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Creating a more inclusive recruitment process

2020 has been a year of honest conversations, of people re-engaging with the subject of diversity and inclusion within our businesses.

We have been seeing more and more articles and posts on LinkedIn about the impact of global conversations on how our individual businesses are structured.

Companies are looking internally at their leadership team and the conversation is starting to go further than simply a balance of genders.

This is especially important within the HR industry – we are looked to as the leading industry for cultural changes within a business.

But how do we make sure when the conversations stop, we have accomplished more than simply setting up an internal D&I team?


Creating an inclusive workplace starts from the very first moment someone walks through the door for their interview.

My question therefore is –

Is your recruitment process inclusive?


Below I have outlined four ways in which I believe you can make your hiring process more inclusive.


1. Review your job adverts

Do we have unconscious gender bias in our job adverts?

Research has shown that women are less likely to apply to job adverts with more ‘masculine’ wording and visa-versa.

For example, ‘challenge’, ‘headstrong’ and ‘ambitious’ are all perceived as more ‘masculine’ words, whereas ‘support’, ‘responsibility’ and ‘interpersonal’ are perceived as more ‘feminine’.

Online you can find multiple ‘Gender Bias Decoders’ where you can paste your job advert into the decoder and it will highlight whether your advert has an unbalanced range of wording.

If you are finding that the candidates applying to your job advert all seem pretty similar, you may find it useful to give this a go. You may find it changes the outcome!


2. Involve diverse people in the hiring process

It is natural for us to lean towards a candidate who is more similar to ourselves, but if we don’t want to end up with a team of mini-mes we may want to include more than one person’s thoughts on the candidates in process.

Not only that, but diversity breeds diversity. When candidates go through an interview process and engage with different types of people, it can encourage them to work for your organisation.

We are consumed with asking how candidates can fit into our already established company culture, whether they will be the right team fit. Instead, why not ask how a person might be able to enhance our culture, to improve our team rather than simply ‘fitting in’.


3. Develop your company culture

Of course, if we want to attract diverse candidates that is one thing, but if we want them to stay it is also important to address the current culture, both in the team and more broadly in the business – and then tell them about it!

Give examples of what you offer other than the financial perks.

Make sure that any changes made are evident on your website – candidates will look at your values when researching your company.

Talk about initiatives in place and changes being made.


4. Consider questions you are asking

For example –

Asking how to pronounce someone’s name properly if you are not sure.

Asking someone their preferred gender pronouns.

Don’t assume! I.e. If someone mentions they have kids, it is best not to automatically assume they also have a husband/wife.


An important thing to remember is that the interview process works both ways. While it is an important tool for you to assess them as a candidate, they will also be assessing the company for whether it is somewhere they want to spend the majority of their day within.

Diversity needs to not simply be a ‘tick box’. Creating a diverse team doesn’t happen overnight but putting measures in place can help us start to work towards this goal.


As ever, I would love to hear your thoughts so please do reach out if you are interested in discussing further!

Is there anything your company is doing that I might not have mentioned? Please do comment below and share your thoughts.

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