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Many organizations claim they support diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI). Some, however, have yet to grasp that ensuring DEI is part of the hiring process is one of the keys to success.

What is DEI?

Effective diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies involve taking active steps to ensure that people with different ethnicities, genders, abilities, cultures, and personalities have representation, opportunity, and support in the face of historical and structural bias. DEI isn’t about box-ticking.

It’s about delivering transparent and meaningful change that embraces all workers and makes them feel they’re an essential part of an organization.

The Skills Gap

Back in April, we released part 1 of our multipart “Future of Work” survey into the growing challenge of finding the right candidates.  Undertaken in conjunction with independent research firm Dynata, the survey revealed that UK hiring plans are up while skill shortages are greater. 87% of UK companies said they’re finding it hard to fill positions, with a third believing that the skills gap is widening. Companies across the UK told us that recruiters have to search harder and wider for talent, unlocking the untapped potential to fill the skills gap.

It makes good business sense, therefore, to ensure all candidates, irrespective of race, gender, or other characteristics are fully considered in the recruitment process. Today, DEI isn’t an optional extra but a crucial part of being a modern business. In the second part of our “Future of Work” survey, we asked over 3,000 recruitment, talent acquisition, and HR professionals about their views on the importance of embracing difference in order to attract talent.

Embracing Difference

40% of organizations who took part in the survey said that candidates expect more than ever to learn about a company’s plans to become more diverse, while 70% expect companies to be open about the diversity of their workforce. Recruiters increasingly recognize that DEI is a factor in attracting the right talent – and that the talent wants to know about a company’s DEI efforts. 45% of employers believe that building a diverse workforce is a priority to retain existing talent and attract new employees.  And perhaps surprisingly, we found that nearly two-thirds of employees (62%) would reject a job offer from an organization with a culture that didn’t support diversity.

The world of recruitment, like the rest of society, has faced a reckoning in recent years with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) pushed to the fore. Our survey found that nearly a quarter of organizations already include diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment practices. In addition, 30% are seeking to encourage greater diversity in leadership positions.

However, diversity isn’t what you say; it’s about what you do – so it’s encouraging to see that 40% of businesses are building DEI into recruitment processes and strategies. It isn’t just the right thing to do ethically – it benefits the company, the workforce, and the communities we operate in. It’s an ongoing task, and companies recognize they have more to do. it’s concerning, however,  that just 19% of employers have strategies to engage the neurodiverse. It’s an area that needs focus and action for employers, or they risk missing out on those with unique talents.

Organizations are beginning to understand that differences are not necessarily negatives and are starting to value a diverse range of views and voices, from people with disabilities of whom only half are in work, including neurodiverse people (for example autism – only 22% of autistic adults in the UK are in any kind of employment), says the report.

Good Communication is Vital

Many organizations are now ensuring they communicate HR policies on inclusiveness so that applicants can understand the culture of a potential new workplace even before they consider applying for a role. According to the research, globally, 86% of employees consider diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) critically important. And employers are taking the hint, with 45% believing that building a diverse workforce is a priority to retain existing talent and attract new employees.

The survey found that organizations that prioritize DEI use this as a mechanism to attract talent and fill the skills gap. However, only 8% of employers say DEI initiatives are in the top three changes they are making to attract new employees, although this may also reflect that they feel they already have robust processes in place.

Recommendations based on the report

Monster recommends that to create an open and welcoming workplace for neurodivergent workers organizations should:

  1. Take time to understand any specific needs. During your recruit’s induction week, take time to sit down and find out what their needs and difficulties are. Treat these as a benefit, not a burden.
  2. Apply to the “Access to Work” scheme. Employers can access grant funding to support disabled people starting or staying at work.
  3. Be flexible and ready to adapt. Employers who are flexible and prepared to adapt are more likely to experience the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.

Monster’s Top Tips for making DEI a priority in recruitment are:-

  • Start by looking inward: listen to your staff and learn from their experiences. Use data to spot trends, but don’t stop there. Use the lived experience of colleagues to help you shape DEI policies and set priorities.
  • Create more inclusive job descriptions: writing job adverts that focus on skills, attitude, and approach is critical to engaging talent. Don’t revert to cliché, but create job descriptions that engage and inspire applications from those with the skills to succeed.
  • Highlight commitment to DEI: if you’re doing great things, let people know. Your stance on DEI is a source of competitive advantage, so use it. Publicize benefits, policies, and processes that show what you’re doing.
  • Be transparent: employees want to know you’re making progress, so be transparent with successes and highlight challenges. Every organization can – and should – do more.
  • Audit the hiring process: diversity isn’t what you say but what you do – so ensure inclusive hiring processes are embedded at every level. From the application to the interview, your staff should recognize and respect differences.
  • Revitalize the talent pipeline: engage with new groups, advertise in new places, or work with experts to find candidates with the skills you need.
  • Don’t stop at inclusive hiring: companies serious about DEI ensure there’s support at every step for new hires and existing staff. Leadership and development programs support underrepresented talent from early career entrants to the boardroom. Staff should be free to share their views, and employers must listen to their voices.

Overall, we’re encouraged to see employers making changes to create a positive working environment that recognizes and rewards differences, because, in the end, we all benefit. Our survey shows that an open and accepting culture, and the policies to back it up, are critical to attracting the best talent.

By Claire Barnes, Chief Human Capital Officer at Monster and Global HR Lead, Randstad Enterprise Group. 

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Sally Fletcher
Sally Fletcher

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Sally Fletcher
December 12, 2023

I would highly recommend agilis recruitment to anyone looking for work. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Chris, who matched the skills I have to an opportunity I was unable to refuse. He was professional and knowledgeable, but also friendly and down to earth. With quick response times, he was able to answer every question I had about the role whilst selling my skills and personality to the company before I had even met them. The input form Chris throughout the process, not only made everything easier but also it took the pressure off massively. I am very grateful. Thank you.

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December 11, 2023

Chris has done a great job for me. It's most refreshing to have a recruiter that both understands the role being recruited and listens to the candidate's requirements and concerns. Top marks!

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December 2, 2023

It was great to work with Chris at Agilis to find my new role. He was always on hand to guide me through the process and make sure I was fully briefed prior to each interview. I would happily use Chris to find me a job... although I'm very happy where I am now! M-W Kelly

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May 15, 2023

Chris from Agilis recruitment was fantastic. Professional and friendly; from providing the role, to the level of contact throughout the process.

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Edd was great, I had some bad experiences with recruiters whilst looking for a new role but Edd restored my faith!

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March 29, 2023

Chris at Agilis was professional throughout the entire process and was always available to discuss any concerns. He also made sure to only flag roles that I would have a genuine interest in. Thanks again Chris!

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March 1, 2023

Chris Ellsworth was my recruiter and I was greatly impressed with the level of his assistance throughout the process from start to finish. He provided me with job role applications that were personalised to me based on what I told him I was looking for. If there was any confusion, I was always able to contact him throughout the whole process and ask for clarification which he would then, always happily give. Chris genuinely made me feel that he wanted me to get the role as much as I did and helped me with every step on the way.

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May 24, 2022

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. Found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way. Thank you so much for the support Ed.

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May 10, 2022

Had a great experience with Agilis Recruitment. Ed helped me find the perfect role for me in a great business. He also was very professional, cooperative but most importantly, understood what was important to me and listened to what I was looking for. Thank you Ed!

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Arthur Guide
February 25, 2022

Amazing experience with Agilis, a professional company. I have no words to thank Edward. He found a great role for me.

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Miles Jarvis
February 5, 2021

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. It was great to have a recruiter who understands exactly what his clients are looking for in a candidate. 5 stars!

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February 2, 2021

Ed was great, found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way, solid agency

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May 27, 2020

Laura is a lovely individual and easily the best recruiter I have ever worked with: proactive without being pushy, professional without lacking sincerity, and most importantly, she genuinely cares about her clients. She was incredibly conscientious in understanding my background and aspirations, and matched me with a role I WAS really excited about. I knew I was in good hands from our very first conversation – and I am happy to say I am a month into my new job and loving it!

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April 21, 2020

I worked with Ed when securing my role. It was a massive step in the direction I wanted to move my career in and Ed was pivotal in making that happen. I liked that right from the start he was not pushy, he listened to what I had to say and feedback and he kept in regular contact without bombarding me, using the most suitable form of messaging whether it be LinkedIn, Email or a Phone Call. I would highly recommend Ed and the guys at Agilis - keep up the great work guys!

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March 30, 2020

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March 23, 2020

Have found Agilis recruiting fantastic. Cannot rate them highly enough! Give them a go for all recruitment needs!

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Harry Ray
March 20, 2020

Laura and Ed at Agilis helped me get placed last year, and Laura was exceptionally accommodating and patient, calling me outside of hours when it was convenient for me and keeping me in the loop about everything that was going on. I'm happy with my role and feel like the guys at Agilis really put time and effort into their work -- thank you!

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March 20, 2020

My experience with Agilis has been great. I found Laura to be incredible helpful and always ensured she remained in contact with me throughout my job search. Thankfully I managed to find a new job through Agilis and the company has turned out to be everything that they told me the it would be! 5 Stars from me!!

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March 19, 2020

Great experience with Agilis. Following relocating to Bristol I’d found myself having conversations with a couple members of the team. I’d expressed how important it was for me to find the right role but also due to circumstance I needed the process to be accelerated as much as possible. Laura was my main point of contact and managed to find me the best role I’ve ever had in what must be record time. I couldn’t rate their work higher and will definitely be my first point of contact when looking for new opportunities. Thanks again!

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March 19, 2020