New research jointly commissioned by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and KPMG reveals a startling picture of employer bias towards disadvantaged groups. Less than one in four employers have hired from disadvantaged groups, such as ex offenders, young people with no qualifications and the long term unemployed during the last three years.
The survey also reveals that when employers were asked to rate these groups in terms of performance with other employees, employers rated their performance generally equal to that of other employees. The report concludes that there is an unfair negative attitude towards these groups and more needs to be done by government to help overcome barriers.
Around one third (32%) of employers actively exclude certain disadvantaged groups from the recruitment process. Although this is an improvement from 2005 when a similar CIPD survey found that 62% of employers excluded one or more disadvantaged groups from the recruitment process, however it still represents a wide section of the workforce being actively excluded.
Nearly one fifth (19%) of employers will not even consider applications from ex-offenders, 16% of employers exclude young people aged 18 and under with few or no qualifications and 9% of organisations exclude applications from people aged over 65 or older.
Commenting on the findings Gerwyn Davies, CIPD Public Policy Adviser, said:
“The extent of exclusion is not in every case justified on the basis of the potential of almost every target group. For example, employers with experience of employing ex-offenders consider them at least as productive as other workers and a majority of employers consider them to be more loyal than the rest of the workforce. This would suggest that people with criminal records and individuals from other target groups are in many cases being unfairly excluded from the recruitment process. More must be done therefore by policy makers, working with employers, to challenge these often inaccurate and negative stereotypes.”