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The Resilient Recruiter

Oct 29, 2021

Diversity and Inclusion is a hot topic in recruitment right now, and for good reason. We’ve reached a “tipping point” (to borrow a term coined by Malcolm Gladwell) where most companies and organizations are embracing diversity and understand the benefits of a diverse workforce.  Which means that we recruiters have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in promoting DEI.

I confess that I know very little about this topic.  Fortunately, I found the perfect person to guide me.  My special guest, Chikere Igbokwe, explains why self-education is key and why it’s important to go back to basics when strategizing your approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in your business.

Chikere is an Experienced Executive Recruiter, Facilitator and DEI Leader. She is passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is on a mission to educate employees, make organisations more diverse and inclusive and to equip them with the know-how to be changemakers.  

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:14] Chikere shares her story - what led her to pursue her advocacy on inclusiveness and diversity.
  • [8:08] Information about the Allyship Community.
  • [10:50] What is meant by a safe & brave space in terms of promoting diversity.
  • [14:50] How Chikere started her business in line with her passion to make a difference.
  • [19:05] What do recruiters need to know about diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • [24:00] Why is race such a touchy subject?
  • [29:53] Getting back to basics: starting with self-education.
  • [34:49] The ‘whys’ on recruiters promoting equity and inclusion. 
  • [40:15] The concept of privilege and bias on getting opportunities.
  • [45:15] Best practices in introducing more diverse talents to your clients.
  • [50:56] Why the “blind CV” may not be the best tool to remove unconscious bias.

What is Meant by “Safe Space”? 

When building a culture conducive to tolerance and respect, it is important to establish an environment that is psychologically safe. What is meant by “safe space” from this perspective? Chikere explained, “Obviously space is really important but it is a safe space to come together and have a discussion, a difficult discussion.” From here, Chikere shared actual experiences on discussions about race, white privilege, and other topics that may be considered touchy. Having people comfortable enough to have these conversations is beneficial and a crucial step towards making a difference. 

Embedding DEI Into Your Recruitment Business - Where Do You Start?

It makes commercial sense to create a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy for your recruitment business. Aside from the fact that it’s the right thing to do, we believe that recruitment businesses who are serious about DEI will perform better than those who don’t. However, before you jump into creating your DEI strategy, Chikere firmly believes that the following should be considered:

  • Understanding the WHAT: get back to understanding the basic terminologies
  • Knowing the WHY: Chikere emphasizes the question, “Why are we having this conversation?”
  • TIME - it takes time to create change, think of it as a marathon, not a race.

Introducing More Diverse Candidates to Your Clients 

In order to find diverse talents, it has to be intentional. Diversity in recruitment requires effort and planning. In some cases, it may mean going out of your comfort zone. Is it worth it? Chikere shared that clients are leaning towards those recruiters who are serious about diversity and have a clear strategy in place. Where can you start? Hear Chikere’s fantastic ideas on how allyship can be a valuable avenue in building a network of diverse talents.

Our Sponsors

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro®. 

i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Our technology and methodology allows recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter for a 25% discount. Book your free, no obligation consultation here: 

Chikere Igbokwe Bio and Contact Info

Chikere founded Inclucive - a DEI Consultancy to help organisations build inclusion into their foundations. She values long term partnerships and works with clients who want to build from a solid foundation. Chikere is also the founder of – a community for Allies to come together in a safe space to learn and the Allyship Book Club.  The community is 260 strong and growing. 

Chikere was born in Southampton, England to a Trinidadian Mother who is part of the Windrush generation and a Nigerian father. She is passionate about equality, equity, Social justice and amplifying unrepresented voices. She is a subject matter expert on gender, recruitment, retaining diverse talent, understanding race including anti-racism and allyship. She has travelled extensively and currently lives in Lewisham, London. She is married with two teenage sons.

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