Benchmark Survey 2014 Trends Analysis - Recruitment

Executive Summary / Introduction

Key findings

Unconscious bias continues to play a role during all the stages of recruitment of BAME candidates, from application, through shortlisting and interview to job offer.

  • There is a significant drop-off in the proportion of BAME graduates and apprentices progressing from application to hire stages of recruitment.
  • White candidates overall tend to progress from application to hire in similar proportions. This proportion increases among apprenticeship applications and is largest among graduate applicants.
  • The number of organisations ensuring ethnically diverse interview panels (where possible) has nearly doubled in three years (2012 – 2014), but fewer than 50% of organisations ensure this
  • Organisations where the rate of conversion from applying to being hired is similar between BAME and white candidates do the following:

- Target diverse candidates at recruitment fairs;
- Mandate unconscious bias training during recruitment;
- Ensure ethnically diverse recruitment panels;
- Use a variety of recruitment sources to attract a wider pool of applicants.

A concerning trend in the 2014 Benchmark data is that employers are showing greater bias against BAME candidates, with additional bias for BAME men during recruitment (Evidence 2). The disparity between the proportion of men applying for jobs and being hired is greater than it is for BAME women.