Merrifield – EDI Strategy

We take DE&I seriously and place the responsibility on our shoulders to support our clients’ efforts to create representative teams. As a specialist Not-For-Profit recruitment agency, we recognise that we operate in the least diverse sector currently, a focus of ours it to address this imbalance. By working with us, we will be able to run a more diverse and ethical recruitment process which creates a more representative candidate base.

How will we advise you?

We understand that not every organisation is able to implement the kind of recruitment process we run. So, we want to advise you on our best practice and how we can find you the ideal candidate for your vacancy.

The first thing we do is paint you a very realistic picture of the current landscape and where candidates are coming from. This is based off current market experience, as well as the placements we have made for the kind of role you are looking for. We will advise you on the current language of the job description and advert, therefore making changes to ensure that all audiences are being attracted to the role. In terms of providing a representative shortlist, we cannot guarantee a percentage of people from differing backgrounds, but we are able to evidence the lengths of our search and where we have looked.

Rather than simply taking on a role and it feels transactional, we want to be a trusted advisor to you and will answer any questions you have around our recruitment process and the current market.

What is the message to the candidates?

From the moment we advertise to providing a shortlist, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for the role. Here is something we have on our adverts:

‘Along with … , we want to practice a diverse and inclusive recruitment process that ensures equal opportunity for all we work with, irrespective of race, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age or gender. As an organisation, we encourage applications from all backgrounds and will ensure measures are met when required, to allow a fair process throughout.

‘ When working with you, we want to be an extension of the organisation. Regarding DE&I, this means we adopt your values and commitments to DE&I. If you have a policy in place, a target to get to, or people to hire who are from diverse backgrounds – we want to echo these efforts.

This is incredibly important when speaking with candidates. Part of our process is screening candidates who we believe have the skillset to do the role you are offering; part of this screening will focus on the organisation and its values. In today’s world, wanting to improve diversity and representation in the organisation is valuable, and has meant that people choose to go for a role, or do not. We have hadpeople drop out of a role because the board, SMT are not representative.

Rather than having this as something to consider at the end, we want this to be a key feature when speaking to candidates.

How do we run an ethical process?

Here is our ethical process below:

  • A full and detailed description of what you are looking for
  • We can advise on the market, the challenges, and the opportunities
  • As part of the briefing, we can manage your expectations
  • We can offer markets and areas to search to increase representation and diversity


  • Advertisements will encourage applications from all backgrounds
  • The language will be without gender bias
  • We will advertise on a diverse group of platforms and social media groups


  • We are conscious of those we approach and actively monitor our numbers
  • When approaching someone, we include information on DE&I
  • We monitor the response rate and what backgrounds (where possible)
  • Our messaging is without gender bias.


  • Our screening will include standardised questions that each candidate will be asked to keep the process fair
  • We can introduce a second consultant to avoid unconscious bias


  • Where possible, we will deliver a representative shortlist
  • Blind CV’s. All applications will be anonymised (omitted: Name, DOB, Education)
  • As part of the shortlist, we can go through figures and response rates.
  • We can go through qualitative data around feedback from those we have spoken to


  • Once shortlisted, we can then send you the named CV’s.
  • If people need support during the process, we can offer advice
  • We can advise on allowances and best methods to ensure a fair interview process

Following on from this point, those who are unsuccessful will be given the same experience.

After the process we can then set up a meeting to go through all the statistics and the feedback from candidates through the process which can be used in the future.

We pride ourselves on doing all we can with the memberships and charities we work with to support their efforts to improve DE&I in their workforce.

If you have any questions or want to find out more information, we can set up a call.