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Half of Employers’ Fear Diversity Creates a Challenging Work Environment


Almost half of employers (41%) claim that a diverse workforce can make collaboration more challenging.

Whilst three quarters of companies (73%) state that diversity encourages creative and innovative thinking, they also claim that it is these differences of opinion that can be difficult to manage.

The results come from a Robert Walters whitepaper – Diversity & Inclusion in Recruitment – which was re-published in time for World Cultural Diversity Day earlier this week (21 May 2019).

Chris Hickey, UK CEO at Robert Walters comments:

“Employers must recognise the potential challenges that a diverse workforce can bring and have a strategy in place to overcome them.

“By doing so they can ensure that their workforce remains cohesive and is able to collaborate effectively while still gaining the advantages, such as a broad range of perspectives and ideas, that a diverse workforce can bring.”

Little Action Taken

Despite 85% of companies claiming that increasing diversity in their workforce is a ‘top priority,’ almost half (46%) of UK employers do not have a programme in place to attract diverse candidates.

In fact, half of employers (45%) do not monitor or measure employee diversity in any way or even have the means to do so and a further 45% believe their current recruitment tools are ineffective at attracting or targeting a diverse range of candidates.

This is particularly true of companies’ websites – 73% of which are not accessible to candidates with disabilities.

Added this, there appears to be a lack of consensus over who is responsible for developing the business’ brand and culture in order to appeal to a diverse range of candidates.

56% of businesses believe that senior management should take the lead, a third (36) believe that it is the responsibility of the HR department, and a tenth (9%) believe marketing have a role to play.

Despite the majority believing that the key to tackling diversity starts at the top, it is alarming to see that just a tenth of businesses (13%) monitor how much time is spent discussing inclusion and diversity at senior management meetings.

Chris Hickey adds:

“One of the most shocking findings in the survey was the fact that 52% of employers do not ask their recruitment consultancy to provide a diverse shortlist of candidates. And whilst almost all employers (81%) recognise that unconscious bias can impact their hiring decisions, half (42%) use no tools to address this.

“It is because of this reason that Robert Walters launched Adify – a new technology designed to encourage diversity in advert writing and a tool that will help employers recruit from diverse backgrounds.”

To download the full report click here.


During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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