The risks posed by nepotism in executive search
A recent report from Handshake revealed that nearly half of all businesses believe that the ongoing shift towards online networks – as a direct result of the pandemic – offers unique opportunities to level the candidate playing field.
Despite the initial promise offered by levelling the playing field, some issues need addressing beforehand. Known as ‘nepotism’, the practice of utilising existing networks – consisting of existing contacts, family, friends, former colleagues or even schoolmates – can entrench existing privilege within the workplace.
We need to ensure that businesses across all sectors – from Life Science to the built environment – can avoid this swathe of new inclusion problems. Those from a disadvantaged or less well-connected background risk being excluded from the talent pool altogether.
Are job interviews biased towards those with existing connections?
We all know that the virus has radically changed the way people work. For those looking for a new role, navigating the world of work outside of their organisation has become inherently more challenging.
In this poll of recruitment leaders, 96% of participants stated that unconscious bias is a real problem in the recruitment process. A sentiment which is echoed by candidates, with 33% of students and graduates from this study admitting that they felt interviews are biased towards those with existing connections.
The very nature of recruitment leaves the process vulnerable to unconscious bias and the pandemic has only compounded the likelihood of this happening. Where previously first impressions could make or break an interview, all that’s needed now is for a candidate to be plagued by a problematic internet connection or poor sound quality for an unfair opinion to be formed.
Making diversity and inclusion a priority in your post-pandemic recruitment
More than half of HR leaders currently rely too heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations for candidates. For organisations especially, word-of-mouth recruitment has several drawbacks that can throw diversity and inclusion within your hiring strategy into jeopardy.
Not only will you significantly shrink the pool of potential candidates for a role, but if they don’t work out, your professional network could be damaged, too.
While your HR Leader may boast an exceptionally well-connected network, it won’t compare to that of a recruiter. Utilising the services of an executive search partner allows you to connect with a wide range of diverse candidates – meaning the perfect candidate is propelled to being within reach. Being too reliant on your personal network would suggest that you’re passing overqualified candidates who could make a significant positive contribution to your team.
If a candidate is good enough, their background won’t matter
The hiring process in the aftermath of the pandemic needs to be as smart and smooth as possible, to avoid alienating potential candidates from your organisation. There is a vast talent pool made up solely of underrepresented candidates – can you really afford to be missing out?
Here at G&E Partners, we understand the challenges of hiring during a global pandemic (and in a recovering economy). We also want to guarantee your role is fulfilled by the best possible candidate, regardless of their connection or background. For executive and C-Suite roles, you need a candidate who will not only supplement and support your organisation, but will make your business better, not just financially, but culturally, too.
Not only will bringing in candidates from a disadvantaged background into the C-Suite help instil a new diverse culture within the business, but also champion the efforts of future hires from similar backgrounds.
Early careers at G&E Partners
Every year, G&E Partners welcomes a group of driven individuals onto the yearly training academy program.
Following a curriculum map that is explicitly designed to help exceptional individuals realise their potential. Taking them from graduate-level, all the way to C-Suite; these candidates will follow in the footsteps of our previous graduates, resulting in an executive role within either the business, or the wider business group.
We believe that everyone has the potential to succeed, regardless of their background. We will support you at the start of your career, wherever the future takes you.
G&E Partners is an executive search firm that provides immediate and long-term solutions for leading businesses in various industries across the globe. To find out how our services could benefit your organisation, please get in touch today.