10 key tips to make the recruitment process more inclusive

In February 2022, I worked with Open Life Science to help them recruit a person to fulfil two roles, a programme coordinator and a community researcher. You can read more about it via Extending Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion best-practice in recruitment for international not-for-profits.

Overall this was a great experience to co-design with a progressive organisation that was committed to DEI. This is a summary of 10 key tips, underpinned by DEI, that we did to make this recruitment strategy more inclusive:

  1. Make it a focus to create a recruitment process that centres the applicant and treats them with respect in an adult-to-adult relationship. This makes it a more transparent process by default and increases the chances that any rejected applicants will be more likely to apply to new roles in the future.
  2. Make it clear the salary considerations for the role in an appropriate band that is not too wide. This will help people decide if they are suitable for the role and ensure you are dealing with candidates that do not rule themselves out later in the process.
  3. Emphasise more continuous improvement skills and de-emphasise experience in the selection criteria. This will allow you a broader and more diverse set of candidates that are highly competitive and will help future-proof your organisation, due to their ability to continuously improve.
  4. Highlight in a DEI statement that there is an aim to provide more opportunities to make up for ones that have been lost to those who have been discriminated against. This will increase the chances that you will attract more diverse applicants with appropriate skill sets that have been discriminated against in the past.
  5. Highlight that there is a commitment to continuously improve the recruitment and retainment process, and to be held accountable. This will increase the chances that you will attract more diverse applicants with appropriate skill sets that have been discriminated against in the past.
  6. Highlight that an applicant should consider applying even if they don’t fit all the requirements. This will increase the chances that you will attract more diverse applicants with appropriate skill sets that have been discriminated against in the past.
  7. Make it a focus that if jobs can be done remotely, that there is an option for remote work. This will increase the chances that you will attract more diverse applicants with appropriate skill sets that have been discriminated against in the past.
  8. Highlight the option to arrange assistance to participate in the interviews (e.g. a month of high-speed internet, webcam, or headset costs, child care, captioning etc). This will increase the chances that you will attract more diverse applicants with appropriate skill sets that have been discriminated against in the past.
  9. Keep the process as transparent as possible to the applicants. This will allow applicants to be more likely to feel informed and valued, which would increase their chances of applying for a future role.
  10. Provide a high-level summary back to all unsuccessful candidates at the various rejection stages of how many applied, and what were the major factors in deciding who were successful. This will allow applicants to be more likely to feel informed and valued, which would increase their chances of applying for a future role.

These key tips are easily transferable to other recruitment areas, and can be done in junior and senior positions.

RM