True diversity means considering background, says recruiter

Global talent acquisition and management consultancy, Alexander Mann Solutions, is helping organisations tap into talent from all income backgrounds to boost innovation and profitability.

Image of child walking to school
The recruitment consultant hosted an event last week with the Social Mobility Forum to share best practice in engaging young people from low-income backgrounds. Statistics from the Social Mobility Forum (SMF) reveal that a low-ability child from a high-income family is 35 per cent more likely to become a high earner than a high-ability child from a low-income family.The joint event came a week after CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn renewed calls for greater focus on more inclusive workplaces and urged swifter action from businesses to achieve this.

Social mobility determined by income

SMF’s findings also reveal that just four per cent of doctors, six per cent of barristers and 11 per cent journalists are from a working-class background and up to 70 per cent of professional service firms’ intakes come from private schools and grammar schools.Recent figures from Deloitte’s Fair Access to Work report also show students from the least-advantaged backgrounds earn, on average, nearly 10 per cent less than their most-advantaged peers six months after graduating from the same subject.

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Tim Campbell, head of client services, emerging talent at Alexander Mann Solutions, comments: “While the vast majority of organisations now monitor and benchmark data around gender and ethnicity as part of strategies to increase inclusion, true diversity lies in a workforce which offers a spectrum of ideas and experiences.”“As the Social Mobility Forum’s figures illustrate, individuals from lower socio-economic groups remain largely under-represented in professional roles. However, by continuing to fish in familiar pools, decision makers risk missing out on a wealth of prized talent."

Redefining recruitment to encourage greater diversity and inclusion

“Forward-thinking companies are improving pipelines from this under-utilised group by taking a second look at existing communication channels, reassessing entry criteria and redeveloping assessment methods to focus on core competencies and potential rather than experience. And these companies are receiving a clear and demonstrable competitive advantage from engaging with this group of jobseekers.”“We can all agree that diverse workforces are good for businesses and social mobility is critical. We’re supporting organisations to better explore how they can be engaging with emerging talent from low-income families to make a measurable difference to their respective companies and the UK economy at large.”

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