How the Department of National Defence Increased the Representation of Visible Minorities Within the Executive Cadre


Federal Departments & Agencies



Knockri participated in the Department of National Defence (DND)’s Visible Minorities Recruitment Campaign, making fundamental and lasting changes in support of Diversity and Inclusion through recruitment

Hours of interviews analyzed in 2 days
Increased Diversity in Shortlist
Candidate Experience Rating

The Challenge

The DND found that visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, and Persons with Disabilities were more likely than other groups to be dropped from its current hiring process. As part of its endeavour to address systemic racism across all departments, the Visible Minorities Recruitment Campaign was initiated to improve the representation of visible minorities within DND leadership. A secondary goal was to evaluate the use of Knockri’s platform against traditional hiring approaches and recommend improvements to the recruitment process.  

Visible minorities were screened out more often than other groups

Visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, and Persons with Disabilities experienced less success than other groups at the reference check stage

Black candidates made up 10% of job applicants but only 6.6% of those hired 

It is not that individuals in the designated groups are inherently unable to achieve equality on their own, it is that the obstacles in their way are so formidable and self-perpetuating that they cannot be overcome without intervention.

Royal Commission Report

The Knockri Solution​

A rendering of the Knockri assessment on three devices: a laptop, tablet, and mobile phone.

The Knockri Assessment was used to evaluate over 400 candidates across six Key Leadership Competencies (KLCs) used by the Government of Canada. Accommodations and extensions were granted as needed to ensure equity. After assessments were complete, a human validation process verified the accuracy of scoring and found that Knockri’s framework correlated with the KLCs.

In total, 232 hours of interviews were analyzed over the course of two days. Candidates were given the opportunity to review their experience, producing an average score of 4.4/5. 

The time has come for us to make major advances, not minor improvements. We have had several discussions and I know that you all share in this commitment which the Government and Canadians expect us to accomplish.

– I. Shugart Clerk of the Privy Council

The Outcome

Adapting traditional recruitment strategies to an automated interview assessment process enabled candidates to be evaluated based on skill, not by race, gender, or other characteristics that do not relate to job performance. The process also led to increased collaboration between HR and hiring managers and improved transparency and communication with candidates.

Black and Persons of Mixed Origins had the highest average score across all competencies

53% of successful candidates self-identified as women

Women of visible minority subgroups performed better than their male counterparts

This process represents a shift in thinking around hiring practices that allow for the prioritization of diversity and inclusion efforts. This is only the first step in ensuring hiring is equitable and fair across all candidates, regardless of demographic information.

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