From education to employment

Nearly half of employers do not state interest in hearing from a range of diverse applicants in their job adverts, finds REC survey

hands on laptop

Many employers are failing to take basic steps to improve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in their hiring processes.

REC commissioned a survey of 167 employers of different sizes across the UK in June 2023 to ask about the EDI measures they take when recruiting. It is the second annual survey of employers on this topic by the REC.

Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said:

“Given the profile of equality, diversity and inclusion issues, it is disappointing to see so little action being taken by firms. While a slim majority of employers have reviewed the wording of their adverts, the overall picture suggests there is a lot still to do. Many employers remain either unconvinced about the importance of changing their approach or are relying on old adverts and approaches that will not serve them well. In doing so they also miss out on the business benefits of a diverse workforce, which are only enhanced by the tightness of our labour market now.

“Pressure to change must come from Boards and executives, as well as government and sector and trade bodies. We urge employers to turn to professional recruitment businesses who can advise them on how to devise and implement a strategy that gives them access to the widest possible talent pool. Inclusive organisations can be more creative, innovative and profitable because they can attract, hire and retain the best talent. Candidates are increasingly looking to work for organisations that have a positive impact on society – and effective diverse hiring policies are a key part of that.”

The REC survey found:

  • 60% of hirers have reviewed the wording of their job adverts to improve inclusion. Last year it was 54%.
  • But nearly half of respondents (49%) said they do not state their interest in hiring diverse candidates in their job adverts. This is roughly the same proportion as last year (48%).
  • Around two-thirds of respondents (67%) do not use name-blind CVs during selection. This is up on 53% of respondents in 2022 – a step backwards.
  • And more than half of respondents (56%) do not have a policy of using diverse interview panels. This has moved little from 2022 when 53% said they did not use diverse interview panels.

Despite their greater HR resources as compared to SMEs, larger firms perform only marginally better than SMEs. The survey showed that 41% of large employers (250-plus staff) do not state their interest in diverse candidates in their job adverts, 57% do not use name blind submissions and 48% do not use diverse interview panels. All three results are higher than reported by employers in our 2022 survey.

Related Articles