The Hays Diversity & Inclusion 2019 report has found over half (52 per cent) of professionals believe their chances of being selected for a job have been lowered because of an ‘identifying factor’. More than nine in ten (91 per cent) professionals with black heritage and 81 per cent with Asian heritage believe their chances of selection for a job have been reduced because of their ethnicity. This is compared to only 18 per cent of those with white British heritage.
Age is another significant perceived inequality, as 83 per cent of those aged 55 and over feel their selection chances have been restricted. Women are more than twice as likely to feel their chances of selection are lowered due to their gender identity than men (42 per cent and 18 per cent respectively), as are members of the LGBTQ+ community (41 per cent) and people with disabilities (37 per cent).
Knowing that an employer uses blind recruitment in their selection process gives two thirds (66 per cent) of professionals more confidence that they will be fairly considered. Despite this, only 23 per cent say their organisation uses blind recruitment techniques. 81 per cent of people with Asian heritage and 75 per cent of those with black heritage feel more confident in an organisation which implements blind recruitment, as do 72 per cent of females surveyed.
Alongside blind recruitment, 78 per cent of respondents believe introducing diverse interview panels will have a significant impact on the selection and hiring of diverse talent. Currently, only 43 per cent of organisations implement this.
A technique used more widely (66 per cent of organisations) is a structured interview process, which almost four in five (79 per cent) believe would have a positive impact on diverse hiring. Many organisations, however, fall down when it comes to adjusting tests and assessments to make them fair for disabilities. 82 per cent think this would have a positive impact, but less than half (45 per cent) have adapted their assessments accordingly.
“It’s clear from our research that despite greater awareness of the impact of unconscious bias, most professionals still feel their chances of being chosen for a job have been hindered based on identifying factors, particularly when it comes to ethnicity,” said Yvonne Smyth, group head of diversity & inclusion at Hays. “Our findings indicate that in order to address this, employers need to look at the beginning of their recruitment process and consider implementing blind recruitment techniques as well as diversifying their interview panels.”