Importance of diversity in recruitment

Importance of diversity in recruitment
Importance of diversity in recruitment

posted 22 Mar 24

In the past decade or so, more and more employers have recruited with diversity and inclusion in mind.

Having recruited for the legal sector for over ten years, I’ve witnessed this shift across the wider professional services landscape. However, while we’ve come a long way from traditional recruitment practices, diversity and inclusion are still in short supply across almost all industries.

The Changing Workforce, and why Recruitment Needs Diversity and Inclusion

​The UK’s working population is changing and we now have four different generations of talent with diverse approaches to job-seeking and employment. Because of this, employers can’t pick and choose the best talent, but instead, the best talent picks and chooses who they work for based on their personal and professional preferences.

Research by KPMG backs up this claim as they found that permanent placements have hit a 17-month low. This is alongside a range of significant changes in how people apply for jobs, with research by Standout CV finding that 79% of job seekers have used social media to find job information. Recruiting Daily also found that almost 70% of job applications made in 2021 were made from mobile devices.

Since the most successful companies employ the most diverse people and ideas, your recruitment strategies may need to adapt to a changing environment if you want to attract the very best people.

The Absence of Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment Limits Access to Talented Individuals

​Despite the obvious benefits of a diverse workforce, many employers still opt for traditional recruitment procedures that result in biases towards certain applicants. This reduces innovation within the workplace and ultimately, stunts business growth.

We know this is the case because research by CSI found that applicants from a majority background received a call back 24% of the time, while minority background applicants had to send 60% more applications to receive the same number of call backs.

Unconscious bias can also have an underlying effect on your hiring process following the interview stage. Lauren Rivera from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management aptly summed up the issue by saying: “In the absence of concrete answers to interview questions and reliable predictors of future performance, assessors purposefully use their own experiences as models of merit.”

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion to Attract and Retain the Best Talent

​The BBC is leading the way when it comes to diversity and inclusion, having pledged to increase the number of ethnic minority staff conducting interviews and banning ‘all white’ shortlists for middle and senior-ranking roles. Steps like these could be worth considering if you’re a business owner looking to diversify your ranks and innovate.

Another company that has recently enhanced its employee value proposition is leading spirits company Diageo, which until recently, only provided a product allowance as their best employee benefit.

However, Diageo’s 4,500 employees across the UK will now be raising a glass to a new policy, open to men and women, granting them 52 weeks of parental leave – with the first 26 on full pay. This will not only attract better talent but is a fantastic form of employee retention.

Three Ways to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Recruitment Process

  1. Write inclusive job adverts

​The way you write your job adverts shouldn’t discourage certain candidates from applying and it won’t do any harm to mention that your business is embracing diversity and inclusion as part of its recruitment strategy. When it comes to the writing of job adverts, don’t list reels of experience requirements either, unless absolutely necessary, or you might exclude the perfect candidate who hasn’t had the right opportunity yet.

  1. Accept blind CVs from recruiters

​Accepting blind CVs is a significant stride towards a more diverse workforce and doing so means you can evaluate individuals based on merit alone. A technique that’s becoming more and more common, the tech world in particular has embraced blind CVS to attract the best staff and disregard any unconscious biases they may have.

  1. Appoint hiring decision-makers who represent diversity and inclusion

​Employers can benefit from appointing a diverse interview panel or a diversity champion to improve their recruiting process. Designing an evaluation that’s predictive of performance will also help hiring managers choose people based on competency levels, rather than denying people based on their culture or background.

We can Help you Execute a Diverse and Inclusive Recruitment Process

If you feel you aren’t doing enough regarding workplace diversity and inclusion in your workplace or to continue the conversation, email me at [email protected].