How Sellick Partnership can support your business with inclusive recruitment

6 mins

Diversity within the workplace contributes to a better overall performance: driving innovation and growth. But to achieve this level of diversity, you must take into consideration inclusive recruitment practices.

At Sellick Partnership, we are striving to improve the recruitment experience for all candidates and are working hard to create an inclusive employment journey that is accessible to everyone.

As recruitment specialists, we play a pivotal role in tackling underrepresentation and bias, and we have the opportunity to influence and lead real change. We do not use a one-size-fits-all approach; we partner with our clients to find the right candidate, free from bias, preference and discrimination. We passionately ensure that individuality is respected and embraced, and work proactively to engage with candidates from all backgrounds.

Taking this into consideration, we have analysed what makes Sellick Partnership an inclusive recruiter and have reviewed how we can help our clients implement inclusive recruitment strategies, with the help of market research that has specifically targeted inclusive hiring.

What is inclusive recruitment?

Inclusive recruitment refers to the measures and processes that are in place when it comes to attracting, interviewing and selecting candidates for roles that are suitable for them, whilst maximising the diversity of the workforce

Inclusive recruitment practices help to establish your company’s equity, diversity and inclusion strategy as well as make sure that there are fair and equal opportunities for all candidates during the entire recruitment journey, including the placement stage. This involves making sure that every step is accessible to those from a diverse range of backgrounds, ensuring that no one is discriminated against.

What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?

  • Companies with more diversity outperform their less-diverse competitors.
  • Companies with a diverse workforce are more profitable.
  • Candidates are much more likely to apply for a job if the workplace is diverse.
  • Employee commitment increases considerably in organisations with effective diversity and inclusion (D&I) programmes.

When people with different identities, backgrounds and circumstances work together, they are more likely to have creative conversations, challenge the status quo, and drive innovation. In addition, a more diverse workforce means that there is a higher chance of representing the people and communities they are serving or targeting.

However, the facts show that there is still a long way to go…

The Inclusion and Diversity at Work survey, which was carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, set out to look at what employers are currently doing to improve inclusion and diversity in their workplaces and the practices they have found to be effective.

The stats reveal:

  • Just 30% of business leaders are completely committed to having a diverse workforce.
  • Under half (48%) of employers surveyed have either a stand-alone I&D strategy or action plan in support of their wider organisation’s strategy or have I&D integrated into their wider people strategy.
  • Just over a third (36%) of employers said their organisation is not planning to focus on any I&D areas in the next five years.
  • Giving underrepresented groups guidance on the recruitment process was the least used recruitment-related practice (used by just 6% of employers,) but it was rated highly in terms of effectiveness.
  • Just 7% of organisations have a specific I&D budget.

Inclusive job advertisements

When it comes to shaping inclusive recruitment practices, Recruitment Consultants and Hiring Managers need to ensure they are aware of the barriers that can cause job seekers to self-eliminate from the recruitment process.

This can happen as early as the candidate reading the job advertisement. Examples include:

  • Overly lengthy or jargon-filled.
  • Gender-coded language (such as ‘competitive’ or ‘nurturing’).
  • Asking for unnecessary skills, experience or education (specific elite universities, English language skills that are not actually needed for the role, years of experience for an ‘entry-level’ job, a driving licence for a job that doesn’t require you to drive).
  • Lack of information about benefits (other than holidays, pension etc.) candidates want to know about flexible working, enhanced maternity/paternity/adoption packages.
  • ‘Benefits’ that could ignore certain cultures e.g. work drinks every Friday.
  • Lack of transparency about pay.
  • Minimal or no information about the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • No mention of reasonable adjustments for applicants with disabilities.

Reducing the risks of inclusive recruitment

Making improvements to the recruitment process by setting goals to increase representation will benefit businesses and candidates alike, but it’s important to have a clear strategy in place to reduce many potential problems that could arise.

By having a good understanding of the different issues, such as tokenism, you will be able to ensure you are doing as much as possible to mitigate these often-unconscious actions or ways of thinking.

