Talking about D&I with clients and candidates

Talking about D&I with clients and candidates

In last weeks’ newsletter, I spoke about the basics of D&I as well as sharing a free resource that you could use as a starting point.

In this edition, I want to go one step further and dive into how you can start talking about D&I with clients and candidates. As we’ve already established, D&I can feel overwhelming if you’re unsure where to start, but hopefully, you’re in a position where you’ve started to implement some basics.

If you haven’t, don’t worry. You can always save this edition for later. We have included a free resource which includes 10 questions you can ask candidates or clients regarding D&I.

{Download it here}

So, why should you talk about D&I with candidates and clients?

There are three main reasons why I think talking about D&I should become mandatory when speaking to candidates and clients:

It positions you as a solutions-provider

The recruitment landscape is rapidly changing, and transactional “bums on seats” recruitment simply isn’t going to cut it. The best recruiters provide solutions and go above and beyond filling roles.

Talking about D&I and embedding it as common practice in conversations will allow you to learn quickly, whilst also evolving your services as a recruiter.

It’s our duty as recruiters to make a positive change 

Unfortunately, the recruitment industry (although I think it’s improving) still has a pretty negative reputation. Recruiters are quick to be branded as cold, money-grabbing, and unprofessional.

The reality is, good recruiters possess none of these traits, but if we don’t evolve and take responsibility as an industry, we will continue to have a bad reputation. As a recruiter, it’s your duty to provide equal opportunities to candidates, as well as holding clients accountable.

It’s beneficial for everyone involved

Whether it’s a candidate, a client, or a recruitment company, diversity benefits all. This could be from a cultural perspective, through to headcount and revenue.

There have been countless studies evidencing that strong diversity and inclusion in businesses boosts productivity, retention, employee engagement and profit.

You can read an excellent study conducted by McKinsey here: Diversity wins: How inclusion matters

When should you talk about D&I with a client or candidate?

You wouldn’t (I hope) cold call a new client and ask them for a job within the first 30 seconds. It’s the same with D&I. However, I recommend asking about D&I earlier on in the relationship building process, as this will allow you to get a holistic picture of the business you’re looking to partner with.

It will also give you a more in-depth understanding of the companies values and mission, which in turn, should make the recruitment process easier from a candidate perspective as you can immediately have these conversations with candidates that you’ve shortlisted.

Some opening questions to help you along the way…

Click here to download our resource which will give you 10 starter questions (5 for clients, 5 for candidates) which you can ask on a call.

10 questions


  1. What is your current D&I strategy?
  2. When partnering with an agency, what are your expectations from a D&I perspective?
  3. What D&I initiatives do you currently have in place?
  4. How do you currently measure your D&I efforts?
  5. How do you currently run your hiring process to ensure it’s inclusive?


  1. What D&I initiatives does your current company run?
  2. How important is D&I to you in your next role and why?
  3. What are your expectations when working with a recruiter from a D&I perspective?
  4. What are your most important D&I values in a company?
  5. How diverse is the current executive team at your organisation?

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