The game-changing reality for recruiters

Posted on Saturday, July 1, 2023 by Alison Humphreys - Award winning NED and strategic advisor

Most of the recruiters I know tell me that engaging great candidates is really hard. Despite increased candidate availability in some sectors, most are extremely reluctant to move and risk their employment rights.

At the same time, many are dealing with a deluge of unsuitable candidates. Why? Here’s a few reasons:

  • Desperate job seekers who find it easy to apply indiscriminately
  • Poor candidate attraction techniques
  • Business development activity that is mismatched with candidate activity
  • Cold approaches to candidates- expecting people to jump at first contact.

From the points above, there is only one I’d like to focus on here, and it’s one you can definitely do something about. And while you are about it you can position yourself better with clients, improve job satisfaction and do some good in the world, it will reduce CV dependency and change the talent pool…

What is it?

It is becoming aware of diversity and inclusion.

Before you groan about “wokeness”, political correctness gone mad and how you don’t need to make your job any harder, hold back a moment.

I know many seasoned recruiters who see D+I as an exercise in box-ticking. “Quotas” of underrepresented groups thrust upon them. A nice-to-have “extra” that will never work because clients want experience.

Yes, they do. But not in the way that many people think.  Experience doesn’t only mean “10 years doing this job already”. It means bringing a range of experience to the table.

Organisations with diverse workforces are 70% more likely to be considered innovative leaders in their sectors.

Companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation (Boston Consulting Group, 2018).

When we look at the natural world, biodiversity equals resilience. Monoculture leads to blight, disease and extinction. Yet lots of recruiters, and their clients, continue to endorse monoculture. They do it unconsciously, often relying on CVs.

We know that an estimated 78% of CVs are not entirely truthful. They are self-authored, and therefore highly selective in what they include. The dominance of CVs in our recruitment culture sets up an expectation. Recognise these expectations?


Alison Humphries is a highly experienced MD and NED, with 35 years at the top of the recruitment sector.

She advises directors and owners of recruitment businesses on strategy, finance, sales and management to maximise performance, enter new markets, prepare for sale and work more efficiently. 


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