UK business wakes up to benefits of diversity policies

The
number of UK businesses with diversity policies that go beyond legislation has
risen by almost a fifth during the past 12 months, according the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual Recruitment, Retention and
Turnover survey.

While
all sectors have improved their take-up of diversity practices, the private
sector has shown the highest rate of improvement over the past year, with more
than 60 per cent of UK businesses now training interviewers in diversity
issues, up from 45 per cent in the 2003 survey.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                               

However,
the public sector continues to lead the way in encouraging diversity, despite
businesses raising their game.

The
report suggests that more needs to be done to increase diversity and help solve
the recruitment crisis.

Findings
show:


Only 28 per cent advertise vacancies beyond traditional media to target
under-represented groups and currently evaluate the effectiveness of methods
they use to encourage equal opportunities 


A third of employers fail to train interviewers in equal
opportunities/diversity issues


Less than a fifth of all organisations are able to provide recruitment
documents in other formats (large print disk, etc)


Only 25 per cent try to use specific images/words in recruitment advertising to
target under-represented groups.

Rebecca
Clake, CIPD organisation and resourcing adviser, said: "It’s encouraging
to see the private sector increasing its efforts to promote diversity. However
more action could be taken. Employers could benefit from training their
recruitment professionals to ensure they have a thorough understanding of
diversity issues – from ensuring they have a legally sound advertisement
through to fair interview techniques.

"For
organisations to compete effectively, they should tap into and employ as
diverse a group of candidates as possible," she said.

By
Quentin Reade

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