Equitable recruitment policy

This policy lines out how we want to build equity into our recruitment processes as we realise that making recruitment a more equitable working method will allow more people from racialised backgrounds and people with disabilities to work in our organisation.

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  1. Equity
  2. Designing the Role
  3. Creating the Job Pack
  4. Advertising the Role
  5. Short-Listing & Interviews
  6. Decision Making & Feedback
  7. Accountability


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We have a desire to move from equality to equity and we have some plans on how to approach this journey. Most importantly we want to explore this with our team and freelancers, as we understand that there is a lot of unlearning to be done and that each person will bring their own experiences and biases with them.

This policy lines out how we want to build equity into our recruitment processes as we realise that making recruitment a more equitable working method will allow more people from racialised backgrounds and people with disabilities to work in our organisation.

Designing the Role

When designing a new role we will consider the following and ask experts for their support:

  • Is the role flexible? I.e. Can we offer work from home, flexible hours and days, do we trust the post-holder, can we offer autonomy, etc.
  • Is it accessible in it’s design? I.e. Can we offer different methods of working, can we design the role with the post-holder in place to ensure access requirements are considered, can we change the role throughout to meet changing needs, etc.
  • Is the role itself inclusive? I.e. Are we designing a role specifically for one type of person, have we considered cultural, faith based or religious barriers the role might create, etc.
  • Is the remuneration equitable? I.e. Have we considered how much taking up this role will cost the post-holder, have we considered benefits, support, dependents, travel, etc.

Creating the Job Pack

When creating the Job Pack for a new role we will consider the following:

  • The name of the role: is it simple to understand, is it representative of what the post-holder will do, does it exclude anyone?
  • The language in the pack: is it simple to understand, have we avoided jargon, does it sound friendly and inviting, is it warm, is it clear what the post-holder will do day to day, are expectations fair, can we remove certain words that might exclude people (i.e. the post-holder “must” be able to do “x”, “minimum X years of experience”)?
  • Qualifications: does the applicant need qualifications or can they apply with relevant work and/or life experience, can we offer training to supplement specific shortcomings, do we need to see a CV or is it enough to ask the applicant questions about their work or life experience, passions, interests?
  • Access: Can we offer a written and an audio version of the pack, can we offer different formats, can we be flexible with how someone might take in information and support them with this?
  • How to apply: Offer different formats (i.e. can they record their voice/a video, can they submit a handwritten form etc), are we being flexible, is the deadline far enough in the future to give enough time?
  • Guidance: Are we clear on our equal opportunities and equity processes, are we being clear on the flexibility we offer, are we offering for people to contact us for guidance and advice?
  • Guaranteed interviews: Can we offer guaranteed interviews to applicants with a disability, from a certain postcode etc. to ensure people less likely to be interviewed get interview experience and a chance to meet the panel?

Advertising the Role

  • Advertising: Are we advertising the role widely including through channels that are specifically accessed by groups not currently within our reach? I.e. Mosque notice boards, youth centres, disability services, social media channels used by racialised people etc.
  • Advice: Can we offer informal advice to potential applicants ahead of the deadline to answer questions and encourage new people to apply?
  • Clarity: Is out advert clear? Are we representing the organisation correctly? Are the application and interview processes and deadlines clear? Did we advertise who the shortlisting and interviewing panel are and why?

Short-Listing & Interviews

  • Panel: Who sits on the panel and is the panel diverse to ensure decisions are made equitably? Who writes the questions? Are they clear and fair questions? Is the panel being paid for their expertise?
  • What will happen and when: can we give shortlisted candidates as much information about the interview ahead of time including a timeline, the questions we will ask, a promise of there being no trick questions etc?
  • Informal: Can we make the interview as informal as possible by taking away unnecessary stressors and pressure including thinking through the room layout, keeping the interview short, offering a break and/or breakout room, offering flexibility, no dress code, a warm up chat or exercise to break the ice, creating a judgment free space etc.
  • Access: Ahead of the interview ask about access needs, preferences, pronouns, can we interview via an online video chat or the phone, do they want to bring a support worker?
  • Expenses: Can we pay for food and travel expenses to ensure people experiencing financial hardship are not out of pocket to attend?
  • The applicant interviews the organisation too: Remember that an interview is supposed to be both ways and allow the applicant to ask questions, challenge the panel, feedback on how the experience of applying has been and encourage them to be themselves and bring their whole selves in.

Decision Making & Feedback

  • Decision Making: When shortlisting and appointing an applicant we will encourage the panel to check them selves and their privileges, is the decision equitable, is the individual the best candidate and why?
  • Feedback: We will offer feedback to all applicants and we will give feedback fairly and clearly, this might take time and we will indicate to applicants when and how they will receive their feedback.


Recruitment is about finding the right person for the role and for the applicant to find the right role for themselves. This can mean that a panel chooses more subjectively than objectively. Moreover, we have to acknowledge that recruitment processes have been historically steeped in white supremacist thinking and all too often the same people (i.e. white middle and upper class people) are recruited for jobs out of principle.

We want to do better and we have written this policy and will use the prompts within it to guide our team to make better and more equitable decisions. We have to open ourselves up to criticism and feedback to ensure that we do what we set out to do.

If and when we make mistakes we will stop ourselves from being defensive and instead listen radically and use what we learn to instigate change and continuously challenge ourselves. Accountability is a journey with no end, we are forever learning and improving.

Written by [Name]
Signed off by [Name]
On [Date]
Next review [Date]


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