How Inclusive is Your Company’s Recruitment Practice?

Drake Editorial Team

It’s not enough for an organisation to say it values diversity in the workplace. To be a diverse and inclusive employer, changes need to occur in the recruitment process. “Glassdoor” found that 67% of job seekers use diversity as an important factor when considering companies and job offers.

Drake International also conducted a poll to discover how important diversity and inclusion are to candidates when considering a new job role and employer. 76% of potential candidates cited diversity as an important factor when considering future work opportunities.

Every year the business case for achieving greater diversity becomes more compelling with numerous academic studies and research confirming the correlation between diverse workforces and greater financial returns.

Today, diversity recruitment must be a top priority for every organisation. The goal of diversity hiring is to identify and reduce potential biases in sourcing, screening, and shortlisting qualified diverse candidates who may otherwise be discriminated against.

Diversity hiring means taking care to ensure recruitment is based on merit with procedures in place to reduce biases.

To build diversity into the workplace, you must also pair diversity with inclusion. All employees should have equal rights and opportunities, from the way they are treated, to how they are managed, trained, evaluated, and promoted within the organisation.

For a more diverse and inclusive recruitment practice, follow these eight tips:

1. Discover where you are

The first step is to analyse your hiring data to find out where you are on your diversity journey. An audit provides a baseline of your organisation’s current situation by measuring factors like composition in terms of age, gender, and race. Examining where you stand will give you a clearer picture of your workforce representation. This is an excellent starting point to assess your strengths and weaknesses where staff are not equally represented. With this knowledge, you can develop a plan to change the diversity reality.

2. Choose your words carefully

Be mindful of gender-coded language and use of pronouns. When preparing job descriptions and writing job postings, check for gender-coded language. Far too often, job adverts form the first barrier for many people looking for a new opportunity. To attract diverse candidates, use inclusive language. Research has shown that masculine words may discourage women from applying to jobs. For example, words such as ‘ambitious’ or “driven’ are thought of as masculine words while ‘supportive’ and ‘empathetic’ are thought of as more feminine. We commonly assign certain traits to men versus women even though any gender can display those traits.

Further, consider the use of gender-neutral pronouns in your adverts such as ‘you’ and ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’.

To prevent job seekers from feeling unqualified, avoid corporate language and jargon. Ensure that you avoid or open up acronyms, so that those using their transferable skills from other industries feel welcomed to put an application forward.

To encourage an increase in applications, ensure that you keep your job advert brief and remove requirements which are not necessary for the role or that can be taught through training.

3. Reach diverse talent pools

Cast a wide net and expand your talent pool. To reach diverse candidates, place your job ads in locations visited by underrepresented groups or minorities. This could include magazines, forums, websites, and diversity job boards. Exploring a variety of channels to post your opportunities enables you to cast a wider, less exclusive net.

4. Highlight your commitment

Wherever and whenever you can, proactively state your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness by listing it as a top value. Include this in all your job postings and career sites to appeal to a diverse range of possible candidates. Don’t forget to look at the imagery and videos of your workplace on your website and social profiles to ensure they capture diversity.

5. Phone screening prior to interviewing

Screening candidates by phone prior to an in-person or virtual interview typically reduces bias by eliminating visual clues or characteristics. Focusing on general fit, as well as experience and skill set results in a shortlist based on the requirements of the role with ‘first impressions’ becoming less impactful or influential in the initial interview.

6. Standardise your interview questions

To ensure fair hiring practices and a level playing field, each candidate should be asked the same set of defined questions. Standardising your interview questions eliminates bias from the hiring process. In addition to avoiding discrimination, a structured and fair process, with additional weighting assigned to specific questions, helps ensure that the best candidate is hired.

7. Introduce a diverse interview panel

To avoid unconsciousness biases, ensure your interviewing panel includes a diverse selection of your employees from different races, genders, skills, and experience. This provides candidates with a better snapshot of your organisation and sends the message that it is inclusive. A lack of diversity on the other hand makes the panel more susceptible to hiring people just like them. A diverse panel can also provide candidates with a better experience overall while showcasing that your company cares about providing equal opportunities.

8. Utilise technology to avoid bias

Incorporating technology into your hiring process increases workplace diversity. Recruiting software that automatically applies shortlisting criteria across all candidates and utilising personality assessments reduces unconscious bias. When the results do not differ for minority candidates, it allows for equality in the hiring process.

Focus on building diversity and inclusiveness in your workplace not just in words, but in practice. This means hiring, respecting and valuing the skills and differences each staff member brings to your organisation.

From sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates to interviewing and more, Drake can support your organisation reach your diversity goals through our inclusive recruitment practices.

Contact us today!




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