Employers embracing diversity to plug skills gap, say researchers

New research released today reveals that employers are increasingly embracing diversity in their hiring process to overcome ongoing skills shortages.

Researchers spoke to 1,500 UK-based hiring managers on behalf of international talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions provider, Guidant Global and found employers using a number of strategies to widen their talent pool.  78% of employers revealed that it was difficult to access the quality and volume of talent their businesses need to thrive.

16% of hiring managers said that tapping into underutilised talent pools, such as disabled workers, was their ‘greatest opportunity’ from a talent management perspective.

When quizzed on which demographic group they are prioritising, 18% of respondents said they are focusing on emerging talent to boost future pipelines while 17% said they are directing resources into engaging female talent. A further 13% of hiring managers indicated that they are taking steps to tap into disabled talent pools while both BAME individuals and those returning from a career break were top targets for 12% of those surveyed.

Other groups which hiring managers are actively seeking to engage include: individuals with a criminal record; those from lower socioeconomic groups; LGBT talent; and older workers, which were targeted by 8%, 7%, 6% and 4% of employers respectively.

Commenting on the findings, Simon Blockley, Managing Director, EMEA, at Guidant Global, said:

“With almost four in five hiring managers indicating that they struggle to source the skills they need to thrive, it is unsurprising that organisations are increasingly exploring wider and deeper talent pools. However, in order to effectively engage specific demographics, organisations must implement communications strategies which resonate with their intended audiences.

“The employers that we work with are enjoying success in this area through evaluating not only the messages that they are sharing, but also the mediums through which they are communicated. It is now universally recognised that diversity of thought breeds innovation, and by tailoring employer of choice messages to specific groups, forward-thinking organisations are unlocking the potential of diverse talent.”