When you are looking to fill a role, you hope that a range of appropriately-qualified, experienced candidates will apply, giving you a choice of high-calibre individuals to choose from and hopefully resulting in the best person for the job.
However, some sectors are finding that they are not receiving the quality of applications they were looking for, and that there is not a lot of diversity in the pool of applicants.
This may be for several reasons but, more and more, people looking for their next career move are considering D&I as an important factor in their search. According to Glassdoor, nearly 70% of job seekers say it is important to them that the company has a diverse workforce.
Companies that are not prioritising D&I, not offering flexible working or outwardly appear to hire the same types of people, might be missing out on an untapped pool of talent. If they want to attract the best people, then they really need to prioritise their D&I strategy and initiatives; it is not enough simply to publish the obligatory gender pay gap on the website once a year.
When it comes to hiring for senior positions, a lack of role models in the company can be a hindrance. This may be in terms of age, ethnicity, gender or disability for example, and if potential recruits don’t see people like themselves working for you then they may be discouraged from applying.
In an Investment Week article, Justin Onuekwusi from LGIM said he believed ‘the issue of diversity (or lack thereof) is self-perpetuating, and is resulting in many new recruits bypassing senior roles in the sector’. He said: “I know individuals who have refused to apply for a [senior] role because they do not see people who look and sound like them in that role or at a firm. They ask themselves ‘do they belong at the companies they work at?’ Do they feel a sense of belonging?”
This is where organisations may be missing out on top talent, or losing them to more diverse competitors. Only by looking at the existing workforce and prioritising D&I – working towards a more inclusive culture, looking at the diversity of the leadership team and ensuring equal opportunities for career development – can a company be best-placed for recruiting the best candidates.
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