Break recruitment traditions, boost workplace diversity!

Jun 13, 2019

The benefits of having a diverse workforce can’t be understated.

Research tells us that companies made up of people with different backgrounds, skills and experiences perform far better than their less-inclusive counterparts. These companies are more innovative and creative, not to mention, more likely to attract and retain top talent.

But the ‘Breaking the Deadlock’ report from The 5% Club, cited by Personnel Today, argues that traditional recruitment practices are hampering diversity in the workplace.

So says The 5% Club, companies have to think ‘outside the box’ when recruiting if they wish to boost diversity, particularly when it comes to entry-level positions.

Honing-in on the issue, the report explains how just 11.3% of apprenticeship starts in companies are made by non-white applicants, and just 10% by people with disabilites or learning difficulties.

Though women make up more than half (54%) of apprentices, a meagre 8.1% of people enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programmes are female.

Leo Quinn, chairman of The 5% Club, says that the “diversity and inclusion deadlock can indeed be broken.” He urges companies to gather better data on diversity and make sure that they are inclusive and welcoming to people from all social backgrounds.

Kerr Office Group Diversity

The deadlock must be broken in order to address the skills gap currently plaguing our economy, stressed Quinn.

The deadlock must be broken in order to address the skills gap currently plaguing our economy, stressed Quinn.

The report shares some ways employers can make sure their recruitment and business practices encourage diversity.

These include:

  • Removing information such as names, gender, ethnicity and education from CVs.
  • Looking at how interviews are currently conducted and challenging the process.
  • Removing requirements from job descriptions that aren’t necessary – for example degrees where a degree is not required for the role.
  • Harnessing ‘reciprocal mentoring,’ where senior leaders are paired with younger workers from different backgrounds.
  • Ensuring websites and job adverts can be accessed by visually-impaired people, for example.
  • Providing personal coaching to middle managers from different backgrounds.

While employers are mainly responsible for taking proactive steps to boost workplace diversity, the government plays a part too, argues Quinn. He said the government must improve access to careers advice, focus on inspiring girls into STEM subjects, and set the precedent by boosting diversity among its own suppliers.

Do you have any tips for inspiring and increasing workplace diversity?

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