What is inclusive recruitment, and why is it so important?
In 2022, the Federation of Small Businesses found that 78% of small firms struggled to recruit applicants with suitable skills in the previous year. And by 2030, we’re expected to have a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people – roughly equivalent to the population of Germany.
One possible solution to the skill shortage – and one that’s especially close to Unifrog’s mission to level the playing field – is inclusive recruitment.
Inclusive recruitment is when a company hires a diverse range of candidates – including underrepresented groups like people with disabilities, those who are LGBTQIA+, and racial minorities – and removes any biases or barriers that could exclude them. By actively seeking and hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds, they can help to level the playing field and overcome the skills shortage by expanding their talent pool.
In doing so, they can also increase their attractiveness as an employer, as many of today’s students are looking at the bigger picture when scouting potential employers. According to Unifrog’s Insights reports, for example, 75% of students want to know about a company’s culture when researching them, and more than half see ‘diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice’ as the most important factor when deciding on their next step:
How to create a recruitment process that’s more inclusive
So an inclusive recruitment process could help your company to overcome skill shortages, level the playing field, and make you more attractive to applicants? Excellent! But how exactly do you create one?
The answer will depend on your priorities. Unifrog supports teachers and students from a huge range of backgrounds, so for us it’s crucial that our team and leadership reflect this. We aim to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion across everything we do, and we continually evaluate our policies and practices to make sure they’re inclusive and equitable.
Although there are many ways to make a recruitment process more inclusive, and some will suit your company more than others, here are five practices that have worked particularly well for us:
Blind screen applications. When we review applications, we remove candidates' personal details so we can focus solely on their answers.
Randomised reviews. We randomise the order in which we assess each answer. So we might review all Question 1 responses in a random order, then all Question 2 responses in a completely different random order, and so on. This means that if we get a bad impression from Candidate 1's answer to Question 1, we're not carrying that judgement over to their Question 2.
A diverse panel. Whenever possible, we rotate the people who sit on the interview panel, and we try to have a diverse panel.
Feedback given as standard. We give every candidate that applies for a role with Unifrog some form of feedback. If they’re rejected at the application stage, they’ll find out how well they scored in their responses compared to other candidates. If they’re rejected at the final interview stage, they’ll receive a phone call with verbal feedback.
Inclusive job descriptions. We run our job descriptions through an analysis tool. It lets us know if the language we’re using is biassed towards one gender, if it has the potential to inhibit fresh talent, or if we’re over-emphasising the need for qualifications. We can then adjust our phrasing where needed.
What else can you do to make a positive difference?
If levelling the playing field is a priority for your company, you can join the Unifrog community as an Employer Partner. In doing so, you’ll support over 1.4 million students from a diverse range of backgrounds to make better decisions about their future. You’ll also be able to address a particular skills gap, raise your brand awareness with the next generation, and build a talent pipeline of students within a target demographic.
“Unifrog was great in helping us target students from areas with worse socio-economic outcomes for young people – thanks to Unifrog’s large database of schools and colleges across the UK, they were able to easily target these areas and invite students to our virtual events." - Nathan Agyekum, Senior Associate at EY
Visit our employer page now to find out how Unifrog can help you to connect with students and teachers across the UK and beyond.