Think you’re an inclusive recruiter – think again

We all like to believe we are fair, inclusive and unbiased, especially when recruiting. But while you might think you’re an inclusive recruiter, your candidates might disagree.

Recent research from Accenture highlights a vast disparity between what employers think they’re doing and the reality experienced by candidates. And this perception gap dictates the type of candidates who apply to your vacancies, secure positions and last beyond the induction period – directly affecting the diversity of your workforce.

What is this gap, why does it exist, and what can you do about it? Let’s find out.

Employer perceptions vs candidate reality

We’ve all been there – ordering something big and expensive online that turns up small and cheap on your doorstep. But the workforce culture perception gap is far more alarming and harmful.

Recent research from Accenture shows that:

  • Two-thirds of leaders believe they create an inclusive environment; only one-third of employees agree.
  • 88% of leaders believe they offer everyone training and upskill opportunities; only 73% agree.
  • Workplace leaders believe only 2% of their employees feel excluded at work; in reality, 20% do.

And this perception gap begins long before an employee makes it to their desk. It starts during the recruitment process.

One in four candidates has experienced discrimination during recruitment – meaning that many companies who think they’re an inclusive recruiter aren’t.

This is a significant problem because the inclusivity of your recruitment process directly feeds into the diversity of your workforce and the openness of your culture. And an inclusive workplace isn’t just morally right; it’s a business advantage.

Why does the inclusivity perception gap still exist?

It’s a good question. Employers recognise the importance of a diverse workforce and are putting measures in place to drive equality – what’s going wrong?

Accenture’s research puts it down to the difference between caring and doing. Companies care about equality and are putting equal opps measures in place – but it’s not doing enough. For example, an open and welcoming culture is great, but if the wording of your job advertisements means that a disproportionate number of BAME candidates don’t meet the requirements, that culture isn’t doing anything – it’s just sitting there.

So, where are companies slipping up?

The most common areas of recruitment that let the perception of inclusivity slide are:

  • Job advertisements – using wording or phrasing that discourages certain groups from applying.
  • Job requirements – mandating essential skills that bars a disproportionate number of certain backgrounds from qualifying.
  • Job placement – using job boards that don’t reach candidates from all backgrounds.
  • Policies and opportunities – inflexible policies and career progression that simply don’t work for certain groups.
  • Salaries and benefits – pay scales and benefits packages that don’t foster equality.

Relevant reading: BAME, recruitment & job adverts – are you doing enough?

What can you do to close the inclusivity perception gap?

Accenture found that businesses with “culture makers” are successful at closing this gap and increasing business performance and profits as a result. These culture makers do three key things:

Saying – making inclusivity an organisational priority.
Doing – putting measures in place to increase inclusivity.
Driving – celebrating success and always pushing for a more inclusive culture.

And, while it’s important to have culture makers throughout your organisation, many benefit from external culture makers too.

For example, at Profile Resourcing, we work with businesses in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and beyond to attract diverse talent – fully supporting talent acquisition strategies with models to promote inclusiveness and attract a full range of workplace diversity.

If you’re interested to know whether the inclusivity perception gap exists in your resourcing processes, get in touch and we’ll discuss what you’re doing and how you can do it better.

About Profile Resourcing


Profile Resourcing is a diverse recruitment agency that helps businesses in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire improve inherent and acquired diversity.

Our relationship director, Jason Sinclair, works with senior leaders and HR managers to help them discover how to pipeline talent while ensuring there are no barriers to attracting diverse candidates.

If you want to learn more or speak with Jason, contact us.

No Comments

Post A Comment