Two in five (41%) recruitment firms are not recording the demographic make-up of their workforce and could find it challenging to identify which groups are underrepresented.
Many firms do not track the diversity of their workforce because they feel they are “too small of an organisation” (38%) or simply had not considered it (26%), a survey by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found.
Six per cent feel that collecting this data would be “time and resource heavy”, while 4% feel they do not have the expertise to collect data about the diversity of their workforce.
“The glaring finding of the report is a lack of effective diversity monitoring in some recruitment businesses. As the old saying goes, what gets measured gets managed, so effective data collection needs to spread more broadly across the industry,” said Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC.
APSCo chief executive Ann Swain said: “When we first embarked on this collaborative research, our hope had been to identify what the current make-up of the recruitment sector looked like, any discrepancies between corporate and individual views, and where diversity may be ‘lacking’.
“What we found, though, was a more pressing issue: a lack of information. Without a clear and honest picture of your workforce, will be difficult for staffing companies to identify where there are gaps or what demographics are currently under-represented.”
Diversity and inclusion
There are restrictions on what employers can and can’t ask staff, and Swain said recruitment businesses needed to carefully manage how this data is collected.
The bodies’ UK Recruitment Diversity & Inclusion Index shows that:
- Women make up the majority of the recruitment sector workforce, but there is a fairly even balance between men and women at senior level
- 64% of corporate respondents do not record any sexual orientation data on their workforce and 55% do not record this among their senior leadership team
- More than three-quarters of the recruitment workforce is White British.
- 46% of corporate respondents do not record the ethnic make-up of their organisation and 40% do not record this for their senior leadership team
- 33% of corporate respondents say up to a quarter of their workforce have a disability. Forty-seven per cent don’t record this
- While 90% of businesses don’t record any data about the religious beliefs of their workforce (including the senior leadership team, responses from individuals show the recruitment industry is made up of 47% Christian, 31% atheist, 13% agnostic and 7% spiritual
- 29% do not record the age of the senior leaders, while 40% fail to collect this data for the wider workforce
- 73% do not record staff qualifications.
APSCo and REC surveyed 105 staffing companies and 348 individual recruitment professionals.