Diversity & Inclusion – A Positive Approach in Recruitment
Diversity in the company should not be a foreign concept in this modern time. Highly credible researchers have shown that it makes an organisation more effective, successful and more profitable. In a recent survey among CEOs around the globe, 87% of them would like to increase talent diversity and inclusiveness. However, despite this encouraging number, there are still some companies who hesitate to embrace diversity into their workplace.
Countries around the world have tried to confront this sensitive issue in their own way. For example, in the United States, 2018 was marked with social media triggered human rights movements like #MeToo where the topic of gender equality in the workforce was covered. In Europe, the United Nations delivers continual awareness for cultural diversity and women empowerment through publications and public events like those seen in UN Day 2018.
Fundamentally, diversity among the workforce adds value to the company as it presents managers with a greater range of talent. Human Resource Professionals see the great potential in this as it eliminates biased restrictions like gender and ethnicity when searching for future candidates. Furthermore, with the use of analytical tools and data, HR teams can fairly base their findings with reference to diversity in the workplace trends like leadership succession planning where methods are developed to identify women and minorities as potential successors for key positions. Diversity also helps to give insight on the needs or wants of workers and this way managers can be one step further in keeping the staff fully engaged.
The recruitment industry has benefited well from a diverse approach in its workforce market. In the years past, the industry suffered from alleged cases of discrimination. In fact, in the United Kingdom, a survey concluded that only 8% of women mentioned that they have never experienced gender bias in their workplace. Fortunately, recruitment agencies have since changed their ways, hereby, shining a more positive light for agencies in the market. This was partly done by recruiters prioritizing quality over quantity when it came to choose their candidates, accepting a more unbiased gender approach.
Women working in the recruitment field have been beneficial for firms as they give practical support in developing, attracting and retaining talent. This positive image shows a firm’s commitment to exercise gender equality for future clients and candidates, all the while building and securing a strong relationship with them.
To get a better insight on this concept, we spoke briefly with the women of STRAMMER across Europe about their experiences working in the recruitment field and how they are adding exceptional value to the company.
“Back in the day, most consultants working in the recruitment firms were men in their forties or so and were very often from their client’s industry. Many offices made this their own internal recruitment standard. So, I would have had to wait about fifteen years to apply as a consultant in such firms.” “…Some companies still prefer men [over women] or even disregard hiring female candidates because of obstacles like maternity leave, for example. As a woman, it is particularly difficult for me to hear such remarks, even more so to adhere to them.”
When asked about the type of values that women contribute to the recruitment field, this is what Kahina Senhadj , Country Manager Benelux and Penny Sadler , Client Partner Medical Device EMEA, both at STRAMMER, had to say;
Kahina: “…Listening skills… it’s the first criterion for a recruiter. You need to listen to your clients and candidates and so on. Women tend to be better in human relations. We have much more empathy.”
Penny: “We [women] are far more perceptive and look beyond the first impression. We can better assess the ‘soft’ skills. Also, I think that we process potential candidates with fewer prejudices and preconceptions.”
Developing an inclusive business culture is useful as it benefits the companies by creating a collaborative approach amongst a diverse workforce. Such an approach means that employers can include and engage with staff at all levels of seniority to encourage creative and innovative thinking. Executive Chairman of STRAMMER, David Mercier, , mentioned his view on staff integration; “The more you support and engage with employees, the more they will be loyal to the company. When employee’s professional well-being is valued, they will not only execute their tasks, but they will be willing to bring new ideas to the table.”
Moreover, to maintain an unbiased working environment in recruitment firms, some organisations have been put into place. For example, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies Initiative (APSCo) sponsored by Barclays and Squire Patton Boggs is a professional body that represents the interests of recruitment organisations. Their aim is to inform and advise such companies on any issues on gender equality as well as develop a professional brand of excellence in the practice of diversity and inclusion.
To conclude, although it is reassuring to see that some managers are ready to embrace diversity in their workplace, there are still others that are not so willing. In contemporary times, all companies must invest time to maintain and improve a better work-life balance and environment in their space to reap rewarding benefits, both financial and social.
- The Mistake Companies Make When They Use Data to Plan Diversity Efforts, April 2019, HBR
- Winning the fight for female talent How to gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment. PWC
- Why Workplace Diversity Is So Important, And Why It’s So Hard To Achieve, Aug 2018, Forbes
- Gender Equality, Geographic Diversity among Workforce Key to United Nations Credibility, Fifth Committee Hears in Debate on Human Resource Management, 2016, UN
- Europe, data and diversity — and HR’s own changing role, February 2019, FT
- The Recruitment Revolution Manifesto, 2018, RulerRecruitment
- Soft Is The New Hard (As In Skills), And Women Lead The Way, March 2011, Forbes.
- Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment, ENEI