Follow these tips to ensure your recruitment efforts meet diversity and inclusion principles

Diversity and Inclusion: Best Practices to Follow in Recruitment

Embracing diversity and inclusion in recruitment has become essential for businesses to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. With numerous benefits, including improved problem-solving, innovation, higher revenue, and productivity, a diverse workforce has become a competitive advantage. 

This article explores the importance of diversity and inclusion in recruitment, delving into best practices and strategies to attract, screen, and hire candidates from various backgrounds and experiences.


What Is Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment?

diversity and inclusion recruitment

The concept of workplace diversity emphasises that a well-rounded team should reflect the diverse composition of the surrounding society, incorporating individuals from various backgrounds and experiences, including aspects such as gender, expertise, socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, among others.

Fundamentally, diversity recruitment involves deliberately attracting and hiring individuals with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. This ensures that a company’s workforce encompasses a wide range of ideas, experiences, and viewpoints. Although diversity recruitment is still a merit-based approach focused on selecting the best candidates, it is structured to offer equal opportunities to all applicants, regardless of their backgrounds. Adopting this strategy leads to:

  • A richer and more innovative work environment
  • Enhanced collaboration and creativity
  • Improved problem-solving capabilities

Workplace diversity types

Workplace diversity can be broadly classified into two primary categories:

Inherent Diversity: This type of diversity includes demographic factors that are inherent to an individual, such as:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Health

Acquired Diversity: This category refers to attributes that are not innate but can change and develop over time, including:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Values
  • Skills
  • Knowledge

By embracing diversity in recruitment, companies can effectively harness the power of a multifaceted workforce and unlock their full potential.


Why Is Inclusive Hiring Important?

The rapid rise of workforce diversity in the business world stems from both ethical considerations and the numerous tangible benefits it offers for performance, innovation, and productivity. The advantages of diversity recruiting include:

  • Access to a broader range of skills and experiences within the team
  • Enhanced language proficiency and cultural awareness
  • Larger and more diverse candidate pools
  • Enhanced employee engagement and retention
  • Improved problem-solving skills
  • Strengthened employer brand

These benefits have been shown to result in diverse workforces being more adept at problem-solving, effectively avoiding “echo chamber” or confirmation bias mentalities, and driving greater creativity and innovation in the workplace. The diverse perspectives within a team encourage members to evaluate various approaches, leading to well-informed decisions and improved outcomes.

The evidence supporting workforce diversity is compelling:

  • Companies with diverse management teams are 21% more likely to achieve high profitability.
  • Diverse organisations are 17% more likely to be innovation leaders in their market segments.
  • Three out of four employees prefer to work for a diverse company.
  • Diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform financially than less diverse competitors.
  • Companies with a diverse workforce experience 2.3 times greater cash flow per employee than those with less inclusive and more homogeneous work environments.

As demonstrated, by attracting and retaining top talent from diverse backgrounds, companies can create a more inclusive and dynamic work environment, resulting in better decision-making, increased employee satisfaction, and improved overall performance.

Having explored the benefits of diversity recruiting, it’s time to delve into the methods for achieving it.


Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices

diversity and inclusion best practices

To promote diversity and inclusion within your organisation, it is crucial to implement effective strategies throughout the entire hiring process. These practices can be broken down into three main stages:

  • Attracting a diverse workforce during the recruitment
  • Enhancing diversity during candidate screening
  • Boosting diversity in shortlisting and hiring decisions.

Focusing on these three stages and continuously refining your diversity and inclusion practices will better position your organisation to build a diverse workforce that fosters innovation, productivity, and a more inclusive work environment.


6 ways to recruit for a diverse and inclusive workforce

Here are some actionable steps to apply a diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy:


1. Create inclusive job ads

Crafting inclusive job advertisements is crucial for drawing in a varied and diverse group of applicants. By ensuring that your job postings appeal to people from all backgrounds and experiences, you can widen your talent pool and enhance your organisation’s potential for growth and success. Here are four key strategies for recruiters:

  • Avoid exclusionary words:
  • Remove gender-coded language (e.g., “he” or “her”) and pronouns.
  • Be cautious with terms like “expert” and “rock star”, as they may exclude some candidates.
  • Consider cultural differences, as some words may be interpreted differently.
  • Focus on essential job requirements:
  • Remove unnecessary qualifications, such as a college degree, for entry-level positions.
  • Reconsider physical ability requirements that may exclude candidates with disabilities.
  • Create concise job ads to increase the number of applicants and improve diversity.
  • Tailor language to the target geographical area:
  • Research local terms and expressions to create regionally relevant job ads that resonate with the local audience.
  • Understand cultural nuances in the target area to avoid misunderstandings or unintentional offence.
  • Use appropriate job titles that are recognised and understood in the target area.
  • Consider language proficiency by providing translated or bilingual job ads for non-English speaking or bilingual areas.
  • Incorporate local industry standards in job ads to help candidates better understand role expectations.

Remember, fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a moral imperative and leads to better-performing companies.


