How to report on equality and diversity in recruitment

Regardless of the size of your organisation, diversity and equality should be a part of your recruitment process. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Report 2018 listed diversity as the number one trend impacting future recruitment. Whether it’s trending or not, ignoring the importance of diversity in your organisation can be bad for business as it can deny opportunity to those who could be ideal candidates for the role(s) you are offering

There are a number of ways to keep an eye on diversity and equal opportunities within your workforce and in the recruitment process. However, one of the most effective ways to do this is to produce a monthly or quarterly report, depending on the volume of recruitment your organisation undertakes. Ideally, this should be a functionality within your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which can enable you to provide automated and detailed equal opportunity reports.  

The primary benchmarks of discrimination and diversity in recruitment are protected characteristics. 

Protected characteristics:

  • Age 
  • Gender identity
  • Disability
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

These are important considerations for all stages of the recruitment process. The make-up of the average UK workforce is changing, from age and gender diversity to a stronger presence of people of colour and the LGBT community. With diversity comes greater creativity and a wider range of perspectives on business decisions at all levels. To make sure you don’t get left behind, we’ve put together some key metrics to report on if you choose to actively monitor equal opportunities in recruitment for your organisation. 

Cartoon of diverse group of business people

Monitoring diversity and equality within recruitment begins with your ATS. Kallidus Recruit provides Equal Opportunities Monitoring as a part of the application process, asking candidates information about some of the above protected characteristics. 

This allows you to track equal opportunities throughout the recruitment process by creating reports based on the candidate demographics across all applications, as well as the stages each demographic has reached in the application process. 

Anonymisation of data

It’s important to note here that while our ATS allows you to collect data based on protected characteristics at the application process, this is anonymised for all applicants as it enters the system. This allows your recruitment and HR teams to access demographic information important to your equal opportunity efforts, without compromising the privacy of your applicants or opening them up to potential discrimination. 

Organisational vs vacancy-specific reporting

Your ATS should be able to produce reports based on applicant surveys to cover both vacancy-specific and organisation-wide equal opportunities data. 

This means that you can view, for example, the ratio of different applicant age ranges across your organisation. You can also drill down into the specifics of a particular vacancy, for example, looking at the range and ratio of ethnicities applying for one role. These types of data can be really insightful for the ongoing development of diversity-positive recruitment processes for future vacancies. 

Using and storing applicants’ data

Reporting for reporting’s sake is not only unhelpful, it can potentially open up your organisation to scrutiny from those who deem your applicant surveys unnecessary. This is one of the reasons we recommend adding a ‘Prefer Not To Say’ option to all protected characteristics within these surveys.

However, there can also be legal implications to storing this data without actively using it within reporting and ongoing equal opportunities development. This is one of the reasons that this type of reporting is optional, and it is better suited to larger organisations and charities with the budget and resource to focus on ongoing equal opportunities. 

Key diversity and equality metrics to report on

If part of your organisation’s strategy is focusing on monitoring equal opportunities and actively increasing diversity in your workforce, it’s important to know which metrics to report on and what they mean. 

The following examples can be applied to measuring the ratios all of the protected characteristics mentioned above: 

  • Successful applications within your organisation per demographic/range
  • Total applications to a specific role per demographic/range
  • Stages of application/recruitment reached per demographic/range

Reports like these should be visually represented in an easily digestible form, ideally within a dashboard, alongside additional access to more in-depth reporting. While it is worth checking in on these reports every 30 days (depending on the volume of recruitment your organisation undertakes), we’d recommend generating a report at least once a quarter to share with your wider recruitment and HR teams. 

Diverse group of business people in office

Creating a survey that celebrates diversity

There are some important things to consider when creating the surveys for your applicants to complete in order to create these reports. All staff should have the option to select Prefer Not To Say (or equivalent) across all questions regarding protected characteristics. It can also be worth adding the option “Other”, with or without a comment box underneath. This is a great way to ensure your organisation celebrates diversity in a way that is less likely to exclude anyone’s identity or beliefs. 

It is also important to remember that your candidates are entitled to both anonymity and opt-out when providing this level of personal information. 

Being transparent in organisational aims

Goal-orientation is always a great marker of progress. The primary purposes of reporting on equality and diversity are proving compliance with legal requirements and/or to track the progress of your organisation in these areas. Whether you are required to publicly release your reports or not (which will depend on the sector and size of your organisation), it can be worth being transparent in your equality and diversity goals.

It is important that if you are storing this information about your applicants that you use it effectively, as storing data for the sake of having it can result in prosecution under UK employment law. Therefore, it is important to consider what your equality and diversity reporting should be used for within your organisation.

Want to improve diversity and equality in your recruitment process? Start with gender equality in your job descriptions.

Download our gender bias checklist

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