Top tips on finding an inclusive employer

Tax Recruitment Adviser Nick Ooi believes an employer's commitment to diversity is a decisive factor in the job search He shares advice on finding an inclusive employer.

As a BME employee, working for the right organisation is important to me.  This means an employer who is committed to providing equal opportunities to all, and I see EY as a strong driver in the market for this. 

Working within their recruitment team, I can see the positive initiatives and ethos that exist within the organisation to foster an inclusive environment.  These can be seen through their number of different employee networks ranging from ethnicity, religion, gender and disability.  These exist to act as forums to assist and empower their employees.  There is also a mentoring programme as well as a number of inspirational leaders who can inspire and help develop your career, whatever your background. 

If you’re looking for a career move and are uncertain about a potential employer’s commitment to equal opportunities (whatever your background), here are a few things to consider:

  • Equality in the workplace: Many employers have an equality statement and this can be a good way of seeing how inclusive they are as an organisation. Websites are often a useful way to get information on a company’s ethos and equality policy.

  • Company culture: Continuing support in the workplace is as important as the initial advertising and recruitment campaign that attracts you. If a company has an ongoing diversity programme, it may show a longer-term commitment to having a diverse workforce.

  • Research: A company profile will not always show the diversity within their workforce.  Research the interviewers (if known) or other members of staff to see if there is a good representation of diverse employees at all levels.  If you have been referred speak to your friend who put you forward.

  • Your beliefs: What have you done to support inclusion within the workplace?  Volunteering for groups and mentoring is a great opportunity to make a difference yourself and to show your future employers that you strongly believe in equality in the workplace by race and gender.

  • Interview: This is an opportunity to use your beliefs and research to show a future employer what kind of employee you are and what kind of company you are looking to join.  If you have doubts about an organisation’s ethos, for example, if the interview panel is predominantly white males, ask about the progression and development path within the organisation.  Find out what their initiatives are in place or what they have planned to enable their BME and/or female staff to succeed.

Career summary to date

I spent close to 10 years as a manager for HMV UK, Cineworld UK and Vue Entertainment before moