Inclusive Recruitment: Opening Doors and Driving Change

  • Leadership Development

What do a rapidly growing tech company in Edinburgh and a family-owned whisky business in Speyside have in common? They share a common goal -to recruit in a more inclusive way.

Inclusive recruitment is more than just a buzzword -it's a transformational shift that businesses across Scotland are embracing. In today's diverse and dynamic job market, fostering inclusive recruitment practices is not just a social responsibility; it's also a strategic advantage.

Recently, we collaborated with Business in the Community (BITC) to deliver an event, hosted by PwC, where we had the opportunity to share insights from BITC's #OpeningDoors campaign. This initiative sets an ambitious goal of creating 2 million inclusive job opportunities by 2025, and they are already halfway there with over 64 companies already committed to the campaign so far.

Our event brought together HR business leaders and professionals who all share a common objective -to make recruitment more inclusive. By forming partnerships with organisations who are dedicated to supporting disadvantaged groups in the workforce, we can tap into an incredible pool of talent, enriching your workplace culture, and driving meaningful change.

The Opening Doors campaign offers a roadmap to inclusive recruitment -enabling businesses to:

  1. Create partnerships that connect untapped talent to your jobs
  • Partner with organisations that support disadvantaged groups into work.
  • Reach out to disabled people, ex-military personnel, individuals with convictions, those who have experienced homelessness, the long-term unemployed, older workers, refugees, survivors of modern slavery, young people, and carers.
  • Recognise that this list is not exhaustive; you may identify other groups facing unique barriers to employment.
  1. Show candidates that you are committed to inclusion
  • Demonstrate your dedication to inclusivity throughout the recruitment process.
  • Use comprehensive job adverts with inclusive language.
  • Publish your value statements, diversity pledges, and commitments on your website.
  • Utilise diverse images and role models in your public-facing communications.
  1. Use comprehensive job adverts with inclusive language
  • Craft job adverts that appeal to a wide range of candidates.
  • Use neutral language and avoid jargon.
  • Include all essential information in the job description.
  • Specify the day-to-day activities of the job.
  1. Focus on essential skills needed to do the job
  • Request skills rather than overemphasising experience and qualifications.
  • Recognise non-traditional or informal work experience.
  • Consider accepting non-UK equivalents of qualifications and experience.
  1. Prioritise accessibility and eliminate bias
  • Remove questions about criminal records from application forms.
  • Include diverse colleagues on interview panels.
  • Ask all candidates if they need any adjustments at every stage of the process.
  • Advertise and accept applications through various media, not just online.
  • Make sure the application process is mobile-friendly.
  • Collect diversity data at the application stage.

Common themes emerged from these discussions, highlighting practical steps we can take together:

  1. Understanding the value: Inclusive recruitment is a strategic advantage. Communicate the benefits of inclusivity broadly within your organisation.
  2. Internal Impact: Inclusivity isn't solely about external hires. It positively impacts your current staff, fostering a more cohesive and productive work environment.
  3. Long-Term Commitment: Quick fixes won't yield lasting results. Invest in long-term strategies and unwavering commitments to drive meaningful change.

If your organisation is interested in becoming part of the #OpeningDoors community, you can find out more here: Opening Doors Campaign.


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