Connecting with LGBTQ+ Talent: A Guide for Recruiters and Sourcers

June 26, 2024 16 min read

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not just buzzwords but essential components of a successful business. This includes recruiting talent from the LGBTQ+ community. To find “the best” talent, companies must create recruitment experiences that attract a diverse pool, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or other personal characteristics. By actively and thoughtfully engaging with LGBTQ+ candidates, recruiters and sourcers can enrich their talent pool and foster an environment of inclusivity and innovation. Here's how to make that connection respectfully, authentically, and effectively. Remember, top talent seeks out inclusive environments where they can thrive, and missing out on this can mean losing exceptional talent.

Finding LGBTQ+ talent

Queer-Specific Job Boards

Begin your quest for top-notch LGBTQ+ talent by exploring queer-specific job boards. These platforms provide a space for LGBTQ+ professionals to find explicitly inclusive and affirming opportunities. Some prominent platforms include:
  • Out & Equal Workplace Advocates: An organization dedicated to achieving LGBTQ+ workplace equality.
  • Pride at Work: Affiliated to the AFL-CIO, this group represents LGBTQ+ union members and their allies.
  • LGBT Connect: A job board catered to LGBTQ+ job seekers seeking supportive employers.
By posting on these resources, you clearly intend to welcome LGBTQ+ professionals into your organization.


Collaborating with organizations that support queer professionals can also aid in the recruitment process. These organizations often run events and social networks and facilitate introductions. Engaging with them can help amplify your reach and show genuine commitment to diversity. Some organizations to consider include:
  • GLAAD: Works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Human Rights Campaign: A civil rights organization working towards LGBTQ+ equality.
  • National LGBT Chamber of Commerce: An advocacy group for LGBTQ+-owned businesses.
  • Local Organizations: Chances are, people are doing this work right in your own backyard. Talk about a great way to find ideal candidates!
Partnering with such organizations showcases your commitment beyond a mere hiring push. It's also a great way to network with passionate people in various career paths.

Use a Sourcing Platform

Implement robust talent acquisition platforms like hireEZ that align with your hiring philosophy. This AI-powered sourcing and recruitment CRM platform can streamline your recruiting process and display your dedication to finding diverse talent through advanced sourcing tools designed to engage underrepresented communities.
For example, Visa used the hireEZ platform's analytics for diversity market intelligence research.
This way, you can search for people you might not come into contact with naturally but are great fits for your recruiting goals.

Attracting LGBTQ+ Talent

Remember, LGBTQ+ professionals are not restricted to niche job boards or organizations. They are everywhere. To attract this talent, you need to develop a holistic attraction strategy:

Showcase Your Work

Your current work environment reflects your values. Highlight initiatives and policies that support LGBTQ+ employees, such as employee resource groups (ERGs), inclusive health benefits, and partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations.

Be Thoughtful and Intentional with Language

Language matters. Ensure job postings and all communications are free of gender-coded words and heteronormative assumptions. Phrases like “salesman” can be replaced with “sales professional” or “team member.” Additionally, using "they/them" pronouns in examples or providing the option for candidates to indicate their pronouns can make a big difference. Reinforce that your environment is one where everyone's identity is respected.

Your Track Record Speaks Volumes

Your company's reputation for LGBTQ+ inclusivity—good or bad—is visible to potential candidates. Ensure your organization's actions mirror its promises of inclusivity. Efforts should be consistent and continuous, not sporadic or performative.

Application Forms Matter, Too

Review your application forms. Do they allow for different family structures or gender identities? This can be a litmus test for how seriously a company takes inclusivity.
For example, Cambridge University allows users to fill in their gender identity for a full spectrum of answers. Other companies, such as HSBC, simply ensure that an Mx field is included on top of Mr. and Ms. There's no hard and fast rule here at this time, so making an effort to be inclusive says a lot about your team already.

Follow Through After Hiring

The hiring process is just the start. Commit to ongoing support and development of your LGBTQ+ talent. Encouragement of career advancement, protection against discrimination, and active celebration of diversity should be cornerstones of your company culture. And remember, this helps out with your track record, too, for future candidates!
Microsoft is actually famous for this, with internal employees championing their experience at the company. They even have a dedicated web page for LGBTQ+ talent to explore the company's special initiatives and inclusion practices.
In Conclusion
Building authentic connections with LGBTQ+ talent requires intentionality, a deep understanding of the community, and a commitment to action—not just words. The best companies not only avoid repelling diverse talent but actively create recruitment experiences that attract and retain LGBTQ+ professionals. By following these guidelines, recruiters and sourcers can foster a vibrant, diverse, and empowered workforce. Remember, inclusivity is more than an HR strategy; it's a fundamental aspect of company culture, and as a recruiter, you have the power to champion it.
For some inspiration, check out the companies highlighted by the Human Rights Campaign that are setting the standard for inclusive and equitable workplaces.


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