What is the Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit?

The Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit is a selection of resources to help you to create an inclusive recruitment process in your organisation. 

We’ve taken best practice, great examples from organisations in the partnership, and compiled them all in one place, so they can be used either to improve part of your process, or to look at the whole process and identify where you can improve. 

Recruitment can be a time and resource intensive process, so the more we get right first time, to get top talent into our organisations the more benefits we will see in our partnership.  The blueprint is broken down into five key stages and has a strong focus on bringing diversity to our teams. Data shows us that people from diverse backgrounds are statistically less likely to make it through the recruitment and selection process than white candidates, so the toolkit aims to ensure the process is fair and you hire the best candidates.

Please note: As this toolkit features resources from various organisations, some resources may not be accessible to everyone. If you would like to receive any of the documents in a more accessible format, please contact us: wyicb-wak.sldteam@nhs.net



The toolkit also comes with an Inclusive Recruitment Training session, designed to be tailored to your own organisations and delivered to colleagues involved in the recruitment process. 

Click here to download the slides for the Inclusive Recruitment Training package

Click here to download the facilitator notes for the Inclusive Recruitment Training package

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This is your chance to think about and plan how you’ll represent the organisation and role. Whilst it’s easy to go straight out to advert to recruit a replacement colleague, it’s worth taking the time to think about the role and what you need from it as an organisation and to make any changes before advertising. For roles that aren’t recruited to very often, you should update your documentation to reflect any changes in organisational values or operations. We recommend putting your diversity statement front and centre of any adverts or documentation, this will give any potential candidates a clear picture of what the role is, what your organisation is like to work for, and the values and behaviours you’ll expect them to uphold. 

We strongly recommend you have a recruitment and selection policy in place and your recruiting panel undertake recruitment and equality, diversity and inclusion training, before taking part in recruitment. In this part of the toolkit, you’ll find template policies, guidance for training, tips and pointers for avoiding bias and promoting inclusive recruitment as well as an international recruitment toolkit for when you need to look overseas.

Click on the links below to access the documents:

Preparing an Inclusive Job Description

NHS International Recruitment Toolkit

National BME Recruitment Toolkit

Leading Positive Change

Recruitment Training Recruiting Manager (slides)

Recruitment Training Recruiting Manager (facilitator notes)

DeBias Interactive Toolkit

Top 10 Tips for Inclusive Recruitment 


Many organisations in our partnership have a standard advertising method, like NHS Jobs, where we post our adverts. Whilst this will generate some applications, you should think about advertising differently, depending on the candidates you want to see. For example, a VCSE organisation that works with disadvantaged Muslim teenagers, then your local mosques would be a great place to find someone that understands the religion and can bring their knowledge and skills to the role. If you are looking to fill a specialist role such as a mechanic or electrician, then consider radio advertising or specialist publications where they are likely to see your vacancy.

When it comes to writing your advert, think about the language you use, try to de-bias the language as much as possible and think of creative ways to showcase your organisation and attract the best candidates.

In the toolkit you’ll find some tips on creating your job advert, job description, and person specification. You will also find some standard notices you should include and some ideas about where to advertise your job.

Click on the links below to access the documents:

Advertising Privacy Notices and Data Handling

Creating a Job Advert

Where to Advertise 



Shortlisting is the process of reviewing the applications you have received whilst you were advertising, and deciding which ones will be taken through to the interview and selection stage. This process should be undertaken by at least two people and must be done in a fair way. Ideally, you should read all the applications you have, and look for the skills, experience and knowledge you have listed in the job description/person specification. Sometimes it’s necessary to cut down the applications using a shorter process, such as looking only for those with qualifications listed in the person specification, then applying further scrutiny to those with the qualifications.

You should give consideration to applying numeric scoring to each of the areas you feel are most important for the role, such as experience, qualifications, skills, knowledge or desirable criteria that set applications out from others.

Your decisions should be recorded and those records kept for a minimum of three months.

In the toolkit you’ll find information on shortlisting criteria that you could use, as well as information about longlisting and using a sample selection. You will also find a paper titled, 'No More Tick Boxes', which is a review of the evidence on how to make recruitment and career progression fairer, pages 101-112 of this document provide some detailed guidance on what we can do to reduce some of our biases at the shortlisting stage.

Click on the links below to access the documents: 

Shortlisting Your Applications

No More Tick Boxes: A review of the evidence on how to make recruitment and career progression fairer

If Your Face Fits: Exploring common mistakes to addressing equality and equity in recruitment


The time has come to meet your candidates!

Ahead of the interview it’s important to let the candidates know what to expect, with around a minimum of a weeks’ notice. Whilst you are likely to want to fill the position as soon as possible, the candidates are likely to be working or have plans and so it’s important to give them enough notice so they can make arrangements to attend.

The interview is as much a chance for you to get to know the candidates as for them to get to know you, and the team they’ll be working in. You should show them diversity on the recruitment panel, to show your commitment in the organisation and think about having a range of interests in your panel members, to ensure diversity of thought and strong decision making.

In the toolkit, you’ll find interview training for panel members, information around unconscious and conscious bias so you can prepare and be aware of how they can affect your decision making.

Click on the links below to access the documents:

Recruitment Training for Panel Members (slides)

Recruitment Training for Panel Members (facilitator notes)

Courageous Conversations: Facts in a Flash

Develop Yourself Guide

Understanding Recruitment Bias (slides)


Once you have seen all your candidates, it’s time to make a decision. If you have agreed on a successful candidate, it’s important to not stop there. Getting your offer letter out promptly with clear instructions of what you need the candidate to do, is likely to get the candidate's buy in and make them more likely to accept your offer. Keep engaging with them to see if they have any other questions that have come up and keep the process of getting to know each other going, to start a strong working relationship.

Think about how you’ll welcome the candidate on their first day, what equipment they might need and who will meet them and show them the ropes.

Think too about the unsuccessful candidates, providing them with useful, positive feedback about why you didn’t appoint them will leave them with a good impression of the organisation, will encourage them to engage with you in the future and apply for other roles.

Click on the links below to access the documents:

Induction Factsheet


This page was developed by the System and Leadership Development Team. For any queries relating to the Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit, please contact us on: wyicb-wak.sldteam@nhs.net