The REC policy team went down to the GG2 Diversity Conference last week, organised by the Asian Media Group. The conference, now in its third year, was launched to share insights on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and society. Chaired by BBC’s Clive Myrie, this year’s theme explored what recruiters and employers can do to drive change. Here are three takeaways from the conference:
Acknowledge the Bias
Unconscious bias in the recruitment process can severely impact an employer’s efforts in achieving diversity. Recruiters can play a key role in helping clients acknowledge the bias which exists in their current recruitment process, and support them to remove it.
Employers in turn should be open to change and addressing any bias which exits. Studies have found that more diverse teams outperform less diverse teams. Having teams comprised of people from different backgrounds prevents groupthink and increases the chances they will find different solutions to problems.
Although it is tempting to rely on AI to eliminate bias in the recruitment process, employers should be mindful of the limitations of such tools. The REC is participating in the work of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) who are exploring the extent of algorithm bias in the recruitment process.
Consider Mental Health
Research from the REC’s report on mental health, Employee Wellbeing Research: How employers, CEOs and government are driving new agendas, found that mental wellbeing was the number one concern for UK employers. Over 300,000 people a year leave their jobs due to ill health. Employers should work to ensure that organisations are a safe place for current and prospective employees to be opened about their mental health.
Finding a new job can be emotionally draining for candidates – to mitigate against this recruiters can seek to simplify the process as well as communicating with the candidate throughout.
Make sure your recruitment process is accessible for disabled candidates
Beyond the obvious, like ensuring ramp access for interviewees, there are other things recruiters and employers can do to support disabled people during the recruitment process. For example, special attention should be given to online job adverts to make sure they are accessible to those with visual impairments.
Initiatives like Disability Confident act as a key enabler, providing employers and recruiters with the support they need to become more inclusive. The scheme also helps talented disabled candidates identify employers who are committed to equality in the workplace. The REC is a proud supporter and recognised Disability Confident employer. Since its inception we have been working with government to promote it to members. Creating a future jobs market that works for all was a core theme of our Future of Jobs report. Members can sign up to Disability Confidence here.
The REC has published a guide on how to push inclusion and diversity. You can download a copy of Increasing opportunity, supporting growth: The role of good recruitment in gender diversity here.