversity work. This can be perceived as “fake marketing”.

Rydgren (Rydgren, 2004) describes so-called “gatekeepers”, employers who to a large extent recruit through contacts or recommendations from contacts. In the focus groups, several people described how recruitment companies can act as a legitimate link into the labor market.

I thought it would be more professional here. Nothing happens if you just apply for a job, submit applications or go on an interview. You don’t get a job. You get jobs through networks.

/ Doctor Middle East

Finding candidates is about marketing your own organization and the specific job opening that is advertised. An ad can both attract and discourage candidates to search, depending on how it is designed in image and text. Networks and contacts often act as a way into the labor market for all groups in society, but studies show that it is extra important for foreign-born people (9, 10).

The recruiters also described how, in the search process of finding candidates, they often start from their own existing networks. For example, employees’ contacts, employees of other companies that are in the industry and who are already on the “inside”. This indicates difficulties for anyone standing on the “outside” of getting a first foot in.

A large part of the recruitment processes takes place through a so-called “search method”, which is often run on LinkedIn. Where recruiters search for candidates through various search tool keywords. It is then particularly important that there is a clear needs analysis and requirements profile that the recruiting person can follow.

Throughout the recruitment process, but extra important in the stage of finding candidates, is a self-critical approach and an awareness of their own prejudices and limitations. (3)

I wore a veil when I was younger, so I know they would judge me if I came to them personally, if I met the employer face-to-face. I would feel more comfortable through a recruitment company.

/ Political scientist Africa

A) Do: Inclusive marketing and communication


• Review what your marketing and communication looks like today. How are you perceived? How do you express yourself in words and pictures? Does your communication represent your core values, who you are and who you want to be? Which target groups do you want to connect with and in which channels do you have the best reach?

• If you are uncertain about your target groups, you can do surveys to find out how the communication is experienced and who it reaches.

• Use communication agencies and digital tools to help you with more inclusive communication.

Why: For the business to be perceived as credible in its quest for inclusion and diversity. Foreign-born academics testify in Kantar Sifo’s focus groups on workplaces that do not reflect its ambitions internally and where concrete goals for diversity work are lacking.

Recruiters in Kantar Sifo’s focus groups describe how they see the ad as a marketing channel for the companies and that it is therefore important that the values highlighted there are in line with the business value base.

B) Do: Advertising and distribution of job opening


A job ad does not only have to mean job ads at the Swedish Public Employment Service and other advertising sites. There is opportunity to look at the big picture here. Today, services are advertised through, for example, radio advertising, YouTube films, distribution of posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and at various events. By thinking new and broad, you can reach out to more and new groups.

Regardless of the format, think about how your communication and tonality can be perceived by different people. Therefore, design the “job ad” according to the needs analysis and the skills you are looking for. Ask yourself:

• Which channels should we use, and who can potentially be reached there?

• In what languages should the ad be, can we reach new and interesting target groups?

• Can we attract a broader target group in other ways?

Why: To get a broader target group to apply for the job and not to miss out on competent individuals. If the advertisement, through values, signals that all candidates with the right competence are judged equal, the chances of more people with the right competence seeking and a larger selection of the applicant are available to choose from. (3) Several recruiters in the focus groups describe how they often begin their search process among those with whom they have already been in contact, who have previously applied for other jobs or who work in the industry. There is an awareness of the risks and that they can be avoided by strategically seeking the expertise that is desired in other industries.

Stop recruiting people who are related to your contacts! Post an ad and give everyone a chance.

/ Foreign born academic in Workshop

C) Do: Search/ Headhunting/ LinkedIn



If the recruitment is done through headhunting or LinkedIn, be aware that the selection is selective and that there is a great risk of systematic accidental exclusion and discrimination. Always use a self-critical approach. You can do this by ensuring that you follow the needs analysis and the requirements profile for the role, as well as being aware of your own prejudices in order to avoid discrimination.

Examples of different methods used by recruiters to try to avoid discrimination in “search” as a method:

• Always include at least one person outside the “industry” in the selection of candidates

• Use broader search concepts focusing on competencies

• Avoid specific search terms such as university names

• Template and documentation on the search structure and process

• Review which version of LinkedIn is used, there are different types of accounts that enable different types of search features

• Visualization tools for the entire population

• Follow the needs analysis and the requirements profile for the role, and be aware of your own prejudices to avoid discrimination. (3)

Why: Search, headhunting and recruitment through LinkedIn are becoming more common and, in some organizations and industries, the main form of recruitment.

A high degree of awareness and expertise is required from the recruiting person to carry out this type of recruitment in a non-discriminatory manner. (3)

D) Do: Widen the networks by creating new contacts


• Work actively to reach out to new networks. Analyze where you are today, how far your reach goes and where you do not reach, which target groups do you have contact with and which do you not?

• Use, as good examples, organizations and companies that strategically work to broaden the networks, for example through mentoring programs. Think about whether extended internships can be a method of broadening networks and reaching new contacts.

• Recruiters can strategically search for new industries to find new skills that are applicable to other industries and services.

Why: Both key people with whom Kantar Sifo has had conversations and recruiters in the focus groups describe how a large part of the recruitment today is conducted by primarily searching the “own channels”, contacting those you already know in the industries where you previously worked. Thus, a clear labor market is formed of different circles that are either part of or not.

A widening of the networks is therefore needed to broaden the contact areas and reach out to wider and new target groups to find additional skills. It is also needed to discourage acting “Gatekeepers” by recruiting only from existing contacts.

Networks can both include and exclude. Contacts have proved more important for foreign-born persons to get jobs than for native-born people. (9, 10) Focus groups conducted by Kantar Sifo with foreign born stated that recruitment companies can act as a “legitimate link” between the candidate and the employer, but also as an obstacle.

We have a policy that we always post internally first, but then we post it externally.

/ Recruiter in focus group

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