5 Ways To Make Your Recruitment Process More LGBTQIA+ Friendly

Want help with your hiring? It's easy. Enter your information below, and we'll quickly reach out to discuss your hiring needs.

Companies often use Pride Month to evaluate their diversity and inclusion efforts and ensure their recruitment strategies and process are more LGBTQIA+ friendly. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to effectively sourcing and recruiting LGBTQIA+ talent, there are best practices for creating welcoming and inclusive recruitment strategies. With this in mind, the following are five steps to make your company’s recruitment process more LGBTQIA+ friendly.

5 Steps To Make Your Recruitment Strategy More LGBTQIA+ Inclusive

1. Include Your Pronouns in Your Communications With Candidates

Using people’s correct pronouns is important because it demonstrates your respect for the other person. Proactively telling candidates your pronouns communicates that you respect other people’s identities. (Common pronouns include he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs.) Subsequently, consider including your pronouns in your email signature. While listing your pronouns to your email signature may seem insignificant, this simple act helps normalize the use of pronouns and quickly demonstrates you care about diversity.

Beyond your email signature, consider preemptively sharing your pronouns when introducing yourself to candidates. This would sound like, “Hello, it is great to be speaking with you today. My name is Kyle Elliott, and my pronouns are he/him/his.” This reinforces your commitment to diversity and provides candidates with the opportunity to respond with their pronouns if they feel comfortable.

2. Speak to Your Company’s Values, Culture, and Gender-Inclusive Benefits

Strong values are a significant competitive advantage, particularly in today’s job seekers market. Speak about how your company’s values shape the company culture. The LGBTQIA+ job seekers I speak with regularly describe the increasing importance of finding a company culture where they feel a sense of belonging. Think about where and how you communicate your company’s values throughout the recruitment process.

Furthermore, the LGBTQIA+ job seekers I speak with explain that company culture is the most critical factor behind their career decisions. They seek companies that provide inclusive workplace benefits. Be sure to proactively highlight if your company offers inclusive benefits like leave policies for foster and adoptive partners, health benefits for domestic partners, or medical leave policies for gender affirmation surgery.

3. Be Prepared to Answer Applicants’ Diversity Questions

You can expect some LGBTQIA+ interviewers to ask questions about how your company has embraced pride and supported diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace. Importantly, LGBTQIA+ talent does not merely want to know where companies stand on social justice issues. Instead, they also want to know their prospective employer’s specific actions to support LGBTQIA+ equality in the workplace. The following are some of the questions you can expect from candidates about DEIB.

  • What DEIB training has my manager completed?
  • What employee resource groups (ERGs) are in place? Who are the executive sponsors?
  • What resources are in place to support employees who are transgender?
  • How diverse is your executive team?
  • What other DEIB programs and initiatives are in place at the company?

Job seekers do not expect you to answer all their questions robustly. They recognize recruiters have a unique perspective of the company, and there is a limit when it comes to your scope and knowledge. That being said, job seekers expect your candor regarding what your company is doing to support LGBTQIA+ people, embrace pride, and champion DEIB.

4. Turn Your Employees Into Referral Sources

Employee referral programs are a common way to source candidates from your current talent. When done poorly, relying heavily on employee referrals can negatively impact workplace diversity. However, when done right, turning your internal employees into referral sources can effectively recruit LGBTQIA+ talent.

If your organization has an LGBTQIA+ employee resources group, you can encourage them to support your recruitment efforts by sharing roles with their networks and referrals to qualified talent. Make it easy for employees to share job postings with their networks and submit their employee referrals. Then, be prepared to educate candidates on how to successfully navigate the application process after they are referred for a role.

5. Treat LGBTQIA+ Talent With Respect and Dignity

Although this should go without saying, LGBTQIA+ talent want — and deserve — to be treated with respect and dignity throughout your recruitment process. This includes brushing up on LGBTQIA+ terminology and inclusive language if unfamiliar with either. Also, you want to avoid making assumptions and apologize if you mess up. Additionally, you may find it helpful to learn about the history of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Important: LGBTQIA+ people are more than their sexual orientation or gender. Like nearly any other employee, they want to show up, do their work, and make a difference. Employers benefit when they create environments that foster inclusion and belonging.

Finally, these are just a few ways to make your recruitment process more LGBT+ inclusive and welcoming. Now, reflect on your company’s current recruitment and hiring process. See where your company’s recruitment strategy is excelling and where you may need to refine your processes to attract LGBTQIA+ talent better. You’ve got this!


Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com


Get the top recruiting news and insights delivered to your inbox every week. Sign up for the Recruiter Today newsletter.

Read more in Diversity

Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. As a result of working with Kyle, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other Fortune 100/500 company you can think of. A trusted career expert, Kyle’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He is an official member of the invitation-only Forbes Coaches Council, a member of the Gay Coaches Alliance, and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).