Applicant demographic data provides a wealth of information that your organization can use to assess your diversity and inclusion goals using the Pipeline by Demographic Report. Greenhouse Inclusion allows your organization to customize demographic questions that are included in custom demographic question sets

To learn more about data and reporting as it relates to diversity and inclusivity research, please click here. In this article we will cover how to do the following for an existing demographic question set:


Create a Custom Demographic Question 

Custom demographic questions are created from the Custom Demographic Question Sets panel on the Inclusion page. To add a new question, click the name of any custom demographic question set. 


From the Edit Custom Demographic Questions page for the question set, navigate to the Custom Questions panel and click Add Custom Question at the bottom of the page.


In the provided panel, input a question and answer options (to add additional answer options, click + Add Option). Please see the below section on how to add a self-describe answer option for a custom demographic question. Use the Question Type dropdown to define if candidates can provide one response only (single select), or if candidates can choose to select several responses for the question (multi select).

When you are finished, click Done to add the custom question to your list of demographic questions. To reaffirm the addition/change, click Save.

Note: Custom demographic questions can be configured with either multi select or single select responses.



Add a Self-Describe Option For Custom Demographic Question

Self-describe answer options allow applicants to define their demographic details in their own words. When creating custom demographic questions, you can insert this option by selecting + Add Option to Self-Describe.


Allows candidate to self-describe will appear under the answer option field to indicate that the response will be a self-describe option.

Note: Be sure to give the self-describe answer option field a name that communicates to the applicant a text field will appear when selected.


When you have finished creating the question, click Done to add the custom question to your list of demographic questions. To reaffirm the addition/change, click Save.


Make Custom Demographic Question Required

To make a custom demographic question required, check the box next to Mark as required


Marking a custom demographic question as required will automatically add an answer choice for I don't wish to answer. Use the provided dropdown to select the language in which you would like this option to appear. The following languages are supported: 

  • English
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Vietnamese
  • Chinese

Note: The I don't wish to answer option cannot be edited or removed.


Repeat this process on each custom demographic question you wish to make required. 

If at least one custom demographic question in a set is marked as required, the External Description for the question set also will become required. We recommend using this field to explain to candidates why it is important for your company to collect the requested information and how you plan to use it. 

To add or edit the description, scroll to the top of the Edit Custom Demographic Questions page and click into the External Description field. Greenhouse imposes a minimum character limit of 100 characters to encourage your team to add a thoughtful description.


Questions marked as required will be required on the Candidate Survey and/or the job post based on your organization's custom demographic question settings. 


Custom Demographic Question Management Best Practices 

When editing custom demographic questions, special care must be taken when it comes to editing answer options. Changing answer options will affect the historical integrity of previous responses in the Pipeline by Demographic report.

For instance, if 50 applicants select Woman as a response to a question but later that answer option is changed to Prefer not to say, the Pipeline by Demographic report will incorrectly display this historical data and associate it with an inaccurate answer choice.

If your edits to an answer option does not change the underlying assumption of the answer option (i.e. spelling and/or grammar), you should edit the answer directly.

If your edits will change the intended meaning or underlying assumption of the answer option (i.e. changing an answer option from Man to Woman), it is encouraged to first remove the answer option. This will preserve historical responses that selected this answer option for later reporting.


With the answer option's historical data preserved, you can add a new answer option if necessary. When you have finished creating the question, click Done to add the custom question to your list of demographic questions. To reaffirm the addition/change, click Save.