Too many employment firms failing to record staff diversity

(3 minutes to read)

APSCo: ‘Without a clear and honest picture of your workforce, it will be difficult for staffing companies to identify where there are gaps or what demographics are currently under-represented’.

As many as 41% of staffing firms do not record data on their own workplace demographics, finds latest research from the APSCo and REC.

Surveying both corporate and individual representatives across the recruitment sector, the report found that many firms admitted that they felt unable to track this type of information due to being ‘too small of an organisation’ (38%) or they just hadn’t considered it (26%).

Although respondents generally agreed that a culture of diversity and inclusivity does exist within recruitment, there was far greater uncertainty about staff having access to equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) training and whether their business had an active and evidenced ED&I programme.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), commented on the findings, “When we first embarked on this collaborative research, our hope had been to identify what the current make-up of the recruitment sector looked like, any discrepancies between corporate and individual views, and where diversity may be ‘lacking’. What we found, though, was a more pressing issue: a lack of information. Without a clear and honest picture of your workforce, it will be difficult for staffing companies to identify where there are gaps or what demographics are currently under-represented.

“However, while we might not be where we’d like to when it comes to being able to identify the demographic balance in the recruitment world, now is the time to commit to driving true diversity – starting with accurate and essential record-keeping. There are restrictions on what employers can and can’t ask staff and how recruitment businesses approach the tracking of sensitive personal data will require careful management and guidance. Through APSCo Embrace – an all-encompassing Equality, Diversity & Inclusion member service which includes a number of different strands to support recruitment firms with their own ED&I approaches – we will be working closely with our members to help them navigate the diversity landscape.”

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Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), added, “The glaring finding of the report is a lack of effective diversity monitoring in some recruitment businesses. As the old saying goes, what gets measured gets managed, so effective data collection needs to spread more broadly across the industry. The REC will be there to help support recruiters on this journey. This is already a core part of our business plan, as reflected by our signing up to the Race at Work Charter, being a Disability Confident organisation, and the regular content and advice we provide to members through the REC website and podcast. There will be more to come later this year!

“More than any other sector, recruitment sits at the heart of workplace diversity and inclusion. As an industry, we open up opportunity to millions of people every year. Many in the industry are making a difference, both individually and collaboratively – and our own firms being examples of good practice is central to making progress. That’s why the REC and APSCo chose to work together on this issue.”

To find out more about contracting please contact Jaime on 01442 795 100 or email

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