Diversity and Inclusion in Hiring: Best Practices for Building a Diverse Workforce

Written by Meg Struthers | April 26, 2024


For the past few years, diversity and inclusion initiatives have become top of mind for many companies, with emphasis being placed on hiring and promoting a more varied pool of individuals. But how do we ensure these don’t just become “buzz words” used to lure newcomers in, with no true substance behind them?

Read on to learn more about the actions that are essential to making these initiatives stick and helping them to create lasting change within an organization.


            “The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.” (The Newsroom). Before you can move towards more equitable practices, it’s important to first take an honest look at where your current practices are falling short. Are you pulling candidates from the same talent sources? Are you using verbiage in job postings that might disqualify or discourage certain demographics from applying? Are you, consciously or unconsciously, orchestrating interviews to screen out a specific type of profile?

            It’s uncomfortable, it’s eye-opening, and it’s necessary. Don’t be afraid to highlight the problem on the journey of solving it—it will only give you and your actions more credibility moving forward.


            A good first step in moving towards fairer practices is to use standardized processes and skills-based questions when interviewing. The candidate shouldn’t feel the need to sell themselves as a person, but as a team member; the interview shouldn’t focus on stereotypes or assumptions, but on the individual’s specific skillsets and what they can bring to the table. Having a structured process that is kept the same for each candidate will help everyone have an equal shot of being the one who makes it through to an offer.

            For job postings? Keeping language gender-neutral and staying open to candidates from a wide range of locations can help attract a more diverse group of applicants.

            For new roles or job postings, it’s important to have the opening posted in more than one location and for a significant length of time. This helps prevent in-house bias or unconscious preferential treatment; a wide pool of candidates must be given the same chance to see the role, apply for the role, and interview for the role.


            True change can’t be piecemeal; it must be assessed and treated on a holistic basis. It’s not enough to simply change one piece of your hiring process and hope for the best. The entire end-to-end recruiting experience needs to be evaluated and updated to be considered truly equitable. From writing the job description, to posting the opening, to having software screen candidates, to having people screen candidates, to conducting the interviews, to completing reference and background checks; they all must be changed to reflect and uphold the DE&I initiative.


            Change can’t exist in a vacuum. There is an entire organization of employees who will be affected and impacted by this move toward a more inclusive environment, and they deserve to have their opinions and voices heard. Check-in regularly to see how things are working, if anyone has any feedback or new ideas, or if a proposed change is not having the desired effect. It is okay to be constantly evolving because that means you are constantly trying.

            If someone has a comment or a suggestion that is tough to hear or hard to face? Do it anyway. The people in your company need to know they can speak freely and openly on this subject, and that any concerns will be taken seriously. When people feel listened to, it often increases buy-in, which in turn increases the success rate of a new initiative. And this is one initiative you can’t afford to have fail.

Partnering with a diversity supplier, like Market Street Talent, is another great way to keep DE&I top of mind during your recruitment processes. Market Street Talent is a woman-owned and woman-operated small business that believes people are a company’s most important asset. We truly believe we are #bettertogether. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can assist with your hiring efforts!

About our author, Megan Struthers is one of Market Street Talent's  Senior Account Executives. She works on full-cycle business development with a focus on engaging with prospective clients, identifying solutions, and translating positive relationships into workable job requirements. Megan works on account/relationship management with existing clients too! She has been at Market Street Talent since November 2019.