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Ethnicity is the biggest limiting factor for jobseekers, according to research

Over half (52%) of professionals believe their chances of being selected for a job have been lowered because of an identifying factor, according to over 5,200 respondents surveyed in the Hays Diversity & Inclusion 2019 report.

More than nine in ten (91%) professionals with black heritage and 81% with Asian heritage believe their chances of selection for a job have been reduced because of their ethnicity. This is compared to only 18% of those with white British heritage.

Age is another significant perceived inequality, as 83% of those aged 55 and over feel their selection chances have been restricted. Women are more than twice as likely to feel their chances of selection are lowered due to their gender identity than men (42% and 18% respectively), as are members of the LGBTQ+ community (41%) and people with disabilities (37%).

Knowing that an employer uses blind recruitment in their selection process gives two thirds (66%) of professionals more confidence that they will be fairly considered. Despite this, only 23% say their organisation uses blind recruitment techniques.

81% of people with Asian heritage and 75% of those with black heritage feel more confident in an organisation which implements blind recruitment, as do 72% of females surveyed.

Alongside blind recruitment, 78% of respondents believe introducing diverse interview panels will have a significant impact on the selection and hiring of diverse talent. Currently, only 43% of organisations implement this.

A technique used more widely (66% of organisations) is a structured interview process, which almost four in five (79%) believe would have a positive impact on diverse hiring. Many organisations, however, fall down when it comes to adjusting tests and assessments to make them fair for disabilities. 82% think this would have a positive impact, but less than half (45%) have adapted their assessments accordingly.

Yvonne Smyth, group head of diversity & inclusion at Hays, said, “It’s clear from our research that despite greater awareness of the impact of unconscious bias, most professionals still feel their chances of being chosen for a job have been hindered based on identifying factors, particularly when it comes to ethnicity.

“Our findings indicate that in order to address this, employers need to look at the beginning of their recruitment process and consider implementing blind recruitment techniques as well as diversifying their interview panels.”

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