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While hirers might be afraid to admit it, unconscious bias exists in recruitment

The latest data from the CIPD suggests that discrimination in recruitment remains a big barrier to diversity and inclusion, but most is done unconsciously, according to diversity consultancy, The Clear Company.

Analysing the results of the Attitudes to employability and talent report, the firm identified a staggering disparity between perceptions of what makes a person employable in a range of diverse groups and the number of those actively sourcing these individuals.

Only 10% of those surveyed were targeting parents returning to work in hiring activity, just 9% older workers and 11% individuals with disabilities. This despite the fact that respondents had scored each of these groups as above average in the top three attributes that they consider make an individual employable.

Kate Headley, Development Director of The Clear Company, explains:

“While hirers might be afraid to admit it, unconscious bias exists in recruitment, but it’s simply human nature. The information present in this latest CIPD report reveals that there is a real gap between what employers feel makes a person a good employee and how many that meet this criteria from under-represented groups are actively being sourced.

“However, by recognising that it happens, it’s possible to rectify this situation and improve diversity and inclusion levels for the benefit of the business. What is particularly interesting, is that a previous negative experience in diversity and inclusion was exacerbating the problem, with respondents who had been subject to such a situation less likely to target the top diverse groups identified in the report. Clearly, there’s a bit of a cycle here, and recruitment needs to get out of the rut it’s in and look to reduce unconscious discrimination.”


Carly Smith
BlueSky PR
T: +44 (0)1582 790 708

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