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The 4 cornerstones for successful and equitable hiring

image Ashley Neal image imageJanuary 04, 2021 image image3 min. to read
The 4 cornerstones for successful and equitable hiring

With new experiences, new budgets and new plans come new chances to further your mission. But to fully take advantage of these opportunities, your organization needs a good support system of knowledgeable and innovative employees ready for the challenges that may come. 

It is highly likely that — eventually, if not now — your organization will need to recruit new employees keen on accomplishing great things and bringing new ideas to the table. As we’ve seen in 2020, diversity and inclusion tactics are more important than ever and including them in your hiring process will not only offer opportunities to people of all walks of life, but bring new perspectives to your organization.

In a recent Twitter post, Dr. Erin L Thomas, the vice-president of  diversity, inclusion and Belonging and talent acquisition for remote talent platform Upwork, shared that the company “cemented 4 cornerstones for successful hiring — candidate focus, consistency, coordination & courage.”

Here’s what her team asks themselves to guarantee these cornerstones are implemented in every aspect of talent acquisition, and why it’s so important:

Candidate Focus

  • “Did we bring out the best in each candidate?”
  • “Do candidates feel positively about their interview experience, regardless of the outcome?”
  • “Did we usher candidates through an experience that enabled us to accurately see their potential?”

Ensuring each candidate leaves your hiring process thinking positively and having been encouraged allows for every candidate to shine a light on their strengths and share how they can benefit your organization. This is important because a more relaxed candidate is going to be more forthcoming and honest about their pros and cons during the interview process — and, even if they didn’t get a job, they might reapply for a position that could be a better fit down the road.


  • “Do candidates have a uniform experience?”

As the foundation for creating an inclusive and diverse workplace, having an equitable recruitment process is one of the most important steps in successful and inclusive practices. Equity ensures everyone receives the same treatment, which guarantees you’re seeing each candidate’s skills in a controlled environment. This better allows your hiring personnel to evaluate a potential candidate’s skills with as little bias as possible.


  • “Are we aligned internally on what (not whom) we’re looking for?”
  • “Are we clear on our respective interdependent roles in finding the best person for the job?”
  • “Do candidates know that we take them, their time and our talent process seriously?”

Regardless of the work put into your hiring process, if your internal affairs are not in order before each candidate’s recruitment process begins, your team is bound to fall back into old habits and biased thinking. Gather your recruitment team and get on the same page about what exactly your organization is looking for, and share the top qualities for prospective candidates. With your team on the same page, this process should be quick, easy and open-minded.


  • “Do we hold ourselves and each other accountable for following our processes as expertly designed?”
  • “Do we call out shortcuts we or others may be taking, assumptions we’re making and biases that may manifest?”

Last but certainly not least, courage is the most important cornerstone of successful and equitable hiring processes. Your team should feel comfortable and encouraged to acknowledge when practices have been abused or overlooked. When your recruitment team is confident enough to call out and stop biased practices, true equitable hiring can begin. 

Remember: The first interaction with your organization will be the most memorable, so make it count. Not only will a candidate leave feeling positive and confident about themselves and you, unbiased hiring will take your organization to the next level. 

Want to learn more about DEI in the workplace? Members have access to coursework and handouts from Dialogue on Race Louisiana CEO Maxine Crump detailing actionable steps for starting the conversation. Not a member? No problem! You can join here.

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