The CEO of disruptive careers and recruitment platform, SortYourFuture, warns employers that unless they tackle the engagement gap between themselves and potential applicants, many current diversity initiatives won’t work – resulting in candidates missing out on their ideal job and employers failing to find their perfect candidates.
The resulting cost to employers is high: poor productivity and engagement, high attrition as well as repeating recruitment and training costs. A recent report from Deloitte showed that 49% of millennials wanted to quit their current roles in the next two years (comparison, 38% in 2017).
‘Career filter bubbles’ develop naturally – meaning the same kinds of people go into the same roles, because of the range of social networks, experiences, and opportunities they have access to.
Recent research into pathways towards ‘elite professions’ showed that young people consider roles that they know about and are familiar with. For instance, if a child has a parent who is a doctor, they are 24 times more likely to become a doctor too. The OECD’s report, ‘Drawing the Future’ which asked 7-11 year olds to draw what they wanted to be, also showed that children’s perceptions about their future roles can be formed early on, shaped by gender stereotyping, socio-economic background and their environment.
Lucy Griffiths, CEO and Co-Founder of Sortyourfuture.com says,
“When you place this in the context of an environment where achieving diversity is the highest priority for recruiters as organisations seek to recruit a more balanced workforce, it’s clearly an area that employers need to consider carefully.”
Griffiths says that many employers are missing a fundamental part of the diversity and inclusion puzzle.
“Employers are improving their recruitment and selection processes to ensure they don’t exclude diverse candidates at the selection phase, but a key area where we aren’t seeing enough focus is opening up access in the pre-search research phase. This is the fuzzy front end of career decision-making, which can be heavily influenced by the social, cultural, and economic capital candidates have access to.”
“This complex area is incredibly difficult for anyone recruiting. If potential candidates don’t know that your organisation exists, if they don’t know what kinds of roles are available, or they don’t feel your roles are ‘for them’, how will they even get to the application stage? This compounds the career filter bubble problem.”
The secret is to think like a marketer, says Griffiths, to listen to those from the under-represented groups that an organisation wants to attract. It’s about understanding your audience, where they are, what they do, what they’re interested in and the barriers they face – small and large. To do that, you have to listen. At its heart it’s about engagement, and to engage you need to understand. Unless you have engagement, the next steps in the recruitment and selection process can’t do what they need to do.
SortYourFuture is launching to bridge the discovery gap between employers and diverse candidates. Sort’s new approach helps young people navigate the vast range of career options before them, simply and intuitively, and, crucially, helps them discover roles and employers they may not have had access to via their own personal networks.
It also nurtures potential candidates to develop the skills they need before applying – instead of relying on ‘one-click’ mass application systems that encourage unsuitable candidates to apply. Employers promote their employer brand and build an audience using the kind of browsable, engaging content that young people love.