May 20
Inclusive Hiring Blog Post Graphic

Exemplifying Our Values: Inclusive Recruitment

Inclusive hiring isn’t just a trend; it’s a strategic imperative for any innovative and proactive organization today. It goes beyond compliance; it’s about recognizing the inherent value that inclusivity and diversity bring to an organization. It is committing to actively seeking out individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Understanding Inclusive Hiring: At its core, inclusive hiring is about creating equitable opportunities for everyone, regardless of any seen or unseen characteristics. Inclusive hiring recognizes the systemic barriers in our society that may prevent certain groups from accessing employment opportunities. It is a daily commitment to fostering a workplace culture where everyone feels respected, valued, and empowered to contribute their best. Recruitment systems must be structured to combat the inequity that has been normalized within the human resource industry. At the Center for Learner Equity (CLE), we recognize the difference between equity and equality; anything short of belonging and justice is not enough.

The Business Case: While our drive and desire to pursue equity because of value alignment is enough, a strong business case can also be made.  Research has consistently shown that diverse teams outperform their industry peers in terms of innovation, problem-solving, and overall performance¹. When you bring together people with different perspectives and life experiences, you are more likely to create innovation, identify bias and areas of growth, and are better positioned to respond to a rapidly changing industry. Inclusive hiring enhances team morale and creates a feeling of belonging. When individuals feel their voices are heard, and their contributions are valued, they’re more likely to feel engaged and committed to their work. When people are supported in bringing their authentic selves to work, turnover rates are reduced, saving organizations the high costs associated with recruitment and training. A study published in 2024 by McLean and Company found a strong correlation between employee experience and employee engagement, citing that positively engaged employees are 1.6 times more likely to report high overall organizational performance².

Challenges and Benefits: Despite the clear benefits of inclusive hiring, many organizations still face challenges in implementing effective strategies. Unconscious biases, systemic barriers, and lack of awareness or resources can all prevent progress in this area. One solution is to prioritize inclusivity at every stage of the hiring process. CLE has found that writing job descriptions with awareness of the language used, implementing third-party interview score analysis, and ensuring support for challenges diverse applicants may encounter in the interview process are all effective strategies that support inclusivity. CLE recognizes unconscious bias and seeks to remove personal prejudice’s impact on decision-making. Additionally, committing to ongoing training and individual self-work is important to foster a culture of inclusion. In order to truly combat systemic inequities, organizations must be willing to participate in difficult, honest, and open conversations about topics that may be considered sensitive and create space for honest feedback. CLE works to create a culture of shared accountability where each team member plays an active role in holding each other and the organization accountable for exemplifying our inclusivity values.  When employees feel supported and included, they’re more likely to thrive and contribute to the organization’s success.

Beyond the “Bottom Line”: For CLE, inclusivity is about creating an equitable world where every person has the resources and support they need to thrive, regardless of their background or individual circumstances.  While the business case for inclusive hiring is strong, it’s important to remember that inclusivity is not just a trendy buzzword. We successfully meet financial and performance metrics while honoring inclusive hiring practices in alignment with our values. By embracing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB) in the workplace, CLE drives innovation and creates a workplace that fosters empathy, kindness, and allyship to the most at-risk and marginalized communities.  For our organization to be effective in our mission of catalyzing student success and eradicating the complex, pervasive, and systematic barriers that prevent students with disabilities from accessing quality educational opportunities and choices, robust support, and inclusive environments, we must uphold those same values for our internal workplace culture. 

Inclusive hiring is not just the right thing to do; it is also integral to successful business outcomes. By embracing inclusion in the workplace, we can not only drive innovation and growth but also foster a greater sense of empathy, understanding, and belonging among people from all walks of life. In doing so, we can build stronger, more resilient communities and pave the way for a brighter future for generations to come³.


1. Ely, R., & Thomas, D. (n.d.). Getting Serious About Diversity: Enough Already with the Business Case. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved May 14, 2024, from
2. (2024, March 6). Employee Engagement Trends. McLean & Company.
3. Adubajo, A. (2023, July 3). Embracing Diversity and Inclusion: Cultivating a Harmonious and Thriving Environment. LinkedIn. Retrieved May 14, 2024, from