The Secret to Finding Diverse Talent

Ruth Cooper, Managing Consultant of Equal Approach’s Professional and Executive Division has been invited to sit on the panel at the upcoming CIPR Equal Access Network Event to discuss the business benefits of diversity in PR, and give her expert opinion on ‘diverse recruitment’.

Ahead of the event, Ruth has decided to share the recruitment industries best kept secret, ‘The Secret to Finding Diverse Talent’…

A question I always get asked by a potential client is:

“How Do You Find Diverse Talent?”

This question always makes me wonder. Do clients think there’s a special pool of candidates hiding somewhere which I have secret access too, covering all of the nine protected characteristics and other diverse strands such as class and obesity?

It’s true, there are pools of talented individuals with difference out there and there are ways of attracting them, this is something Equal Approach have refined over the last decade and is one of our key assets as an inclusive recruiter. However, diverse candidates are accessible to every recruiter, you don’t need any expertise to find them or you might have already found them, but there might be barriers that you’re unaware of which are preventing them from progressing.

In essence, if you strip everything back, the real secret to finding diverse talent is being inclusive.

‘The Secret to Finding Diverse Talent is Being Inclusive’

You could have the best attraction campaign in the world, but if it, and you as a recruiter, aren’t inclusive, then those candidates won’t or can’t apply, it’s as simple as that.

There are numerous case studies about barriers in the recruitment process for candidates with difference, but I’ve chosen to refer to one that I heard at one of the Disability Confident conferences. In one organisation’s online recruitment process, candidates who declared a disability were automatically rejected. This wasn’t through any bad intentions by the employer, it was simply an error which had been overlooked in their online application process. Now this is obviously unacceptable and highly unethical, but the point I’m making here is; this organisation was successfully attracting candidates with disabilities, but as they weren’t inclusive, candidates with disabilities were prevented from progressing in the process.

Recruiters whether agency or in-house, need to be educated and trained about inclusivity, they need to understand their own biases and the fear factor of dealing with a diverse candidates needs to be removed. Candidates should be treated fairly and with respect, no matter what their background, they need to be confident that their recruiter is inclusive and that they won’t be passed over because of their recruiter’s own biases and. Candidates need to be able to work closely with their recruiter and need to feel comfortable in disclosing any reasonable adjustments they need in the recruitment process, or in explaining gaps on their CV due to illness or a career break.

Recruiting diverse talent is a huge area of interest for recruiters and employers, and it has received a lot of attention in the media lately, with Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo recently publishing their diversity statistics in the last week or so.

Book your free place for Thursday’s CIPR Equal Access Network event ‘Growing the talent pool: why diverse teams are vital for successful communications’ via Eventbrite.

About the Author

Ruth Cooper is the Managing Consultant for Equal Approach’s Professional and Executive recruitment division and was instrumental in its development.  Equal Approach champion candidates with difference, and support clients in the attraction, recruitment and retention of diverse talent.

Ruth proactively champions diversity across all levels of her client’s organisations through Equal Approach’s inclusive recruitment practices, and as a Managing Consultant, Ruth is also responsible for ensuring her team uphold the highest standards.  In addition to recruitment, Ruth also works on diversity, equality and inclusion project pieces for her clients, in order to further support their diversity agendas.

Ruth has almost 10 years’ experience in recruitment and HR, previously working as a Project Manager for recruitment, HR and L&D projects within the Financial Services, and her other recruiting experience spans across a variety of sectors.  Ruth has had exposure to recruitment on an international platform, having previously worked in Hong Kong for a number of years.

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