Race Equality Guide to Hiring

Key Considerations

This section outlines aspects of the hiring and selection process that employers should consider to determine whether there are interventions that should be made to ensure they are taking an equitable approach. We provide tips and guidance on how to make improvements.

Gathering Information

Information is key and an important starting point for most organisations.

  1. In order to make progress on race equality it is widely accepted that an understanding of the demographic footprint of employees is the starting point for change. By establishing the current baseline for the organisation, it is easier to identify gaps and focus on the steps needed to create a more equitable workplace for all – particularly when it comes to creating goals and KPIs for hiring.
  2. In order to make progress on race equality it is widely accepted that an understanding of the demographic footprint of employees is the starting point for change. By establishing the current baseline for the organisation, it is easier to identify gaps and focus on the steps needed to create a more equitable workplace for all – particularly when it comes to creating goals and KPIs for hiring.
Challenges
  1. However one of the biggest challenges for employers is getting a clearer picture in terms of the data. Organisations in Ireland find it challenging to collect diversity data. Aside from navigating the requirements of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and the Data Protection Act 2018, employees report a reluctance to provide sensitive information about themselves to their employer.
  2. There can also be a reluctance by people to report misconduct such as discrimination in the workplace, due to a fear of recrimination or a lack of trust in the confidentiality of the process. Studies show that an employee’s fear of losing their job is the main reason for not reporting[23]. Another concern is how they might be treated by their colleagues for coming forward[24].

This all contributes to a lack of clear information for employers making it more difficult to put in place a fit for purpose strategy to address inequality in the workplace, and in particular, clear metrics for more diverse hiring and improving potential barriers within current practices.

What to Do?
  • Build Trust in the Process: People are more likely to report where they trust in the confidentiality of the process and can raise concerns anonymously. Removing any barriers to achieving this is important.
  • Keep it simple and anonymous: Ensure the process is easy to engage with and fully anonymous by using the right tools to collect data and information.
  • In the absence of accurate data: Organisations may not be able to collect or capture a complete, robust set of employee-wide demographics. As such, it is always advisable to take an inclusive approach ensuring racial equality is considered carefully across all processes, practices and policies.
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