De-biasing Toolkit

Introduction to De-biasing

Welcome to the Norfolk and Waveney De-biasing toolkit section of our EDI Resource Hub. Here you can find further documentation and resources around de-biasing within recruitment, international recruitment and retention. Click the links below for further information:


In this section you will find a selection of useful information and resources that can aid in successful recruitment.

Common mistakes to addressing EDI

Improving recruitment and career progression practices has been an ongoing challenge. How organisations look and how they are experienced is an enduring legacy of our inability to affect sustainable change to disrupt existing recruitment patterns. This practical guide will help you address equality and equity in recruitment.

No more tick boxes

This report seeks to be a summary of some of the research evidence on fair recruitment and career progression. It is written for practitioners and highlights a small number of principles drawn from research that then underpin the suggestions made for improving each stage of recruitment and career progression.

ICS Board Appointments: Interviews and EDI

This document is written to assist ICS panels for Board appointments. It may also be useful for other senior post recruitment. It is written in accordance with the NHSE guidance which states

“Given our ambition to improve our NHS WRES indicators additional support can be provided to panels on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This can be through informal guidance to Chairs though to additional, expert panel members.”

Using Executive Search Firms (ESF) effectively

Many senior appointments in the NHS are made using Executive Search Firms (ESFs). The track record of such firms in delivering credible diverse candidates can be mixed.

NHS East of England has drawn on the already available publication No More Tick Boxes to produce a checklist for NHS organisations wishing to use these firms in order to deliver the best possible diverse long list and shortlist to and to assist diverse recruitment.

Gender de-coder

This website is a quick way to check whether a job advert has the kind of subtle linguistic gender-coding that has been found to have a discouraging effect on potential applicants.

Research and useful resources

This website hosts a range of helpful resources and research papers that support de-biasing recruitment policies and practices

Skills for Care

Skills for Care provides tools and resources to help you recruit and retain people who have the right values for your organisation and the adult social care sector

Understanding unconscious bias

This guide explains what ‘unconscious bias’ is and provides a selection of ways you can avoid it when recruiting.

Test your ‘unconscious bias’: How do you judge other people?

Unconscious biases are thoughts or feelings we’re not directly aware of, that influence our judgement. They are the attitudes and stereotypes that affect our views, our actions, and our decision-making ability, which we’ve unconsciously created from our own background and experiences. Our unconscious bias has a direct impact on how we recruit and retain our workforce, from attraction through to onboarding. For example, a hiring manager that prefers a job applicant who has the same educational background as them or who looks like them.

This test, compiled by Harvard University, shows what our unconscious biases are. But it is by no means an indicator of a person’s true beliefs and is very Americanised. You can take a test on race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, etc. and it usually takes about 5 – 8 minutes to complete a test.

To find out what your unconscious biases are take the test here.

De-biasing Recruitment Interactive Toolkit

The purpose of this toolkit is to ensure all those involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are aware of how bias exists within recruitment and selection processes and what actions they can take to ensure the process is equitable and that bias is eliminated from each and every stage from job design to onboarding.

Although it is an NHS document, the principles and actions can be applied to any sector.

International Recruitment

Here you can find useful information and resources relating to International recruitment.

Welcoming and Valuing International Medical Graduates

Take a look at this guidance for NHS Trusts on the minimum requirements for IMG induction.

NHS International Recruitment Toolkit

This interactive toolkit takes you through a process of planning, preparing, implementing and evaluating your international recruitment activity.

Small grants for international nursing associations in England

Small grants scheme to help diaspora groups with the opportunity to apply for funding to strengthen their pastoral support offer for international nurses in the UK


In this section you will find helpful information and resources to aid in staff retention.

Skillsforce – Retaining your workforce

Investing in workforce retention supports high-quality care, positive workplace culture, staff wellbeing, time and cost savings as well as positive CQC ratings.

WRES People Engagement Survey

This survey will help you assess where your organisation is in terms of organisational culture and treatment of staff from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Inclusive Leadership

This self assessment diagnostic tool will help line managers identify how inclusive their behaviours are and could form part of your appraisal process.