Minority ethnic recruitment toolkit

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

Advertising and Outreach

Think about your own branding and the image you want to present of your organisation. Ensure your organisational website is welcoming to and representative of minority ethnic communities. Try to use up to date imagery of actual employees who are from minority ethnic backgrounds and not stock images – or this can be perceived as box-ticking. Engage with your diversity networks if you have them to consider how you might improve your images. Consider allocating resources within advertising budgets to target minority ethnic communities for example.

Examples of positive action

A positive action approach to engaging with minority ethnic communities could include:

  • Advertising on local community radio stations.
  • Engagement at local or national events with representatives from your organisation that come from a minority ethnic background.
  • Blog posts or testimonials from minority ethnic people at all levels within the organisation sharing their experiences of working for the organisation.
  • Positive images of minority ethnic employees of your workforce or sector within any marketing and advertising campaigns – avoid one standard image.
  • Working with minority ethnic community organisations and particularly those who have an employability remit, to engage with local minority ethnic communities.

Examples of good practice

  • Providing clear and accessible information about the post and how to apply and what to expect within the application process and seeking feedback on this from minority ethnic people. This could include using plain English, avoiding acronyms and corporate or professional jargon. 
  • Consider other ways a person can apply alongside digital. Online only application processes can exclude some people.
  • Highlight inclusive and family friendly policies to support your people, e.g. transport season ticket loans, salary advances, flexible working, part-time working, job sharing. 
  • Become a member of an accreditation scheme or charter such as the Race at Work Charter, Carer Positive, Living Wage employer – this makes people aware that an employer has given particular issues specific consideration and are committing to certain standards or expectations.
  • Include a paragraph in the job advertisement to highlight that applicants from a diverse background are encouraged.
  • Promote Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships – these can offer highly valued workplace experience that employers look for when recruiting and can be useful for breaking down barriers as well as increasing skills that help prepare for permanent employment.

Consider whether qualifications are actually necessary, or whether they can be removed. Explore whether some skills and knowledge can be learned on the job rather than required by candidates at application stage. Where qualifications are necessary but might be not be recognised, refer to the UK National Recognition Centre – NARIC.

It is important to ensure there is capacity to undertake outreach activity. Ensure you plan your campaigns specifically to include this as well as undertaking appropriate training on topics such as race equality, discrimination and unconscious bias. These should be embedded into recruiter roles or considered as a dedicated resource (which will depend on the size and context of the organisation).


Email: mandy.watts@gov.scot

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