2. Target diverse sources

To attract a diverse range of candidates, broadening your talent-sourcing methods and focusing on areas where diverse applicants gather are essential. Enhancing diversity and inclusion in your talent sourcing can be achieved through various approaches, such as

  • Using inclusive language in job postings and outreach messages
  • Sharing job postings on various platforms to reach diverse candidates
  • Partnering with organisations representing diverse communities
  • Leveraging social media to engage with diverse candidates
  • Being open to alternative qualifications and experiences
  • Avoiding assumptions about candidates and focusing on skills and potential fit
  • Being transparent about your commitment to diversity and inclusion

You can also use diversity tools to source diverse candidates, such as

  • Get Staffed: We offer job board advertising on all major UK job boards, including a D&I package with job postings on LGBT,, and
  • LinkedIn Recruiting Insights: This offers insights into the diversity of your candidate pool and helps identify gaps in your recruiting efforts.
  • NativeCurrent: An extension tool that automates searching for diverse talent online using Boolean string generation, enabling recruiters to discover new talent pools.

3. Encourage diverse employee referrals

Referrals are a valuable source of candidates suitable for all levels within an organisation and have the potential to significantly impact diversity in ways that other sourcing methods may not.

You can greatly enhance the diversity of referred candidates by making a few simple adjustments to your employee referral process. Here are five proven strategies to ensure more diverse employee referrals:

  • Encourage employees to refer diverse candidates: Companies have seen a significant increase in referrals from underrepresented backgrounds simply by asking their employees to focus on diversity when referring candidates.
  • Provide special bonuses for referrals from underrepresented groups: Offer higher referral bonuses for employees who refer women, underrepresented minorities, or veterans who are eventually hired, like Intel’s $4,000 bonus, which doubles their standard amount.
  • Broaden the scope of your employee referral program: Make your referral program more inclusive by allowing non-employees, such as business partners, vendors, investors, customers, and social media followers, to recommend potential candidates.
  • Emphasise the importance of diversity in your employee referral ads: When creating referral ads, use inclusive imagery and powerful language that highlights your organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

4. Offer internships to targeted groups

Offering internships to targeted groups is an effective way to improve diversity and inclusion within your organisation. It enables you to provide opportunities to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, promotes a more inclusive workplace, and ultimately benefits from the unique perspectives and skills a diverse workforce brings. Here’s how you can offer internships to targeted groups:

  • Partner with diverse organisations: Collaborate with educational institutions, nonprofit organisations, and professional associations focusing on underrepresented groups to identify and recruit potential interns.
  • Promote internships on diverse platforms: Advertise internship opportunities on job boards, social media channels, and websites that cater to diverse communities.
  • Create targeted internship programs: Develop programs specifically designed for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, such as those focused on women in STEM, minorities in leadership, or individuals with disabilities.
  • Provide mentorship and support: Offer dedicated mentorship and support to interns from targeted groups, helping them to navigate your organisation and develop their skills successfully.
  • Ensure a fair and unbiased selection process: Implement a transparent and unbiased selection process for internships, using standardised criteria and diverse selection panels to minimise bias and ensure fairness.

5. Develop an employer brand showcasing diversity

Aligning your employer brand with your diversity and inclusion goals involves creating a consistent message that reflects your organisation’s values and commitment to a diverse workforce. Here are some steps to achieve this alignment:

  1. Define your diversity and inclusion vision: Clearly articulate your organisation’s mission, strategy, and values surrounding diversity and inclusion, and ensure they are communicated internally and externally.
  2. Highlight your inclusive culture: Showcase your commitment to diversity through various employer branding channels, such as your website, social media, job ads, and employee testimonials. Emphasise your benefits and opportunities, including flexible work arrangements, professional development programs, and employee resource groups.
  3. Engage employees and stakeholders: Involve your employees and stakeholders in the employer branding process by seeking their feedback and insights. Encourage them to become brand ambassadors and share their experiences with their networks and communities to build trust and credibility.
  4. Monitor and measure impact: Track the success of your employer branding efforts concerning your diversity and inclusion goals. Analyse employee engagement, retention rates, candidate attraction, and employer reputation metrics. Collect feedback from employees, candidates, and customers to identify areas for improvement and best practices. Adjust your strategy accordingly to maximise impact.

6. Create company policies appealing to diverse candidates

Creating company policies that appeal to diverse candidates is essential for attracting top talent and fostering an inclusive work environment. Here are some key strategies for crafting policies that resonate with many candidates.

  • Offer Flexibility: Provide flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, to cater to different lifestyles and needs, such as mothers with children and those caring for others.
  • Comprehensive benefits: Offer a benefits package that includes health and wellness programs, parental leave policies, and mental health resources.
  • Support professional development: Create opportunities for training, mentorship, and tuition reimbursement to help employees grow and advance in their careers.
  • Foster inclusive culture: Implement policies that promote diversity and inclusion, such as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and diversity initiatives.
  • Competitive compensation: Develop a fair and transparent compensation policy based on market research to attract top talent from diverse backgrounds.

To successfully improve your recruiting strategy for diversity, start by setting goals and identifying metrics for measuring success. Increase diversity in candidate sourcing with the steps provided here, and create a workplace environment that values diversity, which will organically attract diverse talent.


How to increase diversity in candidate screening

Following the development of a diverse recruitment approach, it is crucial to maintain a screening process that emphasises diversity and inclusivity for prospective candidates. You can implement several measures to promote diversity during your candidate evaluation process:


1. Use blind resumes

You should remove personal information such as names, photos, age, and income level indicators from candidate profiles and resumes. This strategy can help to reduce racial and gender bias during the screening process. Using recruiting software to anonymise resumes efficiently may be beneficial.


2. Blind pre-hire testing

Make job-related skill and knowledge assessments anonymous, such as mock emails for salespeople or coding challenges for developers. You can use anonymous candidate IDs to score assessments without revealing the candidate’s identity. This process can benefit from the use of third-party software or services.


3. Use blind interviews

Utilising written Q&As or chat interviews can be effective, yet anonymising phone, video, or in-person interviews poses a significant challenge. The value of anonymous interviews may differ based on the job’s specific requirements.


4. Harness AI to review resumes

If you are looking for ways to make your recruitment process more impartial and promote diversity, incorporating AI in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an excellent solution. Here’s a quick guide on effectively using AI for unbiased resume analysis:

  • Opt for an AI-powered ATS: Choose an ATS with built-in AI and machine learning capabilities for efficient and unbiased candidate assessment.

  • Define clear criteria: Set objective job requirements and qualifications for the AI system to focus on, ensuring candidates are evaluated based on relevant skills and experience.

  • Anonymise resumes: Remove personal information from resumes within the ATS to eliminate potential unconscious bias during the evaluation process.

  • Train your AI: Feed the AI system diverse and representative historical hiring data to refine its performance and avoid perpetuating biases.

  • Monitor and adjust: Regularly review the AI system’s performance and make necessary adjustments to maintain accuracy and fairness.

  • Track diversity impact: Assess diversity metrics throughout the hiring process to measure the effectiveness of your AI-powered ATS in fostering inclusivity.

  • Keep improving: Stay updated with AI advancements and continuously refine your ATS to ensure it effectively promotes impartiality and diversity.


5. Rethink screening factors

This strategy connects to the job ads audit, where you reevaluate the qualities you seek in candidates and the language you use to communicate with them. A vital aspect of diversity recruitment involves consistently examining the attributes you prioritise in candidates, the reasons behind them, and whether your biases play a role.

Invest time reviewing your candidate testing and screening methods, and honestly assess if you might favour certain types of individuals. If so, contemplate modifying your testing approaches. If you’re uncertain, seek input from colleagues to gain diverse perspectives. And finally, ensure having a pre-agreed scoring system before the process so you’re consistent for all candidates.


Increasing diversity during shortlisting and hiring

Determining which candidates to include in the shortlist and eventually hire can be the most challenging aspect of a diversity recruitment strategy. This is because you’ll have a fairly solid understanding of each candidate, allowing your personal biases to influence the decision-making process. To address this issue, consider employing the following techniques.


1. Automate shortlisting using an ATS

As mentioned earlier, your ATS can narrow your candidate list to those with the highest potential. Utilise your ATS’s screening tools to identify candidates with the most relevant skills and potential.

This approach eliminates personal biases about specific candidates, focusing solely on job-related information. Shortlisting candidates based on predefined requirements will contribute to greater diversity.

If your initial talent pool was diverse, you should have a diverse range of candidates and backgrounds on your shortlist. If not, implementing the final diversity recruiting strategy can make a difference.


2. Seed talent pipelines with diverse candidates

To address decision bias in hiring, implement the “two in the pool effect” strategy by including multiple candidates from underrepresented demographics in the shortlist. This creates a more level playing field, ensuring you hire the best person for the job regardless of their background.

These strategies help combat bias and promote diversity in your hiring process. By incorporating blind resume and interview methods, leveraging AI, rethinking screening factors, and seeding talent pipelines with diverse candidates, you can create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.


Final thoughts

Incorporating diversity and inclusion in your recruitment practices is essential for creating a thriving, innovative, and successful workplace. An increasing number of companies are collecting data on diversity and inclusion (D&I) factors during the application process or requesting it later, allowing them to measure and manage diversity for continuous improvement. By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog, you can attract, screen, and hire candidates from diverse backgrounds, fostering a more inclusive and dynamic work environment.

Continuously refining your approach to diversity and inclusion will help your organisation stand out as an employer of choice and unlock the full potential of your workforce, driving growth and success in the long run. However, many companies still lack this data, resulting in uncertainty about the true extent of their diversity. Emphasising data-driven practices in your recruitment efforts is crucial to overcoming this challenge and promoting a more inclusive workplace.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level by embracing diversity and inclusion in your recruitment process? Get Staffed Recruitment is here to help! Our expert team is dedicated to finding top talent from various backgrounds and creating a vibrant, inclusive work environment that fuels growth and success. Don’t miss out on the benefits a diverse workforce can offer—reach out to Get Staffed Recruitment today and become a champion of diversity and inclusion in your organisation!