Building inclusive workplace cultures where workers from all backgrounds feel supported and valued is a top priority for many businesses. Candidates from around the world now anticipate inclusive hiring. According to a global poll, 86% of candidates worldwide value inclusiveness in the workplace, and 62% of employees would reject a job offer if the company didn’t promote an inclusive atmosphere.

A diverse workforce can only be attained through intentional recruiting and hiring practices, according to Erin Miller, Vice President of People and Culture at Barefoot, a brand experience agency on a mission to end meaningless moments between consumers and brands.

“One mistake I’ve consistently seen organizations make is thinking they already have DE&I ‘figured out.’ I have heard hiring managers from organizations say, ‘As long as our next hire is (insert category), we’ve checked the DE&I box, right?'” Miller says. “This approach is not in the best interest of the candidate or the organization if a hiring manager’s sole focus is checking the proverbial ‘diversity box’ rather than looking for the most qualified candidate. The hiring process should include an expansion of recruiting sources to increase the number of diverse candidates along with a position-specific interview guide that hiring managers will consistently utilize with every candidate.”

Before we dive into ways to promote diverse hiring, let’s touch on why having a diverse staff not only matters for your team, but your customers as well.

How does having a diverse staff help the customer experience?

successful customer experience program is essential to a successful company. Here are some advantages of inclusive recruiting procedures and some best practices for inclusive hiring that your company may use.

● A diverse workforce is more likely to understand customers’ needs and develop creative solutions.

● By leveraging your diverse workforce, organizations are better equipped to communicate, empathize, and understand their customers. Diverse talent can more easily reach new markets and customer bases that an organization might not otherwise understand.

● The range of experience, expertise, and working methods that a diverse workplace offers can boost problem-solving capacity, lead to greater productivity, and instill a desire to be more effective and work more efficiently.

So, back to the main question…

How can leaders promote inclusive hiring?

Prioritizing DE&I at your company is not about checking boxes; it’s about giving everyone with the right skills an equal chance and diversifying your recruiting methods. If you do the following things, you are bound to retain talent from various backgrounds:

1. Use a uniform job interviewing procedure for all applicants.

A crucial component of DE&I is developing fair performance evaluation procedures. Utilize an interview script with questions that are specific to the position and an interview guide. Make interview scorecards to rate candidates on criteria related to the position. Average these scorecards to help you make the best decision.

It could be beneficial to train all your hiring managers to make the process as fair as possible. From the physical environment and the questions asked to the time limit and the grading scale, every candidate should essentially experience the same interview.

2. Focus on skills, not qualifications.

When hiring someone, you should be more concerned with their skills than with their educational background or degree. It’s important to prioritize abilities and competencies above credentials when selecting candidates. Additionally, skill-based hiring enables companies to hire a more diverse and inclusive workforce, such as veterans or individuals with disabilities.

For instance, approximately 50% of Americans over 25 years do not hold a college degree. The degree qualification in your job posting can inhibit a sizable portion of skilled people from applying to work for your company. You can open up these options by concentrating on abilities rather than degrees.

3. Diversify external sources for referrals and sourcing

You’ll hire the same kinds of workers if you and your recruiting team always travel to the same sites to get prospects and recommendations. Organizations should assess their current hiring process to determine where the gaps in their recruiting efforts are.

From there, organizations should review their recruiting sources. Chances are high that companies have continued to leverage the same recruiting sources they have used for several years and could use a brainstorming session to reach a more diverse and qualified talent pool.

Don’t be a company that does a quick audit and assumes all is well. Embed recruiting practices that intentionally seek out diversity into the core of your business. When you make it a part of who you are as a company, you’re bound to thrive.


  • Brittany Hodak

    Keynote Speaker and Author

    Brittany Hodak is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and customer experience speaker who has delivered keynotes across the globe to organizations including American Express and the United Nations. She has written hundreds of articles for Forbes, Adweek, Success, and other top publications; she has appeared on programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN; and she has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and entertainers, including Walmart, Disney, Katy Perry, and Dolly Parton. She originated the role of Chief Experience Officer at, and she founded and scaled an entertainment startup to eight figures before exiting. Entrepreneur magazine calls her “the expert at creating loyal fans for your brand.” Brittany’s debut book, Creating Superfans, will be in stores on January 10, 2023.