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A 10-step guide to diverse recruitment in the technology sector

Attracting tech talent is a top priority for Crimson’s IT recruitment customers. Crimson’s Head of Recruitment, Louise Clarke, explains how inclusive hiring (diverse recruitment) can help you secure talented IT candidates. Louise has over 20 years’ experience recruiting technology specialists and is a member of the Nash Squared, Global Diversity, and Inclusion Council.

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Did you know organisations with a diverse workforce are 35 percent more likely to outperform their competitors? A range of personality types, skills, experiences, and opinions is the perfect environment for problem-solving; inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market segments.


However, business performance isn’t the only reason companies should prioritise diversity and inclusion. Today customers want to buy from altruistic organisations that align with their own values. Consumers want to buy from organisations that consider the wider environment and how they can positively contribute to society. 


By 2025, more than half of the workforce will be Millennials. Millennials and Generation Z believe diversity and inclusion in the workplace are essential. Although it’s not just younger generations, three out of four employees prefer to work for a diverse company, and 32 percent of people said they would not apply for a job at a company that didn’t have a diverse workforce. Therefore, communicating your diversity and inclusion efforts through your employer brand is paramount to attracting and retaining customers and employees.


Your employees should be representative of today’s diverse society, meaning a range of genders, experience, socio-economic levels, race, religion, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and so on. Inherent diversity includes aspects such as demographics. In contrast, acquired diversity describes traits that have developed over time, such as education, values, knowledge, and skills.


What is diverse recruitment?

Diverse recruitment aims to reduce bias and give everyone the same opportunity. The purpose is not to hire someone from a particular group; the idea is still to find the best candidate, by attracting a more diverse set of candidates.


How do you implement inclusive recruitment practices?

1. Start by understanding the current diversity that exists within the business

Survey your existing employees to understand the makeup of people within the organisation. For example, how do they identify, what is their level of education. To ensure a reasonable completion rate, explain why you would like employees to complete the survey and your plan to implement diverse recruiting, which will benefit them and the organisation in general.

Did you know on average, 39 percent of the public think it’s getting harder for people from less advantaged families to move up in British societyOrganisations can measure and monitor socio-economic background and publish social mobility data. In June 2018, the UK government worked with the Bridge Group to publish recommendations on how employers should measure social backgrounds in their workforce. The report recommended data collection in four areas: parental occupation, type of schooling, free school meal eligibility and parental experience of higher education. You can then look at pay, position and socio-economic background to see the similarities within your workforce.


 2. Set measurable goals

This doesn’t mean you want to hire three women into a particular department by the end of 2023. Objectives could be around ensuring you’re offering management training to increase the opportunities for younger people in senior roles. You could also set a goal of receiving more applications from women, or flexible working targets.


3. Review job adverts for inclusivity

Check some of your recent adverts. Do they include too many masculine terms? Are you putting older candidates off by referencing the party atmosphere? Are you asking for a degree and skills they don’t need to fulfil the role? Your adverts need to be jargon-free and formatted simply. For example, someone with dyslexia will struggle to read italics and underlining; stick to clear fonts such as Calibri and Arial. 


Benefits, salary, and working arrangements should be listed. By UK law, you must clearly state that you are an equal opportunities employer, welcoming applications from all people, regardless of race, sex, disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation. But, you can also go one step further and include any other initiatives you are involved in, such as being a Disability Confident Employer or a Verified Flexible company.


For more advice on writing an attractive job advert, download Crimson’s guide to writing effective job adverts.


4. Introduce new company policies


Are your company policies representative of the broad spectrum of people you want to appeal to? For example, you could include more religious holidays, and menopause policies. Employment assistance programmes, and employee action groups will also support any on-going need for change within the policies.



5. Provide diversity training


Make sure managers and interviewers complete diversity training; this will help them better understand the biases that exist and enable them to address any issues in the workplace.



6. Involve the marketing department


You must ensure you’re showcasing your commitment to diversity, for example, by building a diversity web page, updating your brand images to include diverse people, and displaying award logos. Applicants will review your website to understand your culture and decide whether you feel like an inclusive employer.




7. Don’t hire based on cultural-fit


Diverse recruitment is about ensuring you’re not just hiring similar people. You want a variety of people in your workforce. So, think about what new approaches a different kind of person could bring to the organisation.


8. Build a diverse talent pool

Connect with communities that represent the people you would like to see your job opportunities. Consider partnering with a provider to introduce apprenticeships or internships into your organisation. You can also ask diverse colleges to refer candidates. Attending job fairs and regularly posting in forums and groups online will help you build a more diverse following.

Here are some examples of diversity job boards, where you can advertise IT roles:

DiverseJobsMatter | Creating a More Representative Workforce

UK Official Diversity LGBT Recruitment Job Board (

Evenbreak | jobs | Choose from 537 live vacancies

Welcome to


9. Minimise bias when screening and interviewing candidates

When shortlisting, avoid going into detail about personal information; this is called blind screening. You can also block out data such as name and education on CVs. It’s important that the interviewing panel are diverse and that the questions you ask each candidate are primarily the same; otherwise, bias can creep in. It is common for only one diverse candidate to make it to the interview stage; this makes their chances of securing the role lower. Try to ensure you have more than one diverse candidate by using the ‘two in the pool effect’.


10. Make adjustments

In 2021, 53 percent of working-age people with a disability were in employment, compared to 81 percent of non-disabled people. Despite record numbers of degrees, people with impairments are less likely to hold senior or professional positions when compared to non-disabled people. Most of us will likely face temporary, situational, or permanent disability, employers need to be ready with solutions.

Around one in seven of us are neurodivergent, meaning we have some unique strengths such as processing information quickly, spotting patterns and lateral thinking. Yet approximately 84 percent of adults with autism suffer from unemployment. Neurodiversity refers to the natural differences within human brain function. Depending on our thinking style, our brain will process information differently. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autism, and ADHD are just a few examples of alternative thinking styles.

You should be open to making adjustments throughout the hiring process. For example, rather than a telephone interview, ask somebody who is deaf if they would prefer an interview in person. You may wish to bypass AI or psychometric tests, which are proven to put neurodivergent people at a disadvantage. Welcome aids, supportive technology, and job trials. Be prepared to ask all potential employees what support they need in the hiring process. 

The disability-confident employers’ toolkit ( explains what you may need to consider when interviewing neurodiverse candidates, those with hearing or sight loss, and facial disfigurement. 

The disability employment gap measures the difference between the employment rate of disabled people and non-disabled people. At 29.8 percent, the disability employment gap in the UK is now at its widest point since 2018. A report by the 10,000 Interns Foundation states that just five percent of the UK’s largest companies recently issued board-level statements saying that disability was part of their leadership agenda. However, according to the Digital Leadership report by Nash Squared, improving customer experience and accessibility is a top priority for digital leaders. Employees are our internal customers; therefore, we should also prioritise their experience. Employers must adapt their strategies to ensure we build a more inclusive society.

Need support with your technology recruitment? From IT contractors to permanent technologists, and specialist CIO Search services. Crimson’s expert IT Recruitment Consultants can help you formulate an effective inclusive hiring strategy: Candidate Search - Looking to hire (