Beyond the Data: Do the Diversity Hiring Numbers Really Add Up?

Whilst strides have been made to improve diversity within hiring, behind positive metrics, discrepancies often persist in how diverse talent advance through the recruitment process. 

There is a wealth of research indicating that candidates from underrepresented groups still encounter disparities in their progression through recruitment processes compared to their counterparts. This highlights ongoing challenges in achieving equitable opportunities for all candidates. Some key examples include: 

  • Candidates from ethnic backgrounds needing to send 74% more applications to receive a positive response from an employer, compared to White British candidates, indicating bias influencing CV screening decisions. 
  • White NHS nurses being twice as likely to be promoted compared to black and Asian nurses, demonstrating the poor representation for diverse ethnic groups in this sector.
  • Women only make up 34.3% of leadership roles in FTSE 100, despite research showing that companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.
  • The employment rate for white people in the UK is currently 77%, whereas it is just 69% for all other ethnic groups combined.

The point is not to cast stones, but to highlight statistics which are still disproportionately derailing diversity through the earlier stages of recruitment and progression.

Before celebrating diversity hiring improvements, organisations must examine the discrepancies that may be affecting applicants’ progression. Whilst increased percentages are a great sign of a step forward; it may be representing the numbers that have passed through what may still be biased funnels. 

So, where should organisations start to diagnose and resolve issues that may marginalise people? Some early steps could include:  

  • Auditing existing recruiting processes through an equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens to pinpoint roadblocks. This could include analysing applicant demographics and reviewing job descriptions for biased language.
  • Broadening sourcing channels to tap into previously overlooked talent pools.
  • Consulting on minimal qualification requirements that may be disproportionately deterring certain groups of applicants.
  • Assessing the selection process for adverse impact.
  • Creating awareness on unconscious bias amongst hiring decision-makers and training them on measures to minimise its impact.
  • Tracking granular recruitment metrics highlighting diversity discrepancies.
  • Continuously refining the hiring funnel towards equitable access and outcomes.

Partnering with recruitment organisations who ‘get it’ can make a real difference; providing invaluable support impartially.  

Omni offers specialised consulting, advice, and training to help organisations realise the benefits of diversity and inclusion at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Our assessment specialists also work in partnership with organisations to develop and deliver assessment processes that meet your EDI goals and focus.  
However, it does not only rest with recruitment and assessment. Inclusion is about creating a sense of belonging within an organisation. In our latest webinar, our Head of Training discusses how inclusive leadership can foster a culture of belonging, which you can watch here

The path towards equity in recruitment may be a long one for many organisations, but expert partnerships can help spot problems early, while offering tested solutions tailored to each company’s culture and goals. Get started today; contact Omni using the form below and a member of our EDI team will be in touch. 

T: 0161 929 4343