Minority ethnic recruitment toolkit

A toolkit to support employers in recruiting from minority ethnic communities.

Using Data

An organisation's collection of data on its workforce in terms of ethnicity and the way it collects that data in recruitment is key to determining what course of action should be taken. It is strongly recommended that organisations use census categories to maintain consistency and to allow for benchmarking.

Decide and be clear on whose role it is in the organisation to collect the data. Identify who they would work with to proactively use this data to inform recruitment strategy. Use of and access to this data needs to be restricted because it relates to personal and sensitive information and needs to be handled in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Start by reviewing the organisation's current practice on collecting and using ethnicity data of the workforce. Is the data complete? Is the data consistent? Are you able to establish a baseline for the workforce in terms of ethnicity? Has it been collected and retained in line with the law? Diversity monitoring data is not used as part of the recruitment decision making process, and should not be included with the applications that are passed to the recruitment panel.

Following a recruitment exercise, the equalities data captured at application stage can help to understand:

  • The proportion of applicants who identify as minority ethnic.
  • The proportion of applicants who identify as minority ethnic and are applying for particular posts.
  • Success rates by ethnicity in securing an interview
  • Success rates by ethnicity in job offers
  • Where there are gaps in applications from local minority ethnic groups. 
  • Applicants who identify as minority ethnic but also share other protected characteristics e.g. age, gender, disability. This analysis should be handled in line with GDPR as it can risk identifying people.

This data can help you identify trends, inform how you market and advertise jobs to reach specific minority ethnic communities and highlight where you need to address barriers that may be preventing minority ethnic communities from applying.

Analysing data for each part of the recruitment process will enable you to look at the representation of minority ethnic people at each stage. For example, if you have high representation at application stage, this would suggest that your marketing campaign is effective. But if the level of minority ethnic candidates is reducing at interview or offer stage, then this may indicate the need for further review of your process or practices which may be disadvantaging minority ethnic people.

Further guidance is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on what information to gather and publish and how data can be used: 



General sources for data in relation to local populations and ethnicity can be found here:

Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2017 Supplementary Tables


(Ethnic Group table 4.2)

2011 Census



Email: mandy.watts@gov.scot

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