Recruitment Agencies See Uptick in Employer Diversity Initiatives

Scout Exchange survey explores recruiters’ perceptions of diversity recruiting trends

BOSTON, MA – March 5, 2019 A new survey from Scout Exchange, a platform for marketplace recruiting, finds that diversity recruiting is an important area of focus for many employers, but which diversity categories they target, and for which roles, varies greatly.  With representation across every industry and region in the U.S., Scout’s recruiters are uniquely positioned to understand employers’ priorities in real-time.

For example, nearly nine in 10 recruiters in the survey (87 percent) say diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives are a priority for the employers they work with. However, according to the survey’s respondents, D&I initiatives are far more likely to target women for senior roles than they are to target people of color or people with disabilities. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents say they have special initiatives for recruiting women to executive-level roles. That drops to just 11 percent for people of color and two percent for people with disabilities.

“By and large, our results show D&I is top of mind for employers. The business benefits of diversity are well documented, and employers understand the importance in terms of recruiting and retaining a competitive workforce,” said Jim McCoy, chief revenue officer and general manager of Scout. “Insights from our recruiter survey suggest that companies are being strategic and holistic in their workforce strategies. From the findings, it looks like employers can expect a lot of competition for diverse talent in the years to come.”

Additional highlights of the survey’s key findings, which are detailed in the report Diversity and Inclusion: Scout Recruiter Survey, include the following:

  • Diversity recruiting is a priority for hiring companies: 87 percent of Scout recruiters say D&I is a priority for the companies they work with.
  • Interest in diversity recruiting is on the rise: 95 percent of recruiters say interest in diversity recruiting among clients is up or has stayed steady among employers.
  • Focus on some underrepresented diversity categories declined: 13 percent of respondents say interest in Veterans has dropped, while 16 and 33 percent say the same of people with physical disabilities and older workers, respectively.

“The population-specific findings are worthy of more investigation,” said McCoy. “There’s a lot we don’t know. Is it about perceived value? Is it about the size of the pipeline? Do these results vary by industry or job type? There’s more we want to uncover here.”

The survey was sent in January 2019 to over 1,800 search firm recruiters in Scout’s marketplace.

For additional stats on diversity recruiting, please see Scout’s “Gut Check on Diversity Recruitment” infographic.

About Scout Exchange

A platform for marketplace recruiting, Scout is a new, data-driven way to connect employers and search firms to fill jobs with great talent. Combining the power of marketplace dynamics and machine learning, Scout creates successful employer-to-search firm recruiter matches that deliver better results, improved efficiency and lower cost. Seamlessly integrated with Applicant Tracking Systems, Scout is trusted by hundreds of employers, including 50 Fortune 500 companies, and thousands of specialty recruiters. For more information, please visit