Remove recruitment barriers facing disadvantaged jobseekers, BITC urges

Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has today urged employers to address outdated recruitment practices to tap into more diverse pools of talent, including those who are disabled, have prior criminal convictions and younger and older workers. The call to action comes as analysis shows that there are 3.1 million people in the UK who could fill the UK’s record 1.2 million live vacancies if employers took action to recruit more inclusively. [2]

With a third of the UK’s working age population made up of people between the ages of 16-24 and 50-65 and one in five adults of working age in the UK reported to have a disability, employers must consider how their recruitment policies could lead to them missing out on more people applying for available positions. [3]

BITC’s Opening Doors campaign aims to make two million jobs more inclusive by 2025, by ensuring that employers work with a wider pool of diverse and disadvantaged jobseekers. The campaign’s five-point plan calls for employers to:

  1. Create partnerships which connect people from disadvantaged groups to your jobs
  2. Show candidates that you’re committed to inclusion
  3. Make sure job descriptions and adverts are comprehensive and use inclusive language 
  4. Focus on the essential skills and capabilities that are needed to do the job
  5. Prioritise accessibility and eliminate bias

Nicola Inge, Employment and Skills Director at Business in the Community said:

“Today’s campaign calls on employers to take five steps to open doors to those who experience more barriers than most when trying to seek employment. By eliminating practices that exclude or deter jobseekers, employers could better connect with a diverse talent pool of over three million people. 

“With job vacancies at an all-time high, and many businesses struggling to fill roles across a number of sectors, our campaign aims to solve two big societal problems. What we need to see now is a high take up rate from employers up and down the country, so that obstructive recruitment practices are removed from the job market as soon as possible.”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP said,

Everyone deserves the chance to find a good job and get set up for their future. The Opening Doors campaign by BITC is a great start to making sure we have a diverse and inclusive workforce.  

“Through our Way to Work campaign we are boosting our jobs-led recovery, using our vast network of Jobcentres and the expertise of our DWP Work Coaches to connect employers with ready to work candidates faster than ever before.

“I would urge all businesses to get in touch with their local Jobcentre and harness the bolstered package of support available to get quality candidates into their roles.”

Ends

Notes to editor

  1. Business in the Community’s Inclusive Recruitment report can be viewed here.
  2. Office for National Statistics, Labour market overview, UK: January 2022.
  3. Full details of the analysis are available upon request.
  4. Case studies available upon request.

For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy on 07702 903 216.

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago, with HRH The Prince of Wales as our Royal Founding Patron, to champion responsible business. We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to: 

  • Develop a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow
  • Build thriving communities where people want to live and work
  • Innovate to sustain and repair our planet.