what it means to us

The business and moral imperative for being a diverse organisation has never been greater.


From the Parker, Davies and Hamilton Alexander Reviews, to countless studies from the likes of EY and McKinsey & Company, the business case and moral imperative for organisations to create more diverse and inclusive workforces has never been greater. But achieving parity between the sexes and ensuring no groups feel underrepresented within public and not for profit sector organisations is often easier said than done.

Indeed, while focusing on increasing the number of women holding senior positions is to be applauded, it means nothing if the organisation’s ethnic and minority workers do not feel as though their interests are being met.

Diversity, we believe, cannot take place without inclusivity, and vice versa. 

Why is diversity and inclusion important to us?

Women represent 50 per cent of the UK population, 1 in 5 (19 per cent) of working adults are disabled, and ethnic minorities constitute 13 per cent of the workforce. It therefore follows that the make-up of public and not for profit organisations up and down the country reflects the audiences they serve. This isn’t the case… not yet anyway. We’re committed to helping our clients to change that. Diversity and inclusion is as important to us as it is to you. It is entrenched in us as a business and we believe that to be truly effective in advising our clients on their diverse and inclusive hiring initiatives, we must also practice what we preach. That is precisely what we strive to do. 

Driving forward your diversity and inclusion agenda

It is our responsibility (and obligation) to support you at every stage of the hiring process and to develop a talent strategy that takes you closer to achieving your diverse and inclusive workforce objectives. And as a long-term partner of choice for public sector, this also means adhering with the government’s Workforce Plan by leading the charge towards becoming a ‘Brilliant Civil Service’ – one that is the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020.

Investing in our values

We see our role as championing difference, celebrating role models and ensuring that each and every employer we work with truly understands the positive impact that employing a diverse range of people can have on their organisations. With a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Inhouse Specialist, each consultant who joins Robertson Bell undergoes an extensive training programme centred around the company’s values of honesty, integrity, professionalism and especially respect. This empowers them with a first-hand understanding of what it means to create and build company cultures that are truly diverse and inclusive. It also enables them to enhance our collective network of candidates, and firmly position Robertson Bell as a leading advocate and advisor on diversity and inclusion within each sector we operate. This is evidenced by our successful track record in developing such teams both for our clients, and ourselves.

Providing strategic direction on diverse hiring

A survey conducted by Bullhorn revealed that 80 per cent of hiring managers want to become more diverse and inclusive in their recruitment practices. This is where Robertson Bell excels. We are in a position to help clients to think differently about their hiring strategies, advise them on candidates who can provide an obvious advantage to their organisations, and identify the next generation of leaders irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or disability.

Diversity can only happen when there is inclusion and it is only possible when all underrepresented groups feel valued and included. Our role is to provide the strategic counsel for employers who are committed to meeting their diversity and inclusion objectives. In doing so, Robertson Bell’s consultancy team play a key role in securing the talent that will add value to our clients’ organisations, has the potential to strengthen their core business, and drive better results while providing them with that all-important critical edge over their competition.

Our approach to candidate profiling

Public and not for profit organisations face all manner of challenges. Many struggle to adapt to the changes and complexities that have become increasingly commonplace. To overcome these, and succeed, organisations need to find ways of unlocking the potential of ALL available talent. The key is diversity and inclusion.

Legacy inequalities persist across most if not all sectors, and there is no silver bullet solution. To build a diverse and inclusive workforce takes time, a systemic approach and in some instances a different strategic direction to hiring. That’s where we come in. Robertson Bell have tried, tested and refined the candidate attraction and screening process. The results that our clients have generated shows that our approach is among the best in class at eliminating unconscious bias during the long- and short- listing process.

By anonymising applications, potential candidates are assessed on their suitability for the job rather than background. This effectively eradicates unconscious bias during the short-listing process and enables potential candidates to be assessed based on their suitability for the job - on merit rather than background. It is our job to represent clients in a way that ensures they remain true to their organisation’s strategic objectives, and sometimes that means challenging hiring managers’ choices over shortlisted candidates. We advise them to consider having a diverse range of people involved in the interview itself, too. After all, diverse and inclusive talent need to see there are people like them, not just read about it on a website.