How to create a more inclusive hiring process

by Feb 21, 2019

Do you want a more inclusive hiring process but don’t know how… read on


Diversity and inclusion is good for business. This is well researched and publicised. From the World Economic Forum to major international consulting firms the impact of these change management initiatives are consistent in their message. Not only do the contribute to business success but employee engagement, increased market share team effectiveness and individual well-being. Creating a more inclusive hiring process is the only way forward to meet these new business goals.


An inclusive workplace means transforming your culture so that everyone feels respected and has a voice. This means that your hiring processes have to reflect and be aligned with your company’s mission and key core value. If it isn’t you are going to get unstuck. This applies to every step in the process from sourcing candidates to interviewing and even the offer and onboarding process.

Ask yourself these questions

  • Are you thrilled when you see a CV from top ranked universities?
  • Do you have long-standing relationships with a small number of sector sources who regularly refer you resumes from their networks?
  • How many people are involved in the interview process and are they structured?
  • Do key decision makers interview on their own?

3 basic ways to create a more inclusive hiring process

1. Manage your biases

Unconscious bias training has a bad rep and in many quarters it has been demonised. The reason for this is that we all have biases and we are all resistant to change. No one likes that and many are fearful of introspection. As head hunters or recruiters we want to identify the best candidates, but our biases come into play from the minute our eyes check out a LinkedIn profile. Our decisions are impacted by the photo, the name, the style of writing, education, gender of the candidate and place of work. We can’t help ourselves.

It is vital that we learn where our biases lie and then take concrete steps to factor them in and take them into account in our decision-making processes. Some people say we can do that ourselves. There is software available to support this, but at the point where there is any human intervention then biases will kick in.

Personally, I think we need formal training.  I would go further and say if you haven’t had unconscious bias training you shouldn’t be in recruitment. If we don’t manage our biases, we can fall into the stereotyping trap and place undue importance on what we have always done:

  • Suitability and fit –  we gravitate to people like us, gleaned from photos, ethnicity, age, education
  • Gender bias – the job has traditionally been done by a specific gender – usually male, the last job holder was a man, the boss is a man and the team is male.
  • Intelligence – based on the ranking of educational backgrounds and academic grades. We give higher significance to M.IT., Cambridge and Harvard than Bumbledunk Technical College
  • Skills – judged on previous employment experience with high profile companies carrying greater weight
Counteract with the following measures
  • Notify your client that you want to have a bias conscious and inclusive process where open and constructive discussion is encouraged.
  • Create a search strategy that is focused on knowledge, skills and competency.
  • Make sure that those criteria are reflected in the job profile. If you have some non-mandatory requirements – can training be given?
  • Build a standard interviewing structure with all candidates asked the same questions with a mid-point review
  • Co-opt interviewers with a diverse range of backgrounds, ages and experiences

Check out 3Plus Corporate Programs to create bias conscious cultures

2. Think out of the box

It’s important to extend your reach in terms of advertising and networking.

  • Build relationships with different stakeholders and communities whether by age, gender, language, ethnicity or location.
  • If you have a non-mandatory requirement but ticks the nice to have box, can you offer training?
  • Offer emotional salary up front in the advert.
  • Make diversity hiring part of the hiring managers KPIs

Sourcing is is the starting place in the funnel of your talent pipeline.  By following some of these very basic steps you make sure that you are creating a more inclusive hiring process.

3Plus can help you with some simple ways to make your hiring process appeal more to women with our FREE ebook on 12 key steps to attract, recruit and retain female talent.

3. Extend your reach

To advance and enhance diversity in your recruitment process and therefore your workplace requires sourcing candidates from places where currently you have no presence. Building up an extended network of contacts takes time and energy. If you want to diversify your talent pool then it’s about fishing where there are fish and making your hiring process more inclusive. To state the obvious this means including more people; If you are looking for older workers or ethnic workers you have to go and be visible where they are located. But just because you have found one partnership that is worthwhile. Don’t stop there. Keep on the look out for new ways to attract talent a wide range of talent into your pipeline.

Sourcing is the starting place in the funnel of your talent pipeline. By following some of these very basic steps you make sure that you are creating a more inclusive hiring process.


Tackle these issues in your organisation head on by changing the way you approach recruitment

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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