Inclusive Recruitment and Inclusive Management

14th March 2019

Unconscious Bias Training

At Marshall Elearning, we’ve been running Unconscious Bias training for the past 15 years and have been delighted by the way companies from all kinds of sectors have taken their first step in building inclusive organisations by commissioning unconscious bias training.

But as more and more organisations success in training their staff to recognise unconscious bias and build in measures within their organisation to combat biases appearing at all levels, many of our clients are asking what the next step is beyond unconscious bias training.

We always recommend that clients take a look at our Inclusive Recruitment course and Inclusive Management Toolkit as the next step beyond Unconscious Bias training, but in this article we take a closer look at why we recommend this approach.

We’ve answered some of the most common questions we get and outline the advantages for companies who are looking to go further in their mission to build inclusive organisations.

Why is inclusive recruitment and management the next step after unconscious bias training?

Awareness of unconscious bias does not correlate to the building of inclusive organisations on its own.

Without being inclusive in the recruitment of employees and how we manage employees it is very difficult to become or be an inclusive organisation.

Both Inclusive Recruitment and Inclusive Management are practical approaches to building and maintaining organisations that are inclusive in their operation.

How does unconscious bias training help lay the foundations for inclusive recruitment and management?

Understanding things that impact on how we make decisions at work is a basis for delivery of organisations that allow the full participation of employees and supporting the realisation of everyone’s potential.

To be inclusive we need to understand how we can be fair and transparent in our decision making, interactions and operations at work.

What is Inclusive Recruitment and why it is important?

Finding staff with the skills and abilities your organisation needs is a key component of organisational success.

To achieve this recruitment and selection must be effective in attracting and appointing the best candidates.

Adopting Inclusive Recruitment practices will support your organisation to achieve this aim by tapping into wider recruitment pools; minimising discrimination, offering equality of opportunity to all applicants.

It may also help to close any gender pay gaps through focus individuals’ capabilities not their gender.

Despite the strides taken on equal pay over the last five decades, gender pay gap figures reported by UK companies with over 250 employees tell us that 8 out of 10 companies pay men more than women, demonstrating that we are still a long way from gender pay equality.

How can we attract diverse talent through inclusive recruitment?

By establishing effective planning, processes and procedures that are inclusive we create opportunities for widening our attraction and success of diverse talent.

This means:

  1. Review and evaluation of recruitment and selection processes including job descriptions and person specification
  2. Ensure all recruiters are fully trained in diversity, unconscious bias, recruitment and selection
  3. Market and advertise vacancies in ways that will be accessed by a more diverse pool of candidates
  4. Opening up opportunities to internal employees
  5. Demonstrate the clear commitment to inclusion
  6. Have clear accountability in the selection process

What is an inclusive leadership style?

Inclusive Leadership is about treating people and groups fairly based on their unique characteristics, rather than acting on biases derived from stereotypes.

It is also about personalising individuals understanding and valuing the uniqueness and differences of others while at the same including them as members of the organisation, networks and work groups.

Lastly, Inclusive Leadership is about utilising the thinking of diverse groups for smarter ideas, solutions and decision making has the potential to provide different approaches and ways of working that move the organisation forward.

What does it mean to be inclusive in an organisation?

An inclusive organisation values, involves and respects all its individuals enabling them to their reach their full potential whilst maintaining effective business outcomes.

Inclusive organisations tend to be populated with diverse individuals but this is not just window dressing it must lead to:

  1. Representation: The presence of diversity across a range of employee roles, and leadership positions. People are the focus in the organisation’s commitment to diversity, equality and collaborative working.
  2. Respect: understanding that difference can be a positive force that is not detrimental to organisational success. Aligning personal identity with organisation identity demonstrates that employees are integral to the organisation and are important as individuals.
  3. Recognition: the ideas, perspectives and contributions of all people are truly valued and listened to. 360o communication and effective feedback processes aid recognition.
  4. Reward: individuals’ efforts are met with commensurate and appropriate remuneration.
  5. Recruitment: Inclusive organisations recruit and retain the best people without limiting themselves to restrictive recruitment pools. Their aim is to reflect the demographic composition of the communities where they are located and the markets they tap into.

What does an inclusive culture look like?

An inclusive culture involves the full and successful integration of diverse people into a workplace. While an inclusive culture certainly encompasses a commitment to diversity, it is not limited simply to basic representation; it inculcates a climate in which respect, equity, and the positive impacts of differences are all cultivated.

Components of inclusive organisations include:

  1. Fairness and transparency: Are key components of an inclusive workplace and should underpin the organisational ethos. Equitable access to resources, opportunities, networks, and decision-making processes are fundamental in growing an inclusive workplace.
  2. The importance of people development: Being a learning-centric organisation where all employees are encouraged to develop, have access to the development they need and this is linked to personal and business success.
  3. Training plays a dual role in the creation of inclusive culture: The first consideration involves the degree to which people have equitable opportunities for training. The second relates to the training of managers, particularly middle management, and human resources staff, to embrace and work effectively with different people.
  4. Their communities: They incorporate the needs, assets, and perspectives of their constituent communities into the design and implementation of their planning, strategy and action plans.


Diversity and inclusiveness are linked but having a diverse workforce whilst important in achieving inclusion does not guarantee it.

It is important that all employees have an understanding of equality and diversity so training in these areas and unconscious bias are key to building an inclusive organisation.

For more information and to take the next step beyond unconscious bias training, take a look at our Inclusive Recruitment course and Inclusive Managers Toolkit.

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