Increasing Diversity and Reducing Bias in the Workplace

Diversity and inclusion are now at the forefront of most organisations’ strategies for improvement and growth. Businesses everywhere are striving to be more inclusive of prospective employees in regards to gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality and more. In order to increase diversity and reduce bias, one must look at every stage of the hiring process, from screening CVs to making an offer. It must then carry on to when prospective employees become actual employees and making them feel included and not discriminated against in the workplace. It can be difficult to cover all angles in relation to this, and that’s where we’re here to help. At Lincoln Recruitment Specialists, we have helped our clients, ranging from start-ups to MNC’s, to increase diversity and reduce bias in their hiring processes, The following are some of our top tips to be aware of when looking at these elements of your business strategy –


  • Ensure Your Interview Panel Embraces Diversity

Be mindful of who you have on your interview panel. It’s probably not a bad idea for a prospective employee to meet as many of the team as possible, to really get a feel for the business. Having at least one female participant on the panel, and interviewers of various ages/levels can really help. Naturally, this may not always be possible depending on the diversity of your team, but it can really help give a positive insight into the culture and ethos of your team.


  • Do Not Let Your Talent Acquisition or Recruitment Team Google Your Candidates

We’ve all been guilty of it, however, if you can avoid googling candidates pre-phone screening, this will do wonders towards reducing unconscious bias. This helps to put a stop to any bias which may be purely from a visual perspective. A first-round interview should generally just be conducted by phone as well, while video may be useful to create an atmosphere in later stages, ensuring the first round is carried out by phone means the chances of unconscious bias by recruiters or talent acquisition are minimal.


  • Use Inclusive Language

Creating a supportive dialogue and using inclusive language can help your employees feel more comfortable and can also help generate a more diverse candidate pool when used in your talent attraction strategy. Incorporating this type of language in important messaging such as your EVP is proven to increase productivity and improve employee morale within the workplace, so it is worthwhile establishing solid principles on this for consistent use. Checking all marketing collateral and in particular job ads which go out on behalf of your company should be carried out on a regular basis.


  • Ensure Top Level Management are On Board

Strategy and communication like this need to be implemented from the top down, and therefore hiring managers, team leads, MD’s, all need to be aware of the D&I strategy and how best to utilise it when building out their teams and motivating their employees. Briefing or providing training to top-level management in these areas is always a good idea and then allowing it to filter through to other areas of the business, from areas you would expect it in such as TA and HR to the accounts department and IT support.


  • Implement Strategy into Daily Working Life

You can have a really strong Diversity and Inclusion policy, and have a strategy that is committed to eliminating unconscious bias however there is no point ”walking the walk if you don’t talk the talk.” These ideas and ethoses need to be implemented into the daily working life and company culture of your organisation, otherwise they are meaningless.  Running regular company events, culture nights, and putting more of a focus on clubs and society centred around relevant D&I topics is actually putting the ideas into practice, and is what is needed if we are to move forward and increase awareness of these areas.



Concepta Cadogan avatar
Director Accounting & Finance
+353 1 661 0444