The Hays Diversity & Inclusion 2019 report has found more than half (58 per cent) of professionals look for an organisation’s diversity and inclusion policies when researching a potential new employer. Findings based on over 5000 responses also indicated many professionals agree that a visible commitment to diversity would have a significant impact on attracting more diverse candidates, but close to two-thirds (62 per cent) find it hard or extremely hard to find evidence of these commitments. Professionals who look for this commitment most are those who work in business and professional services (67 per cent), banking (67 per cent) and education (63 per cent).
A commitment to diversity and inclusion is more of a priority to younger professionals, as just under two thirds (65 per cent) of those aged 25 years and under said they look for this when researching a potential new employer. Fewer jobseekers over 55 years said they also look for this commitment (55 per cent).
The survey also found that professionals in more senior positions place importance of profiling a commitment to diversity and inclusion in recruitment materials than those less senior. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of respondents at manager level or above said doing this would have a positive impact, compared to 66 per cent at junior level.
Although younger jobseekers care more about seeing a commitment to diversity and inclusion when researching a potential new employer, more experienced professionals recognise its potential in attracting a diverse range of talent.
In addition to displaying a commitment to diversity and inclusion, the survey also found that eliminating language bias is key to attracting diverse candidates. Over three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents believe that using unbiased language to describe vacancies and culture would have a positive impact, despite only 55 per cent of respondents saying their organisation does this. Even fewer (42 per cent) say their organisation has clearly defined, unbiased tone of voice guidelines.
Ensuring that a website or careers site effectively captures and accurately represents workplace culture was another area identified as impacting attraction of diverse candidates. While 74 per cent said this would have a positive impact, only 44 per cent agree that it actually happens at their organisation.
“Our findings highlight a clear gap where employers are not appealing to a diverse talent pool when hiring,” notes Yvonne Smyth, group head of equality, diversity and inclusion. “As so many candidates, particularly these new to the workforce, are looking for a clear commitment to diversity and inclusion from a potential employer, organisations are encouraged to take measures such as eliminating their language bias and promoting their commitment to fostering a diverse workplace via their website.
“We know that a more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace offer advantages such as improved customer orientation and service, innovation, productivity and more, so recruiting diverse talent and demonstrating your commitment to an inclusive workplace has never been more important for today’s employers,” Smyth says.