posted 01 Jun 23

Diversity and inclusion are factors that more candidates are looking for when they’re job hunting. In fact, over three quarters of job seekers (76%) say having a diverse workforce is an important factor when assessing potential employers and job offers.  

Diversity and inclusion are factors that more candidates are looking for when they’re job hunting. In fact, over three quarters of job seekers (76%) say having a diverse workforce is an important factor when assessing potential employers and job offers.  

If you’re looking for a new role, how can you ensure a prospective employer provides equal opportunities? Chris Pritchard, Managing Director at Search, shares his thoughts and advice on what candidates can do.  

Do your research

“A job description may not give you the full elements of a job or company,” says Chris. “You are going to get more of a sense of the role and the business from an interview. 

“But what candidates can do before an interview or when applying for a role is use platforms like LinkedIn to find out more information about the leadership of a company or the team they would be part of. 

“Look at their activity. Are they regular commenters or posters on inclusive topics? By looking at their posts, you can see the personalities of the individuals who are leading or working within the business and get a bit of a feel for whether it is the kind of company you’d like to join.”  

Chris also recommends looking at a company’s values and policies to gain a better understanding of the business. This is where working with a recruitment agency can further support your job hunt and research into a company.  

If a recruiter has put you forward for a job and you’re unable to find details of a firm’s policies and values online or they’re not readily available as part of a job application/interview pack, they can request the company to supply documents on your behalf. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Chris recommends having questions pre-prepared that you can ask at the end of an interview to find out more about a company’s equality, diversity and inclusion policies. For example, he suggests: 

  • ‘What’s your approach to diversity within the workplace?’ 
  • ‘Do you have a gender equality policy?’ 
  • ‘What is the culture of the team?’ 
  • ‘Can I see your offices?’ 

“Always remember that an interview is a two-way thing,” says Chris. “It is your opportunity to ask questions to ensure you’re getting the most out of the opportunity. 

“Even if you don't necessarily feel comfortable outing yourself if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, don't ever hold back from sharing that in the interview.”  

If you’re not told at the beginning of an interview or within communications beforehand whether you’ll have the chance to pose questions, Chris says don’t be afraid to ask.  

“What I would always say is that my advice to job seekers is to make sure that you show yourself as a candidate who has the right skills for the job,” he continues. “Talk about the various things you can bring to the business. Focus on equality first and diversity second when asking those questions. 

“If the person conducting the interview is not very forthcoming, looks flummoxed, or doesn’t know the answers, then these could potentially be red flags that you’re going to join a company that doesn’t necessarily have the best interests of a diverse workforce at heart. 

“Ultimately, if the company interviewing you can’t help you there and then, you’ll get a feel for whether or not they’re the right company for you.” 

Trust in Search     

If you’re unsure what to ask a potential employer, working with a recruitment agency like Search can help. Your dedicated recruitment specialist can help you prepare for an interview and work with you to ensure you feel confident and fully prepared. 

Support is always tailored to each candidate’s needs. It can include how to answer interview questions, as well as how to frame your specific queries and when to ask them.  

Chris explains, “If we are putting you forward for a role or if you've interviewed for a job, we can find out things on your behalf.   

“It might be a pre-interview question that we can ask for you. For example, we could say, ‘We've got an absolutely fantastic candidate for you that really has the skills you’re looking for. They’re in a same-sex relationship and were quite interested in hearing about your diversity and inclusion policies.’  

“Do use your recruiter to ask those questions. It’s for recruiters to feel empowered enough to respectfully speak to the relevant people within the organisations that they’re hiring for.”  

When you’re looking for a recruitment agency to support you with your job search, it’s important to find one that feels right for you and your career.  

“At Search, we have robust equality and diversity procedures,” adds Chris. “We’re committed to providing and supporting equal opportunities, including supporting women, people from the LGBTQ+ community, and ethnic minorities to progress into senior roles and leadership positions. 

“We recognise that the sectors we support are incredibly varied and are working towards having a more diverse workforce. It’s something we’re fully behind.” 

Working across more than 15 distinct specialisms, our recruiters are experts in their fields. With 17 offices spanning the whole of the UK, we can help you find the role that’s right for you – whether it’s permanent, temporary or contract work you’re looking for. Get in touch today for bespoke career guidance and support.