Last year we conducted research among 100 of the UK’s top headhunters, followed by a similar survey this year. Perhaps one of the most interesting UK results in 2011 was the number of headhunters who believed that the Davies Report – which recommended companies should more than double the number of women on their boards by 2015 – would fail. In 2012, the results were just as significant, with a staggering 8 out of 10 headhunters believing that the Davies Report would not succeed.
The figures suggested that 83% of those surveyed feared the recommendations would result in optimal candidates being turned down as a result of positive discrimination. I personally believe that the most important outcome of any recruitment process is that the best candidate gets the role. Any kind of discrimination, positive or not, is not in the interest of the employer.
Conversely, 61% of headhunters (twice as many as in last year’s survey) now agree that firms should double the number of females on their boards.