What is inclusive hiring?

Photo of a man in a red shirt

Inclusive hiring is the practice of trying to minimize bias and create an equitable application, interview, selection and offer process for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds. Rather than one single step or process, there are many activities that can contribute to inclusive hiring. These include:

  • Writing inclusive job descriptions and inclusivity statements that encourage candidates from different backgrounds to apply
  • Creating a structured hiring process where interview teams ask all candidates the same questions and assess them on the same criteria
  • Removing biographical details such as names and educational backgrounds from resumes and skills assessments
  • Nudging members of the hiring team to reduce bias in the decision-making process
  • Defining and screening for culture add rather than culture fit
  • Making candidates feel welcome by inviting them to share the pronunciation of their name and their preferred pronouns
  • Building an inclusive employer brand
  • Committing to a non-negotiation policy so the offer process doesn’t create disadvantages for historically underrepresented groups
  • Encouraging an inclusive approach to referrals


Hear more about inclusive hiring tactics in the Creating an inclusive hiring process webinar, available on demand.


Why is inclusive hiring important?

There are several reasons companies and hiring teams should commit to inclusive hiring.


Inclusive hiring appeals to candidates

Candidates are taking a closer look at companies’ composition and commitment to DE&I – 86% of job seekers say a company’s diversity is an important factor when evaluating offers.

Recruiting, interviewing and selecting talent with an equity and inclusion lens will distinguish your company as an employer of choice for talent that will come from increasingly diverse backgrounds in the years to come.


Inclusive hiring creates an even playing field for candidates from different backgrounds

When you make your hiring processes more inclusive, you’re not relying on a single data point like where someone went to college (or even whether they went to college at all). Instead, you’re assessing candidates on their skills and experiences, which means you’re inviting a broader range of people into your hiring process. This expands your applicant pool and gives you a competitive edge, especially in times when the talent market is tight.


Inclusive hiring leads to better business results

According to a Josh Bersin study, highly inclusive organizations generate 2.3x more cash flow per employee and 1.4x more revenue, and are 120% more capable of meeting their financial targets.


Inclusive hiring ensures your company is in tune with the customers and communities you serve

Committing to inclusive hiring means that your company will be composed of people from different backgrounds and identity groups, just like the customers and communities you serve. When your company accurately reflects the world around you, you are also more likely to build better, more inclusive products.


How does Greenhouse define inclusive hiring?

At Greenhouse, structured hiring is the foundation of inclusive hiring. We believe that consistency in how we define roles and assess candidates helps reduce bias and make the process equitable for candidates from diverse backgrounds.

The structured hiring process at Greenhouse begins with a conversation between the hiring manager and their talent acquisition partner that covers the following topics:

Who are you trying to hire?

  • Role name
  • Department
  • Who will this person report to?
  • What business objectives are you trying to meet with this role?


How will you evaluate the candidate?

  • Skills
  • Personality traits
  • Qualifications


What will the interview process look like?

  • Define the interview stages (application review, phone screen, hiring manager interview, etc.)
  • Decide which qualities will be assessed in each stage
  • Plan out the questions or assessments for each quality


To learn more about the Greenhouse approach to inclusive hiring (and get templates you can use in your own organization), download Inclusive hiring strategies for everyone at your company.

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