Are You Ready For The Inclusion Challenge?

Did you know that despite the economic gloom around much of the world, at the moment engineers are in short supply? With emerging markets' need for qualified, skilled engineers, there are now…wait for it…. fifteen job openings available per one engineer (qualified, with 2-3 years' work experience or more). Now of course this is a generic statistic, so there are likely to be significant differences once you look at specific niches within engineering, but suffice to say, companies who need engineers in the coming years are going to face fierce competition.They'll also likely find that using their traditional recruitment strategies won't work anymore. Why? Well the competition's no longer what it was, making it like too many fishermen fishing in the same pond. Unless you're able to fish in a new variety of ponds, the fish will run out.So what's needed? Here's our take on preparing yourself for this challenge:


  • Create new recruitment strategies to broaden the pool from which you attract applicants.
  • Tap into sectors you've previously ignored. For example, some companies are now looking into much more creative ways of making job-shares work for people who can't commit to a full-time role. Or setting up links with overseas universities, or making disabled people more aware of the opportunities available to them, and so on.
  • Review your advertising. If you keep on doing what you've always done, you're likely to get the same sorts of applicants (though in diminishing numbers, given the competition).
  • Look at your selection processs, and the mind-sets which underpin them. You could easily generate an influx of applications from 'different-to-the-norm' people who then get screened out at the first stage of selection.
  • Assess the degree to which the culture in your workplace is inclusive. You could readily recruit a broad selection of 'different' people only to find that they are not accepted/don't fit in and end up leaving rather too quickly. This is a critical step to avoid churn, and there are many benefits to the existing workforce in striving for an inclusive culture.


If you'd like to assess the degree too which your company's culture is diverse and inclusive (and are in the UK) you might aim for Diversity Works for London's (DWFL) Gold Standard. This benchmarking tool is not for the faint-hearted as DWFL have created a robust assessment which goes way beyond a typical 'tick-box' activity. Its aim is to improve performance through diversity, and is an excellent step in making strides forward with delivery value from your Diversity and Inclusion agenda.


A warning though: for most people as soon as they hear the phrase 'Diversity and Inclusion' they start thinking about things like Equal Opportunities, targets, quotas and overly-PC language. Of course it's so much more than this, but helping people to really get this is not always easy. We've found the difference that makes a difference is the quality of the facilitation when exploring the topic: it's easy for people to take away a different message from the one intended, to feel patronised, to think it's all about the bottom line, to think it's not relevant to them and so on. Thus the need for high quality facilitation.

If you'd like to know more or find out how we can help you with this type of challenge, feel free to contact us for an informal discussion.

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