By Vinda Souza, Vice President, Global Communications, Bullhorn
Despite progress made in increasing workplace diversity, including particularly impressive work by recruiters on an individual level, there is still progress to be made organisationally. For this important work, we need a coordinated approach from all stakeholders, including recruiters. Fortunately, data shows that recruiters are willing to take on the challenge to improve their systems so they can bring in the most talented people, regardless of their demographics.
Recruiters' achievements so far have been heartening, but it is important to understand the scale of the problems that workplace diversity efforts seek to combat. We gathered data on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and demographics from 2,000 recruiters as part Bullhorn's 2021 Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID), and here are some of our findings.
Diversity within recruitment boardrooms
The research found that among responding firms, women make up 65% of employees and 35% of C-suite leadership. Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) professionals make up 27% of the workforce and 14% of leadership. More specifically, BIPOC women make up 16% of the workforce and 4% of leadership.
Some may argue that there is lower turnover in C-suites and that more diverse candidates will trickle up over time, but this alone isn't enough. There is absolutely no shortage of talented, skilled women and BIPOC recruitment professionals who would be ideal for leadership positions and recruiting firms will benefit from bringing their voices into the boardroom.
Diversity initiatives within recruitment firms
Almost half of the agencies surveyed told Bullhorn that they have some sort of DEI initiative in place – 6 percent have one for candidates, 22 percent have one internally, and another 22 percent have both.
When done well, DEI initiatives can go a long way to fostering diversity within an organisation, which can help clients think more broadly about their hires. Businesses that experience the benefits of a true diversity-focused culture will impress increasingly diversity-concerned clients.
More than half of the respondents told us that either "some" or "most of" their clients requested a shortlist of diverse candidates. Interestingly, client demand for diverse shortlists was unaffected by the pandemic, indicating an unwavering commitment to diversity.
Delivering on client's diversity demands might be challenging due to lack of diversity within current talent pools, which 44% of recruiters reported as an issue. The good news is that, except for some fixed qualifications, talent pools aren't static, unchangeable things; recruiters can expand them and bring in candidates from traditionally overlooked groups, such as returning mothers and veterans. Businesses will reward firms that succeed in these efforts.
Continuing on the path to a more diverse workplace
Recruiters and agencies must be commended for the work they have done, as the industry is more diverse and welcoming than ever before. Simultaneously, we must recognise that there is still a long way to go and commit to continuing this vital work.