  • Myth of meritocracy – in recruitment this refers to Hiring Managers or Recruiters believing or saying that they are hiring based on merit when, in fact, this is not always the case. In an ideal world, true meritocracy in recruitment would mean candidates are selected solely based on their skills, experience and suitability regardless of identity factors such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation or disability/neurodivergence. Inequality will only be tackled when people are hired, rewarded and promoted based on true merit.
  • Affinity bias/similarity bias – this refers to the human tendency for show a preference for or gravitate towards people with similar backgrounds, interests and beliefs to our own. This tends to be an unconscious bias and it occurs from automatic thinking, rather than informed, reflective decision-making about a person’s suitability for a role.
  • Career privilege/job seeker privilege – refers to certain advantages or benefits that a candidate may have because they belong to a privileged social group. This is an advantage that is out of the candidates’ control but it is given at the expense of others. Someone might have job seeker privilege if they are, for example, a non-disabled, male that could afford to go to university/take an unpaid internship to build experience and is non-religious (meaning they typically won’t have to request any religious holidays or ask for a place to worship at work).
  • Tokenistic action/tokenism – this is the practice of doing something (such as hiring someone that belongs to a minority group) purely to give the appearance that people are being treated fairly and to prevent criticism. If an action is tokenistic, the likelihood is that it’s not meant to make a lasting change to how those groups are treated.

    It is crucial that organisations are not only doing this for optics and marketing purposes, but that they are hiring someone suitable for the role and have a genuine, clear agenda for improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Without the right knowledge and information, businesses can unknowingly restrict and deter interest from top talent. Working with an inclusive recruitment partner will also increase your candidate pools, and this is something that our professionals here at Sellick Partnership can assist your business with.

What is Sellick Partnership doing to support inclusive recruitment practices?

Our team of Diversity Champions work to continually review and improve our approach, working closely with external partners, that offer diversity, equity and inclusion training and advice. This is to ensure that we engage with the widest audience, understand barriers to recruitment, and promote inclusive recruitment practices.

We are proud to support the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter and the Race Fairness Commitment, which are specifically designed to try and achieve fairness at work for people of all ethnic backgrounds. We are also an APSCo Member Committed to Diversity and a Disability Confident Committed (Level 1) employer. We are also partnered with Recite Me to ensure that everyone experiences a barrier-free service and that our website and job adverts are accessible to all.

The Recite Me toolbar can be accessed at the bottom right-hand of this page and will enable users to play audio, change fonts, sizes and screen colours as well as translate text, access definitions of words and magnify text on the screen. Find out more here.

These third-party accreditations hold us accountable and ensure we demonstrate our commitment to our diversity and inclusion strategy, as well as look at where we can implement improvements. We are also able to access up-to-date resources and support to ensure our strategy is continually evolving and growing.

How can we help our clients?

We help our clients understand the important of diversity and inclusion by offering support with their inclusion strategy. Through consultation, we give our clients the insight, tools, and confidence to attract underrepresented talent, and make their recruitment practices inclusive, accessible and equitable.

To achieve this, we have created an inclusion checklist for our clients, providing a starting point for the internal review of their recruitment processes with a view to improve diversity and representation within their workforce.

Our checklist has been built to help with the following areas:

  • Job descriptions
  • Employer Value Proposition
  • Adverts
  • Interviews
  • Building equity

We can work together with our clients to achieve:

  • Inclusive and accessible attraction – we ensure candidates can access opportunities and are effectively engaged with and supported.
  • Inclusive, unbiased vacancy briefs – we ensure vacancy briefs are inclusive and remove unconscious bias at this important first stage.
  • Fair and appropriate assessments – we work with Hiring Managers to ensure both our own and their assessment stages are appropriate, objective and inclusive.
  • Transparency for pay – we recognise the structural inequality present relating to salaries and take action to prevent these gaps.

You can click here to contact us for your inclusion checklist copy today. Or email

Sellick Partnership has over 20 years' experience helping businesses to recruit the most talented individuals. To discuss your current requirements, get in touch with us today by visiting our contact page. Or you can check out the rest of our Employer resources here.