Things your recruiter should be doing to improve your Diversity & Inclusion

5 things your recruiter should be doing to improve your D&I strategy 

We’ve spoken a lot about diversity and inclusion (D&I) over the past 12 months. We’ve spoken about how companies can improve their internal strategies and create incredible workplace cultures with these three elements at their core.

Whether it’s tweaks to your diverse candidate attraction and recruitment process, breaking down barriers for underrepresented groups to reach their potential, promoting better office inclusivity, these are all hugely important, relevant issues our client base is dealing with daily.

Understanding how intersectionality can impact your employees’ experience is vital.

They’re issues that we’re focusing on internally at Digital Republic too. We’ve spent a lot of time working on our own D&I strategies and how we can create the right environment for our teams.

Going on this journey ourselves got us thinking about the role suppliers play in the topic of their client’s D&I goals; in particular, the role of the recruitment agency.

 

As a supplier that businesses trust and embed in their own recruitment processes, recruitment agencies should be working with them to achieve these goals as an extension of their team. The best agencies are the ones who understand the role they play in this journey and who don’t simply present the same type of candidates from the same backgrounds and experiences time and time again.

So, when speaking to recruitment agencies about enlisting their help, or indeed when speaking to those you’re currently working with, why not find out if they follow any or all of these practices:

1. Their staff are aware of the challenges

A great starting point is to find out whether the agency is active in empowering their staff with knowledge around diversity and inclusion. 

Does the team receive training on the topic and the challenges? Do they engage with the market on the issues? Are their team encouraged to develop their understanding of what’s happening within their talent market?

 

2. They create inclusive job adverts

Recruitment agencies should understand that using gender-coded language can be off-putting to certain demographics and should work with you to create engaging adverts that are applicable to everyone. 

They might do this through using decoding software or simply by having the awareness that this is an issue for applicants.

3. They continuously build a diverse talent pool

Their teams understand that different factors will impact where a candidate searches for their next role, so they don’t focus their efforts in just one place.

They look out for networking and skill-specific groups tailored towards talent from underrepresented backgrounds and are frequently engaging with the market through referrals and building relationships.

 

4. They understand that unconscious bias creeps in

Importantly, they understand the importance of removing it from the recruitment process. You’ll want to engage with an agency

 that has knowledge and experience in running searches for clients in different ways using different tools or processes and can be flexible to your business.

Whether it’s through ‘blinding’ CVs, removing certain information, or working with you to rethink your interview process, they understand the points at which unconscious bias creeps in and have the ability to create a level playing field for you.

5. They’re authentic in their actions

Perhaps the most important of all is that you find a recruitment partner with a genuine desire to help you get your recruitment right and who wants to work closely with you on this journey.

Find out about what they’re doing internally and the challenges they’re facing. If the agency isn’t focusing on it themselves, ask yourself whether they’re in a position to offer advice and guidance to you or understand what you’re trying to achieve.

 

There are all sorts of things to look out for when engaging with your next recruitment partner or supplier. For us, it’s about finding those who align with our own goals as a business.

We’ve also loved partnering with companies who are passionate about their D&I strategies and taking positive action to become a better employer.

 

If you’re starting out on your journey and would like some advice on what we’ve done for many others, or if you need some support finding brilliant diverse talent, then please don’t hesitate to speak with the team!

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