Soundbites August/September 2020

How should the recruitment industry respond to the Black Lives Matter movement?

Nadia Edwards-Dashti

Founder and managing director, Harrington Starr

“The recruitment industry should give the Black Lives Matter movement the respect it deserves – by taking a knee and being proactively anti-racist. It spurs me on to do more in the industry to promote diversity & inclusion not for quotas or board room demands but for its truest form. For me that is supporting the technology industry in becoming the best it can be through building teams within the companies that are really diverse and inclusive in thought, communication, innovation and action. We should be proactive in investing in talent creation and partnering with universities to invest in people and the future generation of work. The movement is bigger than one industry but each of us have our active parts to play. If we all contribute then change will come.”


Raphael Mokades

Founder and managing director, Rare Recruitment

“In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about race. Now it’s time for some engineering. If recruiters are serious about race here is what they need to do:

  • Ensure that their candidate pools at least match the ethnic diversity of their market in their geography – and working that out means market mapping by race
  • Ensure that their shortlists are the same
  • Monitor the success of the people they put forward, and hold clients accountable – ‘You ask for diversity on shortlists but you take 42% of our white candidates and only 11% of our ethnic minority ones
  • Demand hard, factual feedback on any ethnic minority candidates not hired. ‘Didn’t fit’ and ‘something not quite right’ are not acceptable reasons for not hiring and are often code for bias.”


Suki Sandhu OBE

Founder and CEO, Audeliss

“Firstly, by acknowledging our failure. As an industry we have not helped shift the dial when it comes to ethnic minority inclusion. Full stop. Our clients are getting the blame, but we have nowhere near worked hard enough as an industry to break the system that keeps putting white candidates on top. Secondly, by taking action. This is a decisive point in history and a moral obligation, so we simply can’t ignore it. People are demanding change, and in business at least we are in a position to help deliver it. So I challenge every recruitment company to look at everything they are doing – top to bottom – and find out exactly why black and other diverse talent is missing from their candidate pools, long lists, short lists and placements. Then to do something about it.”

Image credit | Shutterstock

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