How to Consider diversity in Recruitment?

Lön & HR | 28.08.2023

by Mikaela Karlström

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Ensuring diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) can be applied in company recruitment processes to promote diversity initiatives. This involves practices such as gender-neutral treatment and non-discrimination based on nationality or age, but it extends beyond these aspects.

According to anti-discrimination laws, candidates in the recruitment process must not be weakened due to age, origin, citizenship, language, religion, beliefs, opinions, political activities, union activities, family relations, health conditions, disabilities, sexual orientation, or other personal reasons.

Considering DEI in the process does not limit recruitment but expands opportunities to find the right candidate. The goal of DEI efforts is to avoid excluding candidates from the process or eliminating them prematurely based on any of the grounds in anti-discrimination laws. For example, a candidate's age or nationality differing from existing employees within the company.

Use DEI to Maximizing the Chance to Find the Best Candidate

Define the Position

Define the relevant prerequisites for success in the role, such as:

  • What knowledge should the candidate possess when starting the position?
  • How will the role evolve in 6-12 months?
  • What are the criteria for succeeding in the position?
  • What motivational factors, values, and attitudes are crucial for the employee to thrive and succeed?

Predefine how you will ensure that the above criteria are met by candidates.


Job Advertisement

Be clear and avoid jargon or slang in the ad text. Consider the language and imagery you use. Avoid phrases, images, or videos that suggest narrow preferences for desired candidates. Studies indicate that certain words appeal to specific applicants. For example, words like "adventurous," "impulsive," and "independent" appeal to men, while words like "affectionate," "committed," and "collaborative" appeal to women. The target audience for recruitment should be individuals with certain skills, not a specific demographic, national, or socioeconomic group.


Recruitment through Recommendations

Competent individuals know other competent individuals, and using your employees' networks to find the right candidate is enticing. However, employers considering recruiting through recommendations must be aware that the outcome can be biased if the existing staff lacks diversity. To avoid this, ensure that you follow the recruitment process tips you find in this article.


Receiving and Handling Applications

Consider whether the recruitment system supports accessibility, meaning if all people can understand the information equally.

Those handling applications can have cognitive biases, interpreting based on their own perceptions. If the candidate is similar to or different from the application handler, it can affect whether the perception of the application is positive or negative.

To facilitate as objective an assessment of applications as possible, consider using anonymous recruitment, artificial intelligence, and automation. Tests or work samples early in the recruitment process can help identify the most potential candidates in terms of competence, capacity, work personality, and motivation.

Even when using these methods, those making selections must be aware of their natural tendency to make preconceived assumptions. Training and discussions can help counteract this.


Direct Search

If there aren't enough applications for a position or if you want to maximize success chances, you can use direct recruitment as a method. Similar to application handlers, applicants themselves can have preconceived notions. Evaluate the process and be aware of the criteria used to contact or exclude applicants.



With competence-based and structured interviews, you ensure that the information gathered during interviews is fair and comparable among candidates. This type of interview tests candidates' competencies rather than assessing them based on potentially discriminatory grounds. It's also recommended to ask structured questions to see how well the organization's and candidate's values align. Ask candidates about their own experiences and thoughts on DEI issues.


Validation of Selection

To ensure objectivity, you can also use self-assessment forms for personality assessment, filled out by the candidate. Results of assessments of work personality and motivation are based on the person's self-perception and confirmed through discussion with the candidate.


What Does Your Organization Communicate to a Job Seeker?

Does the company culture promote openness and inclusion? Are employees encouraged to be themselves and open despite any differences?

Stand out in a positive way and build trust internally and with potential employees:

  • Communicate how you actively work on DEI in the workplace through digital channels like the web, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. You can use a more informal tone on social media while adopting a more formal tone on the web.
  • Discuss DEI in various forums within the company to foster an open atmosphere and awareness among employees.
  • Be curious. Ask questions and seek help to understand.

Good luck with your diversity recruitment!

*Study by Gaucher, Friesen, and Kay (2011)


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About Mikaela Karlström

Mikaela har rollen som Employer Branding & Talent Acquisition HR Professional på Azets. Mikaela arbetar dagligen med rekryteringar av olika slag och lång erfarenhet av Employer Branding.