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5 ways to tell if an employer actively prioritises ED&I when looking for a new job

By Yvonne Smyth, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Hays

How can you tell if an employer values and is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion? Do you believe you’ll be joining a workplace that has a welcoming and open environment? Is it clear that (as well as supporting ED&I campaigns such as Black History Month and International Women’s Day) the organisation is taking noticeable action?

Recent research from our Hays Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Report, highlighted that although nearly two thirds (62%) of professionals say their employer actively talks about the importance of ED&I, only 48% of organisations are ensuring that action takes place. It was also revealed that fewer than half (46%) of the professionals surveyed believe there are sufficient efforts across their organisation to recruit diverse talent.

When looking for your next job role, there are various ways to recognise if an employer is actively prioritising equity, diversity and inclusion within their organisation. Take note of these 5 important things during your job search to gain a clearer picture of how much your new potential employer values ED&I.

1. Look at the organisation’s website

This is a good starting point to see if there is evidence of equity, diversity, and inclusion action within the organisation. By looking at their website, you can see if the photos of their employees represent different backgrounds or if there is a pattern of homogeneity occurring. Also, reading through the ‘About us’ section may reveal metrics on diversity and hiring practices.

As many employers understand the value of good ED&I initiatives to create an inclusive workplace, most will want to ensure it’s highlighted through concise communication on their website.

2. Research the organisation’s core values

Reading the mission statement and learning about the organisation’s core values is another way of discovering if equity, diversity, and inclusion are high on their agenda. Also, it’s worth checking to see if there is anyone working at the organisation that holds a title that relates to ED&I. Sometimes there are employees who work on specific programmes while some organisations have groups dedicated to this area as opposed to one person.

3. Check employee benefits

The benefits an organisation offers are a good indication of how much they value inclusion. Flexible and hybrid working is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but has become a standard benefit in the workplace. Check what flexible ways of working are offered by the organisation, who should be promoting it as widely as possible.

Other benefits that will establish if your potential employer is supportive of all their staff include:

  • Mental health support
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Religious holidays
  • Senior care flexibility

4. Ask questions during your interview

Most of the time, the interviewer will ask you if you have any further questions towards the end of your interview. This is the perfect opportunity to find out how committed the organisation is to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Some questions that you might want to ask include:

  • What practices and initiatives are in place to encourage a diverse and inclusive workforce?  
  • Does the organisation offer training on equity, diversity, and inclusion?
  • How are managers supported in promoting good ED&I practices? 
  • Do you have any employee resource groups to join?
  • What are the most important values of your organisation?
  • What benefits does the organisation offer?

5. Reach out to connections you know

It’s always worth checking to see if you know anyone who works at the organisation or previously has. LinkedIn is a good place to check for potential connections. If you do have a connection, send them a message or email to see if they can share any information on the organisation’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

By working for an organisation that values ED&I and carries out meaningful action, you’ll be part of a broader pool of knowledge, talent and awareness that can support both your personal growth and career aspirations.

If you want to discover further recommendations or insights, please refer to the Hays Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report.

About this author

Yvonne is Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Hays, working with our clients to ensure their recruitment strategies are aligned with the latest equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) policies and initiatives. She is responsible for creating and implementing diverse recruitment strategies that effectively support the representation of more diverse staff profiles within their business.

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