A company’s approach to diversity and inclusion increasingly proves to be the difference between someone accepting or rejecting a job, or even leaving their current role, according to Aspire chairman Paul Farrer.
The driving force behind the London recruitment firm, active in the Square Mile since 1992, told City A.M. this morning that whether or not employers have robust diversity and inclusion policies could be the deciding factor in overcoming staff shortages and retaining their existing workforce.
“When so many organisations are struggling to recruit people to plug skills gaps as they look to recover from the pandemic, employers simply can’t afford to overlook this fundamentally important aspect of a job,” the industry veteran continued.
Farrer’s comments are backed up by new research from the company, which was shared exclusively with City A.M.
The results showed that for three quarters of UK workers, it’s either extremely important (39 per cent) or very important (35 per cent) that an organisation has a diversity & inclusion policy in place.
Exploring the key issues facing the labour market in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the study also highlighted that 66 per cent of survey respondents consider themselves to be diverse, whether in terms of age, ethnicity, disability, gender, belief or sexual orientation.
“If companies do have a diversity & inclusion policy, the fact that employees aren’t aware of them suggests it may be a tick box exercise and that not enough is being done on this front.”Aspire chairman Paul Farrerr
Despite this, just over half (56 per cent) of workers said that their employer has a D&I policy in place and is active in this area.
Those who are confident their employer has a policy said they are supported in a number of ways, from receiving access to equal opportunities to apply for roles, to regular D&I training and a company culture that celebrates different ways of working, people and opinions.
“Whether it’s age, ethnicity, disability, gender, belief or sexual orientation, two thirds of people see themselves as diverse. So it’s alarming that nearly half of those surveyed are unaware of any D&I policy in their place of work,” Farrer continued.
“People want to see progress in society reflected in their place of work. To be truly diverse and inclusive, employers need to audit their workforce to understand the steps they must take to reflect the society and communities where they are based.”
“Those that do this will attract the best talent who aren’t just interested in the job and rewards on offer, but also working for an employer that is proactive and addresses imbalances, prejudice and bias in the workplace,” Farrer concluded.