Series: Hays in conversation with....
FAIRER Consulting

4 min read | Simon Winfield | Article | DE&I | Industry insights

Hays and Fairer Consulting

Hays in conversation with.... FAIRER Consulting

DE&I has been on the agenda of many organisations for several years now, and at Hays it’s something we’ve worked to showcase action on now for over a decade. In 2017, we were one of only 20 UK organisations to achieve the National Equality Standard (NES), one of the most rigorous and prestigious accreditations for DE&I – and something we’re still incredibly proud of.

2023 was also a pivotal year for us at Hays as we purchased a majority stake in FAIRER Consulting, the global inclusion company. As we continue to build closer relationships with our customers it was a necessary change to work with renowned industry experts to support our advisory work in DE&I.

The team, led by Dan Robertson, have so far helped over 10,000 business leaders to develop the necessary skills to become inclusive changemakers.

I recently sat down with Dan to discuss how FAIRER is changing the DE&I space as they offer an evidence-based approach to inclusive culture change.


Why Hays and why FAIRER?

“When the time came last year to become part of the Hays eco-system it felt like the right opportunity to not only grow our own footprint, but to support the needs of Hays’ customers as they continue to be challenged in not only finding talent, but ensuring their workplace is representative of today’s society.”

In data from the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends guide 2024, 92% of employers said they had faced skills shortages in 2023 – highlighting the complex picture in recruiting talent.

“At FAIRER (which stands for fairness, accessibility, inclusion, respect, equity, and representation), there’s three core areas which we focus on. We first create awareness with leaders and managers within organisations using our training programmes, on aspects such as unconscious bias and inclusive leadership.

Secondly, we help organisations think through what their journey on DE&I looks like, and what initial changes need to be implemented. Lastly, we work to provide our future talent programmes - designed to accelerate employees into management and leadership positions – who understand inclusive leadership.

“Underpinning all of the work we do is two core principles of thinking – one is social psychology, and the other is human behaviour. That’s our USP – using science and psychology to facilitate real change.”


Over the years DE&I has grown in importance – what do you think encapsulates what it means?

“Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice. We are diverse by nature but to create a culture of inclusion means we need to work hard at it.

“As experts in the field we often get asked in the 21st century why are we still having the conversation about DE&I. What I often say is that although many of our workplaces have progressively become more diverse, not everyone in society is included – and real inclusion is still a work in progress.

“Of course, it’s vital to acknowledge that there has been so much change over the last 100 years when it comes to inclusion and attitudes have fundamentally changed. Yet despite this it was only in 2010 when the Equality Act was published, protecting professionals from discrimination in the workplace.

“Since then, there’s been great strides across a variety of organisations in working hard to move DE&I initiatives in the right direction. It would be difficult to find a large organisation who don’t have a DE&I team, representative or DE&I council in place for example, and we’ve seen a huge amount of action in this space.”


What’s holding organisations back in being truly progressive, and what’s the next DE&I challenge?

“In a time of economic uncertainty, it can be difficult for organisations can keep their foot on the gas when it comes to anything besides having a focus on the bottom line.

“During these times leaders need to bear in mind that research stressing the positive relationship between organisational diversity and inclusion and employee motivation, engagement and performance is extensive, as is the data correlating inclusion at work and business innovation, creativity, customer insight and financial performance.

“When it comes to what’s next – there’s a spotlight on both the positive and negative influences technology is having on DE&I. There’s particular focus on the impact generative AI will have on diversity and inclusion, and whilst there’s plenty of risks, there’s efficiencies that could be made when it comes to collecting and reporting diversity data.”


Finally, what’s next for FAIRER?

“In the short term, we’re really excited to speak to Hays customers and networks to share our knowledge and add value in wider conversations about recruitment.

Long term – myself and my team have a passion to be able to create fairness within the workplace. This is of course a huge ambition, as the world of work isn’t fair for many – but there’s plenty of work we can do to support and ensure organisations realise there’s still progress to be made.”

To find out more about FAIRER Consulting, visit their website. For all your business workforce and talent needs - explore our website


About this author

Simon Winfield, CEO, Hays UK & Ireland

Simon joined Hays in 2006, having commenced his recruitment career in 1993. Initially responsible for our businesses in Western Australia and Northern Territory, Simon relocated to the UK in 2014 where he was responsible for our operations in the West & Wales and Ireland. Simon was appointed MD of the UK & Ireland business in July 2018, and subsequently CEO of Hays UK & Ireland in 2023. Simon has been pivotal in shaping the UK and Ireland business into what it is today – focusing on aspects such as social purpose, technology, DE&I, sustainability and more. Under his leadership, Hays has developed a number of programmes specifically focused at supporting social mobility and youth unemployment.

articleId- 68974494, groupId- 20151