Basic tips to Design a Diverse and Inclusive Recruitment Process

by Mar 30, 2023

Design a Diverse and Inclusive Recruitment Process


To design a diverse and inclusive recruitment process there are a several of steps that need to be in place before you even start. To quote Mark Twain “If you don’t know where you are going every direction will get you there.


The key first steps are:

  • Understand what D, E & I mean to you:  Many organisations approach D,E & I without really understanding what D,E & I means to them. The the most important kick-off point is to define your mission and where you want to focus your time, energy and money. This will differ from one organisation to another, but the basic strategies are the same. Your vision then has to be clearly reiterated in all your communication channels, and in a precise and concise mission statement. Organisation should make it clear what they stand for and against.
  • Understand and track your numbers:  to set goals you need to know your starting point.
  • Know which inequities you specifically wish to address and therefore the demographic (s) you are targetting in order of priority. It can sometimes be less effective to handle them all at the same time.


Recruitment is one of the HR processes which sustains inequity in most organisations and is the one which needs addressing first.  Each organisation will have to look at its D, E & I goals and will have to tweak its strategy to adapt to the demographic they are targeting and the imbalance they want to address.


Basic tips to Design a Diverse and Inclusive Recruitment Process

1. Train your TA team and hiring managers

Provide unconscious bias and inclusive language training to everyone on your hiring team to help them recognise their biases and ensure that all candidates are evaluated equallybased on their qualifications and their teachability.  Anecdotally I hear from TA specialists that women experience greater resistance to any changes they propose from hiring managers than their male colleagues.

Katrina Collier, author of Robot-Proof Recruiter, asked me if it was a lack of confidence. I don’t think it is. It’s more about a lack of skills in constructive communication and getting from “no” to “yes” without conflict.

2. Evaluate and rewrite job descriptions

Review your job descriptions to ensure they are inclusive and unbiased, using gender-neutral language and avoiding stereotypical language that might discourage candidates from diverse backgrounds. Make sure that the key elements are not exaggerated (years of experience and education is the most common.) Invest in some tech to help you if you are stuck. Textio is strong in this market but there is also free software such as Kat Matfield’s Gender Decoder.

3. Diversify sourcing strategies

Fish where there are fish!  Source candidates from target groups by building critical relationships in these new areas and being open to applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds. Expand your candidate pool by posting job ads in a variety of places, including on job boards, social media, and employee referral programs. Be careful research shows that referral schemes tend to source white men.

Reach out to other community organisations and universities to connect with potential candidates with diverse backgrounds. This could range from LGBT and specific disability groups, or women’s associations and clubs.


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4. Blind resume screening

Consider using blind resume screening to remove identifying information such as names, addresses, and graduation dates, so that the hiring team focuses solely on the candidate’s qualifications.


How to mitigate bias in the recruitment process – 3 Plus International


5. Diversify your interview panels

Use diverse interview panels that reflect the diversity of the candidates being interviewed. This helps to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and offers better opportunities to manage bias.


6. Monitor results

Design a Diverse and Inclusive Recruitment Process

Many organisations set diversity goals, run some one-off unconscious bias training sessions, and then don’t track progress against these goals.  It’s important to track your progress towards building a diverse workforce to provide a measure of accountability. Integrating D, E & I goals into KPIs that impact executive bonuses is an advanced step.  Reggie Miller, VP, Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at McDonald’s shared at a Mercer:Leapgen Meetup that  their senior executives, despite making progress, had not yet hit the target.

 Achieving diversity and inclusion is ongoing work. Remember you don’t go for a walk once to train for a marathon. This will not happen unless organisations design a diverse and inclusive recruitment process which firmly linked to long term goals.

Note: a summary of this post was published on Synergogy 6 Leaders Share Their Insights on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Does your organisation need to address unconscious bias? Contact 3Plus now!




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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