Strategies to improve inclusion, diversity and equitable recruitment

This article contains advice and practical tips shared by guest speakers at our inclusive webinars.

If Diversity is being asked to the party, then Inclusion is being asked to dance, and Belonging is dancing like no-one is watching
Verna Myers

Breaking down the different parts

Diversity the door is open, you’ve been asked to attend, but not to necessarily contribute.

Inclusion you’re encouraged to take part , true belonging enables everyone to be their authentic self.

Why inclusion first?

If you have a diverse workforce, but people don’t feel they can contribute or challenge, they are not going to be their true self, & reach their potential.

Start with inclusion, whoever you are, whatever your background, we know and recognise your value.

Then you bring in diversity, people already have a sense of belonging and feel that what they do matters.

Diversity on its own, it’s a token exercise. 

Inclusion matters

Inclusivity is a key way your organisation can flourish, prosper and win, and have a competitive edge when it comes to talent attraction and retention.

Different perspectives & experiences, generate innovation & solutions which are crucial when responding to business disruption.

Moral and business reasons to improve inclusivity

Inclusive recruitment is the right approach, everyone deserves to be included, and have the opportunity to be their best.

There’s nothing more permanent than change – Heraclitus

Gaining true buy-in at all levels

It needs to be taken seriously at all levels – everyone has a responsibility, it’s not just HR’s responsibility.

  • Understand your Why? And, why it is a priority?
  • Create a space for everyone to learn and be vulnerable.
  • What matters to your people and ACT. (discuss and remove barriers – i.e. people want to see more p/time senior opportunities).
  • Show up consistently.
  • Celebrate – talk about promotions, opportunities to excel, how you are creating space for fair opportunities.

It’s not a linear journey – be tenacious, keep true to the WHY.


Candidate Attraction

Accessibility of ads is essential – for example, alongside a text advert include a video ad, &/or video JDs (with subtitles and narration).

Consider using open and closed captions – open captions can’t be turned off and are visible with the video. Closed captions allow hard-of-hearing or deaf people to understand the key message of the video, and can be turned off.

Research indicates 64% of people wouldn’t apply to a role that didn’t mention salary.  Advertising salary helps to demonstrate inclusivity and close the gap regarding pay disparity.


‘Research indicates men will apply to an ad if they hit 60% of the requirements, women 90%’    

What language are you using? What’s your tone of voice? Remove the wish list of expectations. Provide narrative to explain why certain skills are necessary.

Adopt this approach for ads, Job Specs, Interviews, & LinkedIn Posts. Through all of your people processes constantly reinforce that inclusivity matters, and that you’re not only committed but taking action. 

The Case for Camel Case

#susanalbumparty – what did you read?

Clever marketing or a huge blunder by M&S, a few years back. It potentially provides a childish giggle, but highlights the importance of capitalisation. (By the way, it should read #SusanAlbumParty)

This leads nicely on to Camel Case – used by Developers, but not so much on social media posts, and adverts. It’s capitalising each word – for example, #ProjectManager or #TechnicalLead

#HashTags help you reach a wider audience. Camel Case is a way to be inclusive and make LinkedIn posts/ads more accessible for people visually impaired or with cognitive disabilities.

Move from Team Fit to Value Add

Would you prefer 4 ideas or 1?  Focusing on team fit leads to your recruiting people with a similar background, and experience.

Replace team fit when it comes to interviews and  assessments, and focus on what is this person’s value add!


Highlight on ads, your website, and other social media platforms your approach and commitment to inclusion and diversity.

Add a disclaimer to your ads that acknowledge ‘self-disqualification’, and if someone doesn’t tick every box you’d still like them to apply.

At every stage of the recruitment process ask about reasonable adjustments.


Transparency is the way forward. For example sharing interview questions helps

–      Demonstrate inclusivity

–      Reduces stress and anxiety (interviewer and interviewee)

–      People understand what you are looking for

–      Leads to more insightful answer

–      It helps your company stand out

Other ways to be more transparent and an open book – share an interview agenda, detail who the interviews will be with, details of tests, timings, next stages, when to expect feedback etc.

Start the interview by introducing yourself, with pronouns – creating a ‘safe’ authentic interview space.

Cameras on or off?

Many people with neurodiversity become very anxious at the thought of being the centre of attention. People with webcam anxiety and zoom dysmorphia can find video meetings very distressful

Things to consider for online or face-to-face meetings

– Send out a quick agenda (what will be discussed and by whom)

– Explain when cameras need to be on (and why)

– Info/update needed (again from whom)

– Provide relevant documents or highlight what documents will be used

– Avoid springing a meeting on people and being cloak and daggers with the area(s) for discussion

– Give ample time for preparation

– Have pronouns displayed against your name (also consider having these on your LinkedIn profile)

– When have meetings on line with the wider business, teams you aren’t familiar with introduce yourself using pronouns, describe what you look like and are wearing

Showcase your business

77% of people consider a company’s culture before applying. How do you promote your inclusive and authentic culture?

  • Feedback – what are the results from employee surveys? What action was taken to improve the feedback? What are future plans?
  • Highlight success stories – how have people progressed in the business?
  • Awards – what’s in your trophy cabinet? What awards have you achieved?
  • Q&A session with a Director, Manager or new starter – why did they choose to work for your business? What do they enjoy about their role, the business etc?
  • Virtual tour with narrative of your offices, facilities etc.
  • Mentoring programmes – what do you offer? Highlight success stories?
  • Training – who provides it? What training is offered?

Hopefully, you found these tips insightful and useful.

Reach out if you would like to have a further discussion and understand in more detail how we can support & enhance your inclusion and diversity attraction strategies.


Lisa Schofield – 07966 020579 –