There’s currently a war going on in the employment world. It’s a war for finding talent, but how do you win such a battle?

According to Bernard Coleman for, it’s all about expanding the aperture for talent by recruiting with an inclusive lens.

He says elite-schools-pedigree recruiting approach is myopically outdated and needs to be quickly evolved. In fact, he argues that there’s currently a huge market of talent, and too often we miss out by going the so-called “traditional” route in evaluating and recruiting.

Instead, organizations should adopt the “ITS” approach: Inclusive Talent Strategy. After all, talent isn’t exclusive to any one gender, race, ability, school, company, location, etc. Talent runs the gamut, so we should move away from the elite pedigree misconception.

Here are the steps:

  1. Reduce bias. As Simon Sinek shares in his book Start With Why, “We trust that someone who lives in the community and more likely shares our values and beliefs is better qualified to care for the most valuable thing in our lives over someone with a long résumé but from an unfamiliar place.”The operative word is trust. So if trust can supersede verified experience, how can hiring managers hire differently if they mistrust difference? That’s the inherent bias, the binary flaw in hiring. We’re predisposed to distrust difference and we will find reasons to disqualify those who are different under the guise of defective experience.This means leaning into strategic risk, because with each hire of talent, it is either a risk or reward because no one can tell the future.
  2. New spaces, more faces. A talent strategy that goes to the same place time and time again with the expectation of different results is a limiting approach. If you want the same faces, go to the same places. If you want to expand the aperture, go to new spaces to find new faces.Go to historically Black colleges and universities or Hispanic-serving institutions, women’s colleges, boot camps, and adjacent industries and talent profiles to leverage the different avenues for talent. Talk to the members of your affinity groups, work with organizations that specialize in reaching historically excluded talent. Ultimately, to find talent that’s off the beaten path requires an ITS approach.
  3. The evergreen pipeline. Invest in an evergreen pipeline to expand the aperture for those roles that are always in need. When there is a steady flow of talent, greater efficiency is achieved, versus the start-and-stop approach. With the time and effort saved, greater outreach to new audiences can occur via new channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, targeting specific job boards and other social-media platforms.