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Leading with inclusion to increase diversity.

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Leading with inclusion to increase diversity.

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At SEC, we believe in separating the notion of inclusion from that of diversity. We understand that they are different things and as such have taken an “inclusion-first” approach across our business. Over the past 30 years our efforts into creating and maintaining an inclusive work environment have enabled us to build one of the most diverse workforces in the recruitment space. Our ongoing commitment means that as a business we speak over 20 languages and have numerous nationalities working alongside one another.

But this is due to inclusivity, not box ticking. It’s about hiring talent based on skills, achievements and motivations; then taking any necessary steps to ensure that person is welcomed, smoothly onboarded and is able to carry out their role in comfort, while being themselves.

But why do we (and why should you) put so much emphasis on inclusion?

Being able to build and highlight an inclusive culture is an essential part of recruitment processes and strategies. The data and research all points to increases in creativity, productivity, and innovation (A Catalyst Study. “Why Diversity Matters.”) within businesses whilst also being a key factor when someone make the choice to join and stay with an organisation.

But what about diversity?

Diversity is important.

There is still under-representation in industries across the globe. We’re committed to applying processes, technology and marketing to ensure everyone, regardless of any protected characteristics (age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity), has the same opportunity to find, apply for and secure new roles across the world.

But it isn't just diversity for diversity's sake; our inclusion-first approach is what has resulted in diverse workforces for our clients and for ourselves.

How we communicate our commitment internally, and how do we advise our partners?

Our commitment to inclusivity and diversity is underpinned by three pillars. We practice what we preach when it comes to this important issue and work alongside our clients to educate and implement some of the strategies that have served us so well since our inception in 1987.

A top-down approach.

Directors and managers play an essential role in building, creating and fostering an inclusive culture. It’s not about a single department, person or consultancy. At SEC we embed inclusion-based processes across all areas of recruitment, career planning and appraisal processes, and work with clients that have a strategy to build diverse teams by identifying people with a range of views (diversity of thoughts) and perspectives – enabling them to play to their strengths. We also believe it's important to not force wellbeing onto people; allow people to invest in their own wellbeing in ways that means the most to them, and take steps to engage with teams authentically and with transparency to foster a sense of community within your business.

Education and awareness.

Businesses need to look at their recruitment programmes to promote inclusive behaviours. This needs to be included in any interview processes and ongoing learning and development programmes. Build dedicated learning programmes around authenticity, emotion and inclusive behaviours, build internal awareness communications around how to recognise inclusive behaviours, and ensure that any focus groups, company-based meetings are represented by a diverse makeup of the workforce.

Employee engagement.

Inclusion and diversity has, in recent years, evolved from what it “looks like” to what it “feels like.” It is now more important than ever to create a culture that is focused on this. This means bringing together individuals of different backgrounds in buddying or mentoring programmes to create diverse groups and widen perspectives. It also means focusing on passions and interests rather than demographics or characteristics, and building recognition and reward programmes around individual strengths and weaknesses.

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When you partner with SEC, you are working with a recruitment business that places inclusion and diversity at its core. Our ways of working are constantly evolving as the world changes which means that our approaches also change.

We operate in alignment with our partners' policies and, where necessary, we will advise and help implement a recruitment process that helps them create the most inclusive and diverse team – that at the heart of it – delivers results.

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