Every organisation I speak to has a diversity agenda. Generally, at a minimum, they are seeking greater female representation — particularly in senior leadership roles or typically under-represented job families such as STEM — but we work with businesses that actively consider diversity across a much broader arena.
Our recruitment teams are obviously a key part in assisting an organisation to achieve its diversity objectives, but where we see this work successfully is when the leadership team of that organisation is fully invested in the program and they drive that culturally through their teams. If hiring managers don’t believe in the importance of diversity, recruiters will simply be going through a futile ‘tick the box’ exercise.
Diversity KPIs in recruitment can absolutely help to drive outcomes, but they need to be carefully considered. Due diligence needs to be applied to check that the KPI is really helping to drive the right behaviours.
The first step for us when working with an organisation to help them achieve their diversity objectives is to undertake an audit of the recruitment process to ensure that the under-represented group we are trying to attract is given every opportunity to succeed.
This starts from the candidate sourcing stage: are we looking in the right places and are we taking the opportunity to the right groups?
Once we have candidates we have approached or who have applied, are they given the appropriate methods to be able to represent themselves? Are the hiring managers sufficiently trained in how to interview a candidate who may be from a minority group? Are we assessing the candidates in an appropriate way? Is the interview panel itself diverse?
Great recruitment teams absolutely impact diversity, but only when in partnership with a passionate business and a joint understanding of what objectives are trying to be met.