4 Ways to Make Your Hiring Process More Inclusive, According to a Business Owner

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Kristy Busija289
Executive Coach & Talent Management Cosultant

We are in an ever-changing landscape and now, more than ever, we need to cast a wider net and build a larger, more inclusive candidate pool. There are a lot of ways you can make your process inclusive, but here are four that can help you get started.

1. Review your processes for bias.

Hiring processes, ATS systems, applications, etc. have been implemented in your organization, all with the best of intentions. But when was the last time that you looked at your processes end to end to see if you have any artificial barriers to entry or any unnecessary screening criteria? 

For example, do you have a degree as a minimum qualification for a role? Unless the role truly requires a degree for legal or compliance reasons, consider retiring this requirement and listing the required capabilities instead. Continue this evaluation with every step of the process and every piece of data you collect to build a more inclusive hiring process.

2. Look for capabilities, not skills. 

Historically, we hired for skills that were core to business success. Now, we are learning that this can be limiting due to the ever-changing landscape and the acceleration of technology. Skills are finite abilities that are used in a narrow set of environments. This limits the number of candidates that fit the hiring criteria. Instead, focus on looking for capabilities, which are deep-rooted abilities that can be applied in a multitude of contexts.  

For example, collaboration fundamentals are learned; we get better at applying them in various circumstances, and we can use this capability to adapt to the ever-changing environment. Look for how a candidate has applied a capability across multiple scenarios — now, you have expanded the candidate pool.

3. Remove identifying information.

Once we have the candidate information, to be more inclusive in hiring, find opportunities to minimize biases in the first review. We all have bias, whether conscious or unconscious, and whether intentional or not, it feeds into how we look at candidate data. Did they go to the same school that we did? Do they live in the same area as we do? To help reduce potential bias, remove information from the resume that could trigger a bias in the reviewer.  Examples of data to exclude are name, physical address and graduation years.  

4. Standardize interviews.

Interviewing techniques have been around for decades and companies strive to find the right balance of speed and accuracy in hiring decisions. Let’s make sure we are adding equitable and inclusive to the list of requirements for an effective hiring process. 

One technique that has been around for a while — that helps to ensure that all candidates are being treated the same — is behavioral interviewing. Create a standard set of questions based on the capabilities required for the role and then train interviewers on how to ask questions effectively. Most importantly, hold interview calibration sessions, so that interviewers can hear the responses others captured. By hearing another perspective, interviewers gather additional information which helps minimize potential biases. 

If you invest the time to review and adjust your hiring practices and retire anything that is bias-laden, you will yield a more inclusive hiring process.  And don’t let it stop there. As the landscape continues to evolve, continually look at your processes and systems for improvement opportunities. 


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Kristy is an executive coach and talent management consultant, who is known for helping individuals, teams and organizations unleash their optimal potential, one conversation at a time. What is your Next conversation? Check out Next Conversation Coaching to see how she can help you today.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for creating a more inclusive hiring process? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!