Diversity is the #1 Recruitment Trend

by Ruaidhri Horan, Marketing Manager, Abrivia Recruitment

The LinkedIn Global Recruiting Talent Report 2018 listed diversity as the top trend shaping the future of recruiting, with 78% of respondents citing diversity as very/extremely important.

Where are diversity efforts focused globally?

The report found that the largest focus was on gender diversity. This was followed by racial/ethic diversity and then age/generational diversity. The next areas of focus were educational and disability diversity, whereas the least amount of companies focused on religious diversity (19%).

Diversity is “no longer a box that needs to be ticked” as 78% viewed diversity as a means of improving culture whereas 62% viewed diversity as a means of improving financial performance.

However, the report found that most companies fall short in regards their diversity goals. The main barriers to achieving these goals are finding diverse candidates to interview, retention of diverse employees, getting diverse candidates past interview stage and convincing diverse candidates to accept a job offer. One of the key findings is that there is no point of trying to attract diverse talent if your current culture does not espouse diversity. This mismatch will just end up with employees leaving.

How can your organisation attract diverse candidates?

LinkedIn recommends that along with employee stories, one should use inclusive language in job descriptions. For example, certain words in job adverts may put off female candidates as they sound too masculine and may unconsciously create a gender bias. Words such as aggressive, assertive, autonomous, courageous, competitive and self-confident are considered masculine orientated words, according to a study of thousands of job ads from University of Waterloo and Duke University. The most common female orientated words in UK job ads are supportive, responsible, understanding, dependable and committed (source: Total jobs).

However, it is hard as a recruiter/HR manager to know whether a job ad is gender biased. There are tools online such as the total job gender bias decoder which will tell you in a split second how many male gendered words or female gender words are contained in your ad copy.

According to McKinsey, diversity is good for business. They found that businesses which had most diversity at executive level (i.e. the top quantile ) were 33% more likely to have above average profitability than companies in the bottom quantile.