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The Resilient Recruiter

Nov 30, 2022

Most recruiters say that Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is important but haven’t actually updated their recruitment process accordingly.  There’s a big difference between talking about ED&I and making a real commitment to implement it.

This is why a lot of the discussion around this topic is performative while in reality the candidate shortlists recruiters are presenting to clients are largely made up of the “usual suspects.”

In this challenging episode, it was my pleasure to interview a prominent champion of ED&I, Jo Major. Jo brings 22 years of recruitment industry experience and founded Diversity in Recruitment because of her drive to get ED&I on the agenda of recruitment teams. She believes recruiters can influence and lead the change needed to tackle underrepresentation in UK employment. 

Through training and advice, she helps recruiters get to grips with ED&I and gives them the insight, tools, and confidence to attract diverse talent, make their processes equitable and accessible, and recruit inclusively and confidently partner with their clients and hiring managers.

Jo believes that a candidate's identity, background, and circumstances should never be the reason they don't make it into the recruitment process. If you are on the quest of helping your candidates, clients, and your own team, to align with ED&I principles, Jo’s insights and practical advice will be of help to you.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [04:37] ED&I - Jo’s insights on its importance to the recruitment industry.
  • [08:17] What motivated Jo to focus on training instead of recruiting?
  • [13:1]1 How impostor syndrome affected Jo when starting her business.
  • [18:18] How Diversity in Recruitment supports recruitment businesses.
  • [23:05] Jo discusses the “Performative Tickbox Exercise.”
  • [27:58] How can recruiters support their clients in inclusive, accessible, and equitable hiring?
  • [34:57] How can recruiters make a difference in the area of ED&I? 
  • [38:37] Why ED&I complements a retained solution for clients.
  • [46:04] The critical role of equity in making the recruitment process more inclusive.
  • [49:01] How job descriptions can include points of ‘de-selection’.
  • [53:10] The most essential steps on ED&I from a recruitment standpoint.
  • [59:25] Can ED&I only be afforded by big recruitment companies?


How Diversity in Recruitment Supports Recruitment Businesses

Jo’s two decades of recruitment industry experience gives her a valuable perspective on how diversity, inclusion, and equity should be aligned with the profession of recruitment.  She also has a strong drive and passion for this topic. 


This was the motivation behind launching her training business, Diversity in Recruitment. How does her organization support recruitment firms to include ED&I in their agenda? “I tend to take a training and advisory approach rather than a consultancy,” stated Jo. “I am a massive fan of module learning - bite-sized accessible training rather than days and days talking about new concepts to recruiters.” Below are some ways in which they can help recruitment businesses:


  • Understanding what is diversity and inclusion in the recruitment setting.
  • Understanding unconscious bias, hiring habits, and preferences.
  • Practical steps on how to make recruitment accessible and equitable and inclusive.
  • How to attract under-represented talent.
  • How to package your job differently from the way that you have always done.
  • Turning marketing strategy to engage candidates not currently on your network.
  • Moving away from the cookie-cutter approach.
  • Looking at how to have conversations with clients.


ED&I - Is Making a Difference Really Worth It?

Let’s face it - making a difference can be challenging and overwhelming, especially for smaller businesses. In an environment where recruitment businesses have targets and placements to meet, the task of embedding ED&I in the core of their businesses can seem enormous. So you may ask, is it worth undertaking this challenge?


This is how Jo puts it, which for me makes perfect sense. “This will help you be better at your job. This will help you reach more candidates and increase your talent pools. This will help you win more business. This will help you develop long-term relationships with your clients. This will differentiate you from your competitors. It will get you to think about additional products and services.”


The next question is, how do you help your team to be aligned with the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion? And how do you support your clients in doing the same? Jo has provided several meaningful ideas that can help you as a recruiter and recruitment business owner. 


My biggest takeaway from the interview with Jo is that recruitment leaders must start their ED&I journey with their own internal recruitment process.  Take a look at your existing team and internal hiring practices.  Before you start advising clients on ED&I, make sure you’ve taking steps to implement it within your own business.


Our Sponsors


This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro and Recruitment Entrepreneur.


i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Their technology and methodology allow recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Their software combined with world-class training enables you to transition from transactional, contingency recruiter to consultative, retained recruiter. Instead of being perceived as a “me too” vendor, you’ll be positioned as a “me only” solutions provider. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Book your free, no-obligation consultation here:

Recruitment Entrepreneur is the world’s leading Private Equity firm specializing in the international recruitment industry. If you’ve dreamed of starting, scaling and selling your recruitment business, this is your chance. James Caan and his team at Recruitment Entrepreneur are actively seeking ambitious recruiters who they can invest in. They provide everything you need to grow a successful recruitment business including: funding, financial expertise, coaching and mentoring, operational strategy, backoffice support, marketing and talent attraction solutions. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Start a conversation here:


Jo Major Bio and Contact Info


Jo has a twenty-year+ career in the recruitment space behind her. Her work has helped to grow businesses, schools, charities, and enterprises, and has shaped the careers of some outstanding humans.


Jo has developed strategic D&I, Social Mobility & CSR programs that build and improve recruitment team culture, engage employees, attract underrepresented talent and make recruitment businesses better places to work and partner with.


She founded Diversity in Recruitment because of her absolute drive to get D&I on the agenda of recruitment teams, no matter what their size and capacity – Jo believes that recruiters have the opportunity to influence and lead real change



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