Recruitment and the gender pay gap

For the first time ever, the government has made it mandatory for employers of more than 250 people to publish and report on specific details of their gender pay gap.  This has once again shone a light on an issue that has been dominant in industry far too long – that women are generally paid less than men.

Even as a smaller organisation, we’re sure there’s lots of work going on to understand whether you have an issue and, if you do, how to tackle it within your existing structures.   But looking forward, how do businesses ensure they are not perpetuating the gender pay gap through their recruitment practices?

We encourage employers to think about two things.  Firstly, how to make gender-neutral salaries the cultural norm  Do senior management understand that there is a problem they need to solve?  Is the data telling a story that your business believes?  If not, your work has to start here as only through accepting there is a problem will change come about.

Secondly, acknowledge and review the role your recruitment processes may have in indirectly creating bias leading to a gender pay gap.  It’s great that the conversation has started about what needs to be done differently, but the pace needs picking up because at the current rates of progress, it will take 100 years to close the gender pay gap.

So, what can you adopt into your recruitment strategy to start making a conscious change?

Blind salary recruitment

In some US states, asking what an applicant’s current or previous salary was has been banned, reasoning that new roles should not be based on what an applicant has previously been paid.  In the UK there is a wealth of benchmarking data on salary levels in industry so it’s reasonable to challenge whether knowing an individual’s salary should really influence what they are worth in the role you are recruiting to.

Challenge your internal culture

One of the last great taboos in work is to talk about what you earn, however in some sectors it is commonplace to have a published pay banding document and some level of transparency on how roles are graded.  Whilst this could be considered commercially sensitive for some business, perhaps this should be balanced against the spirit of gender pay gap obligations.  Is there more your business could do to share some level of data and an action plan towards achieving greater parity?

Our ethos is simple– we want to help you make a successful hire regardless of gender or any other unconscious bias.  We look beyond the CV and the facts to really get to know the individuals we represent; what motivates them, what their ambitions are and yes, what they think they’re worth.  It’s a three-way relationship though and we go through the same process with you as a client to make sure we’re making the perfect match with the candidates we present to you.

If you’re looking for a recruitment partner that cares about the issues affecting you and can offer solutions to help move you forward then why not get in touch.  Whether it’s a one-off role or something more long-term, speak to one of our lovely team on 01709 717212.

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