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AMS responds to latest labour market statistics

by wrich

Responding to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Paul Modley, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at AMS (formerly Alexander Mann Solutions) commented:

“While it’s promising to see the latest ONS data showing that vacancy levels are continuing to rise at record rates, the UK is contending with ongoing skills shortages. And while the focus for employers in recent months has, quite rightly, been on this talent deficit and the need to upskill the workforce, businesses should also consider diverse recruitment practices, which can have a more immediate impact.

“We are seeing more and more talent acquisition leaders encouraging hiring managers to rethink their qualification requirements which can often inadvertently limit the intake pool. While there is often a temptation to use language such as ‘demonstrate superior skills’ in a job description, by making small changes to use inclusive wording such as ‘demonstrate competence in…’, employers are far less likely to put off some candidates from applying. By challenging the language used in job specifications, businesses can make an immediate impact on their ability to tap into a wider talent pool at the very beginning of the recruitment process.

“It’s also key for organisations to look at their entire hiring process and ask themselves whether there are diverse people involved in every part of the sourcing and selection process; from attraction to interviewing and final selection. However, businesses must also acknowledge that interviewing and onboarding can be very different experiences for diverse candidates, so training should be carried out to understand how this experience differs and then tailoring processes so that they better meet their unique needs.

“AMS also always encourages clients to recruit from within where possible, where they will often find more diversity than from the external candidate pool. This not only results in increased diversity within teams, but also has a profound impact on engagement and retention levels. Lack of career opportunity is regularly cited as the reason that people leave their current employer so ensuring companies are looking at their internal employee population can also have an immediate impact on skills deficit, in addition to retaining skills.

“When discussing recruitment practices, it’s also important that companies are evaluating their internal culture. If existing employees from diverse backgrounds feel included and valued, they will become advocates for the business and are very likely to talk openly and positively about their experience in their networks.

“At a time when vacancies show no signs of slowing down, and employers the world over are struggling to source skills, it’s important that businesses consider diverse recruitment strategies which can have an immediate impact on their talent acquisition strategy.”

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