Diversity was highlighted as a success factor for any organisation at a recent event, hosted by WCN, the leading UK and global e-Recruitment software provider. Run in conjunction with International law firm Eversheds and The Clear Company, the free-to-attend breakfast seminar was aimed at recruiters and HR mangers.
The Clear Company, the UK’s leading auditor of inclusive best practices, who create better opportunities for people under-represented in the work place, revealed that 11 million people in the UK suffer from some form of disability. Six million people suffer from dyslexia, four million have vision or hearing impairments, three million are LGBT and 6.4 million have a responsibility of care, which together means that ‘diverse groups’ make up 70 percent of the UK workforce.
Mardi Smouha, Recruitment Business Partner, at Eversheds stated: “There is a fear factor surrounding this subject, with people so worried about it, they simply avoid the matter completely. This problem is not specific to the legal industry, but society as a whole. If fear is the only problem, we should just get over it and start communicating!”
Many companies continue to recruit more of the same people. This is typically because they have systemic problems at the very heart of their recruitment process; their e-recruitment solution, which could make them more open to all, has bias built in. By spotting where candidates drop out in real time, many can identify bias in the process and remedy it immediately.
Embedding good practices within an organisation and identifying the sources that generate the top diverse talent is a fundamental factor in the recruitment process. Smouha added: “We noticed that too much onus was placed on written skills rather than verbal skills during the process, so we made sure both routes where accessible by introducing a talking toolbar. The goal is clear communication between the candidate and employer, so the employer is better equipped at dealing with diversity in all its forms, which in turn will improve the candidate’s experience.”
The talking toolbar, developed by DiversityJobs.co.uk, speaks in over 20 foreign languages, enlarges text and changes colour contrast to make the Eversheds site more accessible to everyone.
Gareth Headley, Marketing & Commercial Director, at The Clear Company explained: “Diversity is not something organisations should be doing; it is something that is a business imperative. Many organisations start out with good intentions, but lack the knowledge, innovation and best practices to create the final output.
In 2011, research showed that 75 percent of candidates felt there was a lack of disability awareness from recruiters. Research from 2014 showed us that the number had risen to 79 percent, highlighting that organisational knowledge is still the biggest barrier to diverse recruitment. e-Recruitment systems can be used to make the process more anonymous, whilst also determining if a candidate has an impairment that might affect the interview process, which provides the employer with time to create a necessary solution. For every candidate there is a solution.”
Mark Houlihan, Business Development Manager at WCN, brought the event to a close: “Unconscious bias takes between 30-100 milliseconds to occur, in comparison to conscious bias which takes 300 milliseconds. e-Recruitment systems are able to monitor interviewers for bias, detecting if one is offering less roles to diverse candidates in comparison to colleagues, meaning their interview skills can be examined and training provided to remove this prejudice.
“Intelligent data is also crucial, because it allows recruiters to measure effectiveness, conversion rates, diversity levels and candidate location, reducing time and cost for hire.”