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Hays Global Skills Index 2015

Hays Journal - Issue 11

Public Sector Market Report

Employment Law Bulletin

Experts Across The Globe

Our approach to diversity

Diversity is at the core of our offering as a search consultancy. As a global search business we know the importance of delivering talent from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible, not just for altruistic but for solid business reasons.

We have a market leading reputation for delivering diversity. Our success here has been achieved due to our innovation and our unwillingness to accept the previously poor returns being received from the traditional diversity press. We have developed new networking groups, more robust search methodologies and innovative advertising to ensure that we were reaching traditionally under-represented groups.

Our approach

We ensure that all our consultants are trained in equality and diversity issues (including specialist disability training) in order to have the skills necessary to produce practical solutions to diversity challenges.

We have an organisation-wide steering group on diversity and frequently organise conferences and seminars to help give practical advice to under-represented groups on achieving executive and non-executive director roles.

We then pursue a number of approaches, both on an ongoing and assignment specific basis, in order to position us to best deliver a truly diverse shortlist for our clients.

When deciding how to obtain a diverse range of candidates for a particular post we first need to judge the likely diversity make up of the candidate target market.

Often a target market for a senior role poses significant initial challenges on the diversity front. Frequently the desired candidate is perceived as already operating at a senior level, often in a complex environment, and the different strands of diversity are generally under-represented at senior management level. Consequently pro-active steps are needed in order to ensure a significantly diverse shortlist is delivered. This predominantly includes the use of effective targeted executive search.

Diverse search

On a vacancy-specific level we will regularly push our contacts and referrals to think of individuals from under-represented groups as part of our search strategy (see separate “search strategy” page). We have found even this simple step helps boost the diverse response for a search.

More fundamentally, we also look at under-represented communities at a macro, national level to determine which senior individuals would be appropriate for future assignments. We maintain a carefully sourced active database of senior executives and non-executives from different under-presented groups consisting of hundreds of individuals. Included in this list are substantial numbers of people from a female, disabled or BME background already operating at senior management level.

Following a further refinement of the characteristics required for specific vacancies, we approach individuals from this database, encouraging them to apply or seeking referrals as appropriate.

Through a process of recommendation and referrals as well as publicising examples of valued advisory contributions to our clients from minority candidates, we are able to extract the strongest response from a diverse field of headhunted candidates.

Our results

We believe that our capacity to recruit credible diverse candidates at senior levels is second to none, and that we can be judged by our results to date.

For example, Hays Executive consistently out-performed other search firms in delivering to all measured diverse groups across Long-list, Shortlist and Appointment stages to the Senior Civil Service.

As well as improving diversity across the board, Hays have also been entrusted to recruit a number of senior diversity-specialist roles, further expanding our networks and understanding in this sector. In recent years we have recruited:

Deputy Director, External Stakeholder Engagement, Office for Disability Issues
Chief Executive, RADAR
Diversity Adviser, Cabinet Office
Head of Ethnic Minority Employment Division, DWP
Two diversity Advisors, Ministry of Defence
For both the ODI and RADAR roles we were tasked with ensuring there was strong representation on the shortlist from people with disabilities. In both cases we succeeded in encouraging strong disabled candidates to apply, and in both cases strong appointments were made with individuals from within that demographic group.

Legal requirements

As a basic bed-rock of our diversity approach we uphold and comply with all legislation that governs our business operations. We believe having strict policies and procedures in place with regards to employment and anti-discrimination allows us to:

  • Make full use of the expertise of our workforce
  • Provide the same level of opportunity for everyone
  • Improve our management and personnel management practice
  • Strengthen our reputation as a good employer and service provider
  • Attract and retain new recruits and candidates
  • Show our clients that we promote equal opportunity and fair employment
  • Ensure that our employment practices do not infringe the law
  • Demonstrate our commitment to be an equal opportunities employer


To comply with these policies and government legislation, careful consideration is given to the media chosen for our campaigns in order that knowledge of such opportunities is not restricted unjustifiably to certain individuals or groups.

Advertisements are carefully worded to ensure that no inference may be drawn of an intention to advantage or disadvantage a certain individual or group in respect of the published opportunity in a manner that would be contrary to this policy statement.

Recruitment procedures are designed to reach eligible applicants from all sections of the community, encourage applications from suitable individuals, and ensure that the selection process is based on the skills, ability and experience of the applicant to perform the job advertised. This is measured against pre-determined objective criteria and competencies that are made available to all applicants.

Hays Executive Salary Benchmarking 2015

Contact us

Call 020 7259 8743 or email us at hays.executive@hays.com.

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