The final challenge in the fight for true diversity?

September 7, 2015

The true challenge of achieving diversity seems to lie closer to home for recruiters….

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are all hot topics for recruiters now.  And rightly so.  Not just morally, socially and all of those types of stances, but let’s be honest, commercially too.

Most clients are asking their recruiters what their policy is, asking them to evidence what they are doing to generate candidates from a diverse range and making it a cornerstone of their recruitment efforts.  In some cases you can’t get onto a supplier list without completing a rigorous review of your EDI.  And then there is the fact that if you find that elusive candidate who is diverse and wouldn’t have been found before, you have just got yourself a great placement and more importantly a fee.

Recruitment companies are responding to this.  Some are dusting off the policy, using fancy words and winging it.  Others are properly investing in it; I was fortunate to be part of a company a few years back that produced the first ever Annual EDI report in recruitment and this was a fine example of company “doing” diversity properly.

At the moment, the benefits for those companies who undertake diversity in a proper manner are not vastly outweighing the benefits for those who pay it lip service.  But it is changing and will continue to do so.  The focus is mainly on gender (women into technology type events) but things are moving in the right direction and I am confident that in the not too distant future we will have moved it forward.

I’ve been involved in diversity within recruitment since 2005/6 and I have seen huge (but organic and incremental) strides forward.  I am immensely passionate about EDI, for what it can bring to both business and society.

I wrote earlier on that all companies are asking for diversity when recruiting.  That is not quite true.  There is one industry sector who are seldom asked to evidence their diversity credentials.  That industry sector is the Rec2Rec market.

For those outside of recruitment a Rec2Rec is a recruitment agency who find recruitment consultants for other recruitment businesses (It’s irony and true capitalism personified).

Rec2Recs are possibly the key to delivering wider diversity across the UK; both a worrying and exciting prospect.

The only way a recruitment business can truly deliver diversity is through having a diverse staff base itself, and if the industry as a whole is not actively looking to see what it can do, then a kink is being developed.

Of course there are initiatives and I am not saying that the industry is failing to act, but it is certainly behind many other industries for which they recruit.  I’ve been doing some work with Rec2Recs recently and was astounded that this issue did not come up once for them when they were recruiting for a recruiter.  In fact the most diverse it seems to get is the supporting of working mothers who wish to work part time.  Again this is great and much needed, but is scratching the surface.

As more is demanded of recruiters from clients, so must recruiters demand more from their Rec2Recs and look to their own internal talent acquisition procedures.

The companies who embrace diversity now are surely the ones who will be getting the competitive advantage in the not too distant future.
It is certainly one of the reasons that as a marketing agency for the recruitment sector we are the only business to be Equality Assured.

Until more businesses achieve accreditations like this, especially within the recruitment industry, we will always be lagging behind……