Put own house in order on race, recruiters told

CRE chairman calls for a wider view on graduate search at AGR’s annual
conference

More graduate recruiters from ethnic minorities are needed before employers
will be able to improve the diversity of their graduate intake, the chairman of
the Commission for Racial Equality claimed last week.

Gurbux Singh urged delegates at the Association of Graduate Recruiters’
annual conference to promote racial equality within their own HR departments as
the first step towards tackling racial equality in the workplace.

He said, "I look around this room and ask myself is this a fair
reflection of UK society – I suspect that it is not. Firstly, you must put your
own house in order and recruit more ethnic minority graduates into HR, then you
can look to recruit black and Asian graduates."

Singh warned the delegates that black graduates are four to six times less
likely to be employed than their white counterparts with the same degree
classification.

He said, "Recruiters need to look closely at the universities that they
recruit from and include the ex-polytechnics as well as the traditional
universities."

In response, the AGR claimed it would work closely with the CRE to produce
best-practice guidelines on diversity.

Keith Dugdale, national graduate recruitment director at KPMG, and a
delegate at the conference, said, "HR in general is dominated by white,
middle-class women. A modern workforce must be diverse, and it is the cornerstone
of any fair employer.

"There is no doubt that the bottom line of any organisation is
influenced by its people, and the more diverse the workforce, the more
successful the employer," he added.

Another attendee, John Carson, HR director for German-based Corus Special
Strip, said, "HR does have the responsibility to make sure that the
workforce is diverse. The great advantage of online recruitment is that it is
colourless."

By Paul Nelson

Feedback

Is the online route the future of graduate recruitment?

Carl Gilleard, Chief executive, AGR

"It is very much the future of the industry. Two-thirds of AGR members
are partly online, with a growing proportion completely online, but I still
believe that there is also room for more traditional recruiting methods."

Nicola Moseby, Graduate Internet recruitment, Mars

"Firms that completely switch to Internet recruitment have to be
careful how they market themselves. There is no substitute to being on campus
and talking to students."

Linsey Perry, Head of graduate recruitment, Railtrack

"A lot of students do not own a PC or have access to a computer for
long periods. Responsible employers should not go completely online, as they
could miss out on a pool of talent."

Hugh Smith, Director of network provider Concert

"Online recruitment has exploded because employers have put in place
the capabilities, and students have lapped it up. I think the move happened
quicker than anyone expected."

Martin Smith, Graduate recruitment manager for operations and
engineering, AstraZeneca

"I am not behind being completely online, as not everyone has a PC and
employers can’t afford to miss out on top talent."

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