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Tips for Inclusive Recruitment

Page Updated: 20th July 2022

UCD’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is echoed in the University’s Strategic Objective Number 5 to 'attract and retain an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.'

The below guides and resources were developed to support hiring managers consider the role of equality, diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process and how they can best attract diverse talent. These resources allow you to consider how your School/Unit is presented to potential candidates and how you can make your job descriptions more inclusive.

Inclusive Recruitment Training Bundle for Hiring Managers

EDI and Resourcing prepared a bespoke training and eLearning “bundle” aimed at hiring managers and members of interview panels. The training will provide this key cohort with essential guidance and information on UCD recruitment and selection procedures and inclusive hiring practices which will help to find excellent and diverse candidates. We want to ensure that hiring managers are equipped with the skills to deliver on the University’s EDI requirements. Hiring managers and members of interview panels should aim to complete this training and eLearning bundle in advance of their next scheduled panel.

The Inclusive Recruitment Training bundle includes:

UCD strategic objective number 5 sets out to “attract and retain an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.” UCD also committed to a number of actions around fair and inclusive recruitment as part of the institutional Athena SWAN application and Gender Equality Action Plan 2020-2024 approved by the UMT (actions 5.1.1, 5.1.5 and 5.1.6 specifically.) 

The "EDI in HE" programme was developed by the IUA Equality Network, which represents Ireland's seven Universities. Because this was a sectoral initiative, the content does not go into detail on UCD-specific recruitment procedures. To find out more about the programme and to complete the online training, visit the EDI eLearning section of the EDI website.

Writing an Inclusive Job Description

Language is a powerful tool and can play a significant role in the recruitment process. Inadvertently, job descriptions can have subtly coded language that affects how attractive a role is to a particular gender, LGBT people, people with a disability or from a different cultural or ethnic background.


Consider the type of language used in job descriptions: for instance, remember to use 'you/your' and 'they/their' rather than 'he/she' or 'him/her'. Research shows that some words have masculine or feminine connotations and may appeal to or put off one gender specifically. Being aware of this can help you ensure your job descriptions are more inclusive and may help you attract an underrepresented group.

This table contains a list of gender-coded adjectives. You can also refer to the helpful gender decoder under ‘Resources’ below: 



  • active
  • ambitious
  • assertive
  • autonomous
  • challenge
  • champion
  • competitive
  • confident
  • courageous
  • decisive
  • determined
  • dominant
  • driven
  • fearless
  • independent
  • individual
  • lead
  • logic
  • objective
  • persistent
  • principled
  • self-confident
  • self-reliant
  • self-sufficient
  • superior
  • agree
  • collaborative
  • committed
  • compassionate
  • connect
  • considerate
  • co-operative
  • dependable
  • empathic
  • honest
  • interpersonal
  • interdependent
  • loyal
  • nurture
  • pleasant
  • polite
  • responsive
  • sensitive
  • support
  • sympathetic
  • together
  • trust
  • understanding
  • enthusiastic
  • inclusive


Please find useful resources below for drafting inclusive job descriptions and hiring diverse talent.

  • Recruitment Language Guide – (opens in a new window)PDF
  • Gender Decoder – (opens in a new window)Link. This tool is a decoder that allows Hiring Managers to gender-proof their Job Descriptions.
  • Augmented Writing – (opens in a new window)Video
  • UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Access and Lifelong Learning created a ConnectAbility Guide to Disability and Reasonable Accommodation. See ‘Employee and Job Applicants’ document – .
  • Advice and Information from Employer Disability Information – (opens in a new window)Link.
  • UCD has partnered with Ahead to introduce the Willing, Able, Mentored initiative for employing graduates with disabilities. Ahead’s Tips for Inclusive Recruitment – (opens in a new window)Video.
  • LGBTI Best Practice Guide for Employers – (opens in a new window)PDF. This document includes tips on gender-neutral language.

For more information on inclusive recruitment practices, please contact (opens in a new window)edi@ucd.ie

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie