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18/11/2022 Irish Times

We were featured on the Irish Times with our top tips on how to be a more diverse recruiter with the aim to have a more inclusive workforce.


Karen O’Reilly, founder of flexible working recruitment company, EmployMum/EmployFlex, has noticed an increase in the number of companies approaching her for help with improving diversity within their workforces.

“We are seeing more companies, especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as tech and engineering, looking for more female representation. But diversity needs to go a lot wider than ‘just women’ to include a broad representation of society,” she says. “Teams at every level should not just be pale and male, yet many companies that appear to be ticking the diversity box are hiding behind their stats with many more females at entry level than in senior jobs.”

O’Reilly set up her business six years ago to champion the cause of flexi-working as a way of getting more women into the workforce. A lot of the time, she found herself knocking on closed doors. The mass migration to flexible working during the pandemic has changed this, with most companies now accepting the appeal of more flexible working practices to attract and retain talent.

O’Reilly says companies genuinely interested in encouraging diversity need to start by revisiting their recruitment policies to ensure they are inclusive. This may require changes in job descriptions to appeal to a wider candidate base, such as those with disabilities who could work remotely.

“As an employer, are you giving a clear message that you are open to all?” O’Reilly says. “Are there images of diverse employees on your website and your social media channels? Have you shared your EDI [equality, diversity and inclusion] goals and your numbers showing how diverse you are and how more diverse you aim to become?”

O’Reilly adds that offering flexible working is an obvious way to become more diverse. Blind recruiting, where all personal details are removed from an application and candidates are recruited on merit, is another.

“Returnships and internships are also a way of reaching out to those who have been out of the workforce for a while. And choosing a diverse interview panel can also help with removing the barriers to inclusion,” she says.

“I’d encourage companies to set realistic targets for diversity that can be measured, evaluated and reported on. From this, it will be possible to gauge progress and determine what other changes need to be made to keep the process moving forward.”

Read the full article here