Staying Accountable To Diversity: Recruitment & Talent Technology’s Role

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Staying Accountable To Diversity: Recruitment & Talent Technology’s Role

By Olly Thompson | February 19, 2021

According to LinkedIn’s 6 Recruiting Trends That Will Shape 2021they predict that recruitment functions will play a significant role in holding organizations accountable to diversity commitments – talent technology will augment the recruiter’s ability to deliver.

The article goes on to say, “[Recruiters] will restructure hiring processes to reduce bias, from building diverse interview panels to mandating data-driven reporting against diversity goals.”

Why Diversity Matters

A recent McKinsey study found that 97 percent of U.S. companies fail to have senior leadership teams that reflect their ethnic labor force. This same report reveals that gender-diverse companies are 21 percent more likely to outperform industry norms – racially diverse companies exceed industry norms by 35 percent. So how can companies start to prioritize diversity hiring?

Companies seeking to have more diverse representation across their business are increasingly turning to recruitment partners who have better access to diverse talent networks. Consequently, recruitment firms prove to be a key pillar in supporting the creation of more diverse workforces. But a truly consultative recruitment partner doesn’t merely supply diverse candidates. They also consider an organization’s culture. Lauren Gardner, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Microsoft, was quoted as saying, “Recruiters have to be able to answer questions on culture. They have to teach leaders and managers how to think more broadly about their own choices and coach them to gravitate not toward who they like, but who adds to the organization.”

Eliminating Hiring Bias

Let’s face it; all humans possess unconscious bias. However, avant-garde recruitment firms proactively educate their staff on concepts such as confirmation bias, labeling effect, heuristics, and stereotype threat, to name a few of the expressions recruiters need to keep top of mind. Unfortunately, end-clients may not be able to prioritize this type of coaching, putting them at risk of missing diverse talent at the start of the recruitment lifecycle. This means that while there may be advocacy for increases in diversity hiring, having the ability to execute on it may prove challenging. Moreover, recruitment firms have accountability toward restructuring, improving, and managing a client’s hiring process to reduce bias. This can include building diverse interview panels to anonymizing candidate profiles. Even so, 47 percent of talent professionals say hiring managers are not held accountable for interviewing a diverse slate of candidates – which demands a top-down commitment to diverse hiring from organizational leaders. 

The Role of Talent Technology

The global COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked businesses towards normalizing remote hiring and remote work. Without technology, hiring and working in this type of environment isn’t feasible. It’s no wonder why Zoom shares soared from $73-$559 in nine months! This setup’s beauty is that organizations are no longer tied to hiring from within a certain radius of their office location – which inherently helps promote diversity.

Additionally, sourcing and interviewing platforms increasingly seek to remove bias by anonymizing candidates to focus solely on skills and experiences. GQR has a proprietary talent technology platform that uses AI and machine learning to identify and match candidates to vacancies. Hiring managers also have access to match anonymous candidate profiles from our database to their roles in this platform. 

Closing Comments

There have been great strides in the last few years when it comes to balancing the scales across global workforces – but there is still a long way to go. The Black Lives Matter movement, amongst others, has been a stark reminder of the lack of equity across marginalized groups – and the recruitment process is no exception. However, partnering with educated recruitment firms and proven talent technology platforms can be a great strategy to deliver diverse hiring objectives.  


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About the Author
Olly Thompson

Olly is the Head of Electronic Trading Technology in London, managing a team of consultants who specialise in placing cutting edge Software Development talent into some of the highest performing and fastest trading teams in London, on both the buy-side and sell-side. His hedge fund network is extensive, through years of working in the industry, coupled with hosting regular roundtables with technology leaders within finance. He has also established himself as being a true market SME, specifically within FX, Equities, Fixed Income and Commodities Trading firms. 

Olly graduated from Coventry University where he received a BA Business Management and interned with RBS as a Business Analyst before joining GQR.



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GQR has partnered with The BRICC Foundry, a national mentorship non-profit focused on developing young women entering the workforce, to create the 2021 Playbook for Diversity Hiring.

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