Recruitment agencies in UK discriminate against minorites according to new study… The Race for Opportunity charity, an organisation aimed at increasing employment opportunities for ethnic minorities has claimed that recruitment agencies across the UK engage in casual racial discrimination.
They say that job applicants from black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are not afforded the same opportunities as Caucasian job seekers.
The charity has revealed research from 2011 that shows that while 44% of white candidates were offered employment opportunities, just 29% of BAME candidates achieved the same outcome.
A similar differential was noted in the number of candidates who were invited for interview with just 57% of BAME job-hunters getting the call whereas 73% of white applicants were given the chance to interview for a position.
Sandra Kerr of Race for Opportunity outlined her views: “Tough economic times and rising unemployment levels mean that the current job market is extremely competitive, with a high number of applications for every role.
“If BAME candidates are not being treated fairly by the recruiters at all stages of the job application process, then they are at a distinct disadvantage from the outset.”
The Race for Opportunity charity interviewed 2,500 job seekers in the course of their research and worked in conjunction with Diversity Works for London, an initiative supporting equality and diversity in business.
The candidates from a BAME background complained of inadequate feedback and contact from the recruitment consultancies and also felt they were put forward for roles that they were not suitable for. The disparity in job attainment success was not visible when candidates applied for jobs directly to the employer with both BAME and white applicants securing a position 29% of the time in this scenario.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) responded to the allegations made by the study by questioning the validity of the results and the parameters used to conduct the research.
Tom Hadley, REC’s director of policy and professional services queried the findings: “An immediate priority is to dig beneath some of these findings as there are always a number of factors at play when employers decide who to offer a job to, such as a candidate’s qualifications and work experience.”
“We would also question the way that the data was gathered as the sample of BAME candidates was much younger overall. At a time when we know that many employers are prioritising experience as a selection criteria, this is likely to have had an impact on the findings.”
“Most of the recommendations in the report complement the processes and policies we already have in place as an industry,” he added. “We now need to move the agenda forward and recognise the positive role that the vast majority of recruiters play in getting people into interviews and into work.”