How to ensure your recruitment process is inclusive

Being inclusive begins with how you invite shortlisted candidates to an interview. Some neurodivergent people, for example, may find visiting new places challenging – including navigating transport systems. Then there’s the fear of unknown places, processes, and what questions they’ll ask. So to make people feel comfortable, provide simple, clear instructions and use plain English.

Read on for our top 5 tips for an inclusive invitation to interview.

Shows an interview in process. A sign o the wall reads Good Vibes.

1. Summarise interview details in advance

Signpost the primary information, including the interview’s date and time, location, interview panellists’ names, and job descriptions. Also, include a full address and postcode – many people may find it helpful to use online maps or map apps to find their way.

2. Make it easy for candidates to find you

Help make candidates’ journeys as simple as possible by providing details of the nearest public transport. For example, you could mention nearby train stations. What are the numbers of the local bus routes? Do you have off-road parking? If not, is there paid-for parking on the street, or can you provide a permit for candidates in advance? Where people are getting a taxi, is there a drop-off point? Consider providing travelling expenses.

A map with a location icon above it.

3. Be clear about what candidates can expect on arrival

Are there any special instructions for when people arrive? For example, you may have an office within a shared building, and candidates will need to sign in and come to a specific floor. Is the building accessible for disabled people? Is there a lift? What happens when they get there? Is there a waiting area in reception? If you know who’ll be collecting them, say so, it sounds friendly and helps to relax potential candidates.

  • There shouldn’t be any surprises so let candidates know what to expect in advance

4. Manage candidates’ expectations: dress code, tests

Candidates benefit from clear instructions and knowing what to expect. There shouldn’t be any surprises. So, if there’s a task and an interview, let candidates know – and what format it will take. How long? Share interview questions in advance to give people a chance to prepare.

You might also mention the dress code. It’s normal to wear formal clothes for an interview, but a smart dress might mean different things to different people – and that’s OK. You’re hiring the best candidate – not their wardrobe. Be alive to your own Unconscious Bias that might judge people on their dress or other characteristics beyond ability.

Interviewers seen from candidates point of view.
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