I wrote a Guest Post in TechCrunch called "Weak Ties Matter" about using social science to help recruit diverse teams. I took Stanford Professor Mark Granovetter's sociology course as a grad student, and his paper "Strength of Weak Ties" is still incredibly relevant when thinking about how to recruit a diverse team.
His insight was that within a network of strong ties, people with weak ties outside the core network are bridges to other networks. Those bridges have access to new and unique information — like job openings — relative to other members of the network with only strong ties.
Here's the TL;DR
Authenticity + core business value. If you believe that diverse teams have better business outcomes, then learn how that works for your company.
Weak ties matter. Find the weak ties that bridge to new networks, do customer development to learn where to add value, then ask for referrals.
Align recruiting, hiring and retention for long-term success. Hiring is only the first step. Retention and superior performance is what everyone wants, so align your systems to support diverse candidates and the referral networks that found them.
At Truss, we think about diversity not only in recruiting, but in terms of inclusion, communication and retention. Diversity of perspective, thought and experience makes for lively discussion and ultimately better products and services for ourselves and our clients.