The UK procurement world has arguably never seen a more competitive candidate marketplace than it is experiencing right now. There are a lot of things to consider when preparing to run a recruitment campaign and in this article Simon Burr from Langley Search & Interim, a minority owned business, and member of The Equality Register which specialises in Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment, sets out some of his top tips on how to embed robust diversity & inclusion methodologies into your recruitment process.
Workplace diversity is the lifeblood of all successful, forward-looking organisations. Regardless of sector, size or mission, diversity and inclusion serve as the cornerstones for fostering a dynamic and thriving workplace ecosystem.
Diversity.Embracing diversity means recognising and appreciating the unique qualities that individuals from all walks of life bring to the table. It is not just about ticking boxes, but about creating a rich tapestry of perspectives, experiences, and talents which propel an organisation forward.
Inclusion.On the other hand, inclusion goes beyond mere representation - it involves creating and nurturing an environment where every voice is heard, valued, and empowered. When these principles are engrained in recruitment practices, organisations benefit from a melting pot of ideas, creativity, and innovation.
Below are some of the ways in which we have successfully implemented diversity and inclusion into our recruitment processes at Langley, and some ideas about how you could too.
Advertising.Our advertisements are always carefully written using inclusive language to ensure that communication is welcoming and considerate to all individuals regardless of their background, identity, or characteristics. This involves choosing words and phrases that avoid assumptions about gender, race, age, ability, or other attributes, instead of using terms that may exclude or marginalise certain groups. It is also advisable to include a statement within the body of your job advert to make it clear what your stance is on the subject of candidate diversity. e.g., you are passionate about promoting diversity and equality, you do not discriminate based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability status or gender and you particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.
Anonymous CVs.We always encourage our clients to review anonymised CVs and advocate diverse interview panels wherever possible. Anonymising CVs in the recruitment process offers a range of benefits that contribute to a fairer and more inclusive hiring environment. Firstly, it helps mitigate unconscious bias by stripping away information such as the candidate's name, gender, ethnicity, and other personal details that may unconsciously influence hiring decisions. This promotes a more objective evaluation based on skills, qualifications, and experience. Secondly, anonymous CVs contribute to a more diverse workforce by levelling the playing field. Candidates are evaluated solely on their merit, promoting equal opportunities for individuals from different backgrounds.
Diverse Hiring Panels. Forming diverse hiring panels will bring varied perspectives to the decision-making process. It ensures a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates and helps reduce the influence of individual biases. When your employees see diversity within decision-making processes, it stimulates a sense of inclusion and belonging too. This in turn can contribute to higher employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Collaboration with Diverse Networks. Actively engaging with diverse professional networks and organisations, including attending events, partnering with community groups, and utilising platforms that cater to a broad range of individuals will help to give your organisation access to a much wider spread of candidates. For example, as a diverse-owned (BAME) business, Langley regularly attends and presents at Minority Supplier Development (MSDUK) events. We present a quarterly interview skills workshop at the House of St Barnabas, a homelessness charity in London, and we will always choose to advertise on websites and platforms such as Supply Management (CIPS), CV Library and LinkedIn which have a strong leaning towards diversity and inclusion and achieve the widest reach in terms of prospective candidate visibility.
Diversity Metrics.Implementing metrics to track the success of diversity and inclusion initiatives in your recruitment process is imperative to ensuring your strategies do not become stagnant and outdated. For example, we ask all our candidates to complete a diversity and inclusion form to track diversity through each stage of the recruitment processes we manage. This supports us in being able to feedback results and learnings to both our clients and our consultants, in turn allowing us to regularly evaluate and update our recruitment processes to ensure they remain inclusive.
Inclusive Onboarding.Developing an onboarding process that is inclusive and makes all new employees feel welcome is also something we will always advise our clients to do. This can include diversity training, mentorship programs, and a variety of other initiatives which create a culture that values and celebrates differences.
As the old saying goes, you don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note!
At Langley Search & Interim, we understand the power of a diverse range of candidates and their ability to provide a competitive edge to organisations, as well as the moral duty of the recruitment industry to promote equality across the board. Therefore, a commitment to inclusion has long been a part of the Langley DNA.
Embedding diversity and inclusion into your recruitment process is not just a moral imperative though. It is also a highly strategic move that will contribute to your organisation’s success and cultivate a culture that values and celebrates differences. In turn, this will lead to increased innovation, better decision-making, and a more engaged and satisfied workforce, meaning ultimately that you won’t have to recruit as much in the future…