Owen Daniels Recruitment Supply Chain
23rd April 2024

Efficiency with Equity: Cost Saving Without Bias in Your Recruitment Supply Chain


Cost saving has been at the top of the agenda for many after inflationary pressures and supplier price increases. Companies are striving for efficiency in all their operations, including recruitment. However, it is critical to ensure efficiency does not compromise equity, particularly in diversity and inclusion efforts.

We explore the challenges companies face in achieving cost savings in the recruitment process while maintaining a commitment to diversity and equality. We also highlight potential pitfalls to avoid when selecting your recruitment supply chain.

Leveraging Technology for Equitable Recruitment

Technology plays a pivotal role in modernising recruitment processes, making them more efficient and inclusive. When selecting recruitment providers, you’ll encounter a balance between technology and recruitment fees. You may be able to justify the higher fees for a larger set of tools, here’s what you should be aware of on the market:

Automated Screening Tools

Automated screening tools can process large volumes of applications quickly. By using software that focuses on candidates' skills and qualifications rather than personal details, these tools help reduce unconscious biases. For instance, software that anonymises applications, removing names, photos, and even location.

Application Processes

Tools are on the market to ensure that all candidates, regardless of disabilities or limitations, can effectively navigate the job application process. These range from simple screen readers and speech recognition to interface adjustments such as size and colour contrast, through to third-party human services to aid those who may be unable to undertake a phone or video call that’s typically involved in modern recruitment.

Analytics and Data

With most recruitment suppliers offering ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) and CRM capability, are you able to effectively capture diversity and demographic data from your applications? Without recruitment suppliers reporting on this, you may not be able to make as informed decisions when it comes to your DE&I strategy.

Earned Wage Access

Payroll systems have been advancing, and ‘Earned Wage Access’ has begun to enter the market more prominently. It’s a scheme allowing workers to access their wages as soon as they’ve earned them, providing a benefit to those who may need access sooner than a scheduled payday. Research shows this can prevent the use of debt/credit systems and a further spiral that can be avoided.


Potential Pitfalls in Supplier Selection

While technology can offer significant advantages, the choice of recruitment supplier can introduce risks, especially regarding diversity and equality.

Over-Reliance on Automation and Algorithms

While algorithms reduce manual screening bias, they are not free from flaws. If not properly designed, they can perpetuate existing biases. For example, if an algorithm is trained on data from a non-diverse worker pool, it might favour candidates who resemble current workers, thus reinforcing the status quo.

Lack of Diversity Expertise

A recruitment supplier without a robust understanding of diversity and inclusion might not have the necessary measures to promote an equitable hiring process. It’s important to assess potential suppliers on their knowledge of diversity regulations and their track record in promoting inclusive recruitment practices. You may find a variety of pricing depending on experience.

Inadequate Flexibility

Suppliers that offer a one-size-fits-all approach can be problematic. Each organisation has unique needs and diversity goals. A supplier that does not customise their services to align with specific organisational objectives might not effectively support the company’s diversity and equality aims. Introducing new key processes or even adding to their existing tech stack may be what you need from a supplier, as they may be competitive on pricing and experts in your field.


Our Thoughts

Efficiency and equity in recruitment are not mutually exclusive. By leveraging the right technologies and carefully selecting suppliers, companies can optimise their recruitment processes without sacrificing their commitment to inclusivity. Often a race to the bottom may sacrifice these advantages if you’re too cost-focused, and sometimes it’s worth spending the money for a partner that integrates your aims.

We appreciate the above is no easy task, and if your cost-saving potential is significant it’s likely Managed Service (MSP) and outsourcing (RPO) solutions could be an advantage. These services typically offer in-depth workforce planning opportunities where DE&I objectives can be tackled together and ease the burden of time.


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