How to foster fair and inclusive recruitment

Inclusive hiring ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to apply and be considered for a position. | Freepik

Inclusive hiring ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to apply and be considered for a position. | Freepik

Published May 7, 2024


Creating a working environment that welcomes individuals from all backgrounds is essential for promoting productivity and driving innovation. But while attracting and retaining a diverse workforce is a priority for many organisations, creating truly fair and inclusive recruitment practices can be a challenge.

From creating unbiased job descriptions to implementing blind resume screening, there are several practical steps you can take to promote fairness in your recruitment process. Additionally, by prioritising diversity in your company's values and actively seeking out candidates from under-represented groups, you can attract a wider pool of talent and foster an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and supported.

Diverse benefits

Fair and inclusive recruitment practices are essential for organisations that aim to build a diverse workforce. These practices ensure that individuals from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to apply and be considered for positions. By removing biases and barriers, companies can tap into a wider variety of perspectives, experiences and skills.

In addition to the ethical imperative, there are several benefits of fair and inclusive recruitment practices.

Research has shown that diverse teams are more innovative, creative and adaptable. They bring different viewpoints and problem-solving strategies to the table - leading to better decision-making and improved outcomes. Furthermore, an inclusive work environment promotes employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. When individuals feel valued and supported, they are more likely to contribute their best work and stay with the company long-term.

Mitigating bias

To develop fair and inclusive recruitment practices, organisations must first understand and address the unconscious biases that may exist within their processes.

Unconscious bias refers to the attitudes and stereotypes that affect our judgements and decisions on a subconscious level. These biases can influence every stage of the recruitment process – from job advertisements to candidate evaluation and selection. They can manifest in various forms such as gender bias, racial bias, age bias or even affinity bias (favouring individuals who are similar to us).

To mitigate unconscious bias, organisations can take several steps, including:

Diversify advertisements - The language used in job adverts can inadvertently exclude certain groups. Avoid gendered language and focus on the essential qualifications and skills required for the role. Additionally, consider using inclusive language that appeals to a diverse range of candidates.

Diversify outreach - To reach a broader audience, organisations should also diversify their outreach efforts. This can include posting job openings on platforms and websites that cater to specific demographics or communities, partnering with organisations that support under-represented groups, or attending career fairs and networking events focused on diversity and inclusion.

Implement blind hiring techniques - Blind hiring aims to remove identifying information from CVs and applications in order to minimise bias during the initial screening process. This can be done by redacting names, addresses and other personal details that may reveal a candidate's gender, ethnicity or age. Implementing blind hiring techniques ensures that candidates are evaluated solely based on their qualifications and skills; increasing the likelihood of a fair and unbiased selection process.

Fair interview processes - Interviews play a crucial role in the recruitment process, and it is important to ensure that they are fair and inclusive. To achieve this, organisations should create structured interview formats that focus on assessing candidates' competencies and qualifications, rather than subjective impressions. Providing interview panellists with diversity and inclusion training can also help them recognise and mitigate unconscious biases during the interview process.

Objective evaluation

Once the initial screening and interview processes are complete, organisations must evaluate candidates based on objective criteria and ensure that diversity and inclusion are considered during the selection process.

This can be achieved through the following strategies:

Clear evaluation criteria - Before evaluating candidates, establish clear and objective criteria that align with the job requirements. By defining the essential qualifications and competencies, organisations can avoid subjective judgments and ensure that all candidates are assessed fairly.

Diversity metrics and goals - To hold themselves accountable and track progress, organisations should establish diversity metrics and goals. These metrics can include the representation of under-represented groups at different stages of the recruitment process, such as the number of diverse candidates shortlisted, interviewed and ultimately hired. By measuring and monitoring diversity metrics, organisations can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance their recruitment practices.

Diversity in selection panels - Including individuals from diverse backgrounds on selection panels can help mitigate biases and ensure a fair evaluation process. These panel members can provide different perspectives and contribute to a more inclusive decision-making process.


To foster fair and inclusive recruitment practices, organisations should invest in training and educating their hiring managers and recruiters. This training can help them recognise and address unconscious biases, understand the importance of diversity and inclusion, and equip them with the necessary skills to implement fair practices throughout the recruitment process.

Training programmes can include workshops, seminars or online courses that cover topics such as unconscious bias, inclusive language and interviewing techniques. By empowering hiring managers and recruiters with the necessary knowledge and tools, organisations can ensure that fair and inclusive practices become ingrained in their recruitment processes.

  • Supplied by Gestaldt Consulting Group