Recruit for diversity

The Queensland Government strives to represent the people we serve. That means encouraging and fostering a diverse public sector workforce. We’ve set ourselves employment targets for under-represented groups and measure our progress in our public sector bi-annual workforce statistics.

To give your team the best potential for success, strive for a collection of different genders, backgrounds, cultures, thinking styles, and experiences. This can boost your team’s collective intellectual potential and performance capabilities.

To build a diverse team, ensure your recruitment practices are inclusive, accessible, and attractive to people from diverse backgrounds.

Consider if the role you’re creating or reviewing has genuine occupational requirements that supports favouring a person with certain attributes.

For example, the role might require the employee to interact with members of the community that share a particular attribute. Having that attribute might be a requirement or give the employee an advantage in fulfilling those duties.

See Section 25 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

To create an identified role:

  • document your decision-making process
  • seek chief executive approval
  • ensure mandatory attributes are stated in the role description and in the targeted advertising campaign.

For help, speak to your agency’s HR team and read our Guide to identified roles, targeted recruitment and inclusive recruitment (PDF, 418.5 KB) .

If the role you’re creating or reviewing is not suitable as an identified role, consider if a targeted recruitment process is appropriate.

Targeted recruitment can be used as an equal employment opportunity (EEO) measure to improve diversity in your team and organisation.

See section 6.9 of the Recruitment and selection directive and section 27of the Public Sector Act 2022. See also our Guide to identified roles, targeted recruitment, and inclusive recruitment (PDF, 418.5 KB) and speak to your agency’s HR team for help.

To undertake a targeted recruitment:

  • document your decision-making process
  • seek chief executive approval
  • connect with people engaging with your target group
  • consult with people from your target group.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Before advertising a position, connect with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander career pathways service team. The team can match your needs with employees actively looking to develop their skills through on-the-job learning.

If you do need to advertise externally, consider using specialist job boards such as Indigenous Employment Australia, or recruitment service such as Supply Nation or Black Business Finder.

People living with disability

Consider using specialist job boards and recruitment services such as:

The Australian Government’s Job Access service can also provide free, expert advice on how to remove barriers to employing people living with a disability.

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Tailor your recruitment strategies to reach diverse communities by:

  • engaging directly with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and peak bodies, such as the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland or Multicultural Australia
  • using specialised employment organisations, such as CareerSeekers or Gateway2Talent
  • interviewing any person from a diverse background who meets the minimum job requirements
  • promoting the opportunity through media outlets that are provided by, or targeted to, specific cultural or linguistic communities (print or online media, community boards, or radio).

Women in leadership

Visit our gender equity in the workplace page to learn more about how the Queensland Government is prioritising gender equity, and find resources to help target your recruitment process.

Create a role description and job advertisement that is simple, accessible and uses inclusive language.

Focus on capabilities, skills and values that are genuinely required for the role. Where possible, allow for equivalent qualifications and make accreditation desirable instead of essential.

Consider using inclusion competencies as a required capability for the role, such as those used in the Leadership competencies for Queensland.

Include links to your agency inclusion and diversity initiatives, and memberships (such as the Diversity Council Australia and Australian Network on Disability).

Use visual cues in your recruitment correspondence to show you are an inclusive workplace. For example, include an acknowledgement of local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander traditional owners and country in your email signature block.

Be clear about what flexibility you can offer. Lack of flexibility is a barrier to employment for many people and is expected from candidates more than ever.

During the recruitment process

Create an assessment panel that is as diverse as possible, and ensure that you have a discussion with the panel about inclusive recruitment practices and decision making that’s mindful of unconscious bias. Discuss ways to mitigate the impact of unconscious bias.

Use de-identified data (available from agency HR) to understand the current diversity of the team, as well as the local area (branch or division) where the role is located. For example, is it overwhelmingly female, older in age or tertiary educated? Make this summary data available to the panel for consideration when it comes time for screening to mitigate potential bias.

Consider de-identifying applications for screening and shortlisting, or automatically shortlisting candidates who identify with any of the equal employment opportunity (EEO) target groups.

Consider extending your closing date if your applicant pool hasn’t attracted an appropriate level of diversity (your HR team can provide de-identified applicant diversity data). Adjust your advertising strategy to use more targeted recruitment.

Talk with your candidates before you organise your interviews and assessment tasks. Confirm if any of them need support or adjustments to help them participate. Ensure your assessment tasks are fair to people living with disability.

For example:

  • online assessments may be incompatible or hard to complete with screen-reader software
  • assessments with time limits may be less accessible for people who have anxiety disorders, read slowly, have manual dexterity challenges, or require frequent rest breaks
  • written assessments may be more difficult to complete for people with dyslexia or English as a second language.

Diversity of thought is also critical to balanced and productive teams. Avoid only hiring like-minded people who think the same way as you. To add new perspectives and diversity of thought consider people from different industries, backgrounds, demographics, education and lifestyles as potential additions to your team.


Before your recruit starts, consider if your team would benefit from additional training. For example cultural capability training or disability training.

Consider what additional support you might need to provide the new starter to ensure inclusiveness during onboarding and into the future.

Discuss and arrange any necessary adjustments like flexible work arrangements, ICT requirements, facility access or ergonomic requirements. Explore funding options available through JobAccess.

Establish a mentoring or buddy system within your immediate team, and outside the team (for example to connect with others of similar backgrounds and experiences), as well as available employee networks.

Be respectful of when and how your new employee wants to share information about themselves. Let them decide and share as they feel comfortable.