Two new reports show that many employers continue to struggle to recruit and retain Black employees.
That’s the headline.
What it should probably read is:
Racist employers are not doing enough to recruit and not be racist to black employees.
Because let’s face it thats the real reason why companies are not retaining black employees.
The report said that many Black job applicants feel they are treated unfairly in the recruitment process and continue to face racism at work with inadequate support. Yes in 2021, how shameful.
The Institute of Student Employers reported that 54% of employers have a strategy to attract Black candidates to their business but only 44% of employers track retention.
Strategy? You mean someone decided “we should be more diverse. Let’s recruit more of those black people”… because that isn’t a strategy. A strategy would be to actually recruit more black people, use black and people of colour owned businesses to help recruit, go to the marketplace and see what value and experience that black people can bring – not just because they are black though, as that is tokenism, but because they are actually good and can do the job well.
Another survey, Race at Work, has found that although job applicants from Caribbean (71%) and African (67%) backgrounds are more likely to use a recruitment agency than white people (47%), only 34% of Black candidates felt they are treated fairly, compared to 49% of white people.
Black employees continue to face specific challenges in the workplace, including explicit and covert racism and a lack of representation of Black people in senior positions. Black graduates have called for more support to help successfully transition into the workforce.
Currently, less than a quarter of employers provide dedicated support to help their Black recruits address the challenges they face. The report found that support networks are the most effective ways to support Black graduates, for example buddy and mentoring schemes, as well as substantial forms of work experience.
Last year, I hosted a couple of podcasts on the subject. I’m no expert and yes my white privilege is big on this I know, but I’m learning and trying, and I’d encourage everyone to do the same here.
Check out these two podcast episodes: