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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in Recruiting

Diversity recruiting is the practice of hiring candidates using a process that is free from bias for or against any individual or group of candidates.

Diverse teams help companies to be more innovative, creative and achieve better results. Diversity recruiting efforts should aim to find the best possible candidate but give all applicants equal opportunity. In addition, a strong diversity recruiting program should proactively source and attract candidates from diverse backgrounds to all areas of your business.

Some benefits of diversity recruiting programs include:

  • A broader range of skills and experience
  • Increased language and cultural awareness
  • Larger and more varied candidate pool

Ways to Improve Diversity Recruiting

Improve Diversity through Sourcing

Finding and attracting diverse candidates requires thoughtful planning. It’s important to review your sourcing to ensure that the jobs are accessible and appeal to your target audience.

  • Audit job ads – use language that speaks to a broader range of candidates
  • Target sources specific to diverse candidates
  • Encourage referrals from diverse employees
  • Offer internships to targeted groups (schools, community groups, associations)
  • Develop an employer brand that showcases diversity
  • Create company policies that appeal to diverse candidates
  • Review time off policies and include flexible options for religious holidays and community events
  • Include diversity statement in job postings - for example:
    • COMPANY is committed to creating a diverse environment and proud to be an equal opportunity employer; or
    • COMPANY is committed to equal employment opportunity for all.

Improve Diversity through Screening

Unconscious bias could play a role in the screening of applicants. Reviewers should make efforts to recognize when they may be making assumptions about qualifications and unintentionally providing an advantage or disadvantage based on the wrong criteria. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use blind resumes to remove bias; remove all personal information such as name, school, dates which could imply age, etc.
  • Use artificial intelligence technology to filter skills and experience without influence of human bias
  • Try not to make snap judgments and instead focus on specific attributes
  • Review the screening process and assess for unconscious bias

Improve Diversity through Interviewing  

Standardize the interview process to ensure consistency and minimize bias:

  • Provide interview skills training; confirm that interviewers know which questions are okay to ask
  • Competency based interviews will focus on the skills and qualifications; planning the interview in advance will keep the discussion on topic
  • Interviewers should try not to make quick assessments and instead focus on the specific qualifications for the role


  • Review the interview assessment process; provide a template to be used to record feedback
  • Make hiring decisions based on qualifications – move away from fit; use the job description and qualifications as a guide

In summary, diversity recruiting programs will be most successful when paired with company programs and support systems that create an environment which is welcoming, recognizes and celebrates differences, and ensures respectful engagement for all. The ultimate goal should be for employees at all levels throughout the organization to reflect the community.

Need help? Our team of recruitment experts can work with you to develop a diversity and inclusion strategy for your recruitment program.