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How to Inform When Diverse Candidate was not Hired

Updated: Feb 8, 2020

After one of my inclusive leadership sessions, I was asked how to inform a diverse candidate that he or she wasn't successful for the role without leaving a question mark in mind. I thought it would be good to cover the subject today.

Before coming to the decision, let's have a look at the signs of a welcoming job specification.

1- Language used in the job specification:

Are you using a strong language in your job specification? Is it too masculine or feminine?

For example, female applicants are more likely to apply to the jobs requiring using the words mentoring or helping rather than managing or leading.

There are ways you can use to make your job gender-neutral. You can test your job specification here:

2- Ethnicity/Race information at job application:

Do you ask ethnicity-racial information in the application process? This is one of the biggest put off when applying for a role not to feel welcomed. The first question comes to the mind of applicants is "Do my ethnicity-race matter to get this job? If so, why?". Including a fair policy still doesn't change this feeling.

3- Accessibility information:

Including accessibility information and a specific email address for any requirement that will make your process easier for your candidate to reach out for specific requirement. It's a great learning process for the organisation too.

4- Displaying equality policy:

Make sure you name as many groups as possible in your policy statements.

It will build a stronger bridge between your organisation and the candidates and those community members.

On the interview process:

"Let me know if you need any question" doesn't work. The default answer to this not asking a question. Instead, give some examples:

"We are proud of the inclusivity of our office so if you require any assistant at any stage of your office visits such as a room or toilet requirements, please let us know. We do our best to accommodate your needs before your visit."

If the candidate is not a good fit, then provide honest feedback at what expectation they fail to meet clearly. Finally, you can consider asking for their experience on the job application process and where they would do differently.

An inclusive leader must demonstrate the following characteristics of the inclusive leadership in this process mentioned above: Empathy, Accountability, Engagement and Cultural wisdom.

Would you like to learn about Diversein's Inclusive Leadership Development Program? Contact us at or discover more about us here

Furkan Karayel, an inclusive leader advisor; women in tech and female founders ambassador. Founded after 10 years of software engineering experience. Diversity and Inclusion lead at Startup Week Dublin. Advisory board member at InspiringSTEM and Sprinters, global organisations to support diverse female entrepreneurs and young generation STEM. Honoured with "Diversity and Inclusion Role Model in Business" and "Trailblazer" Awards.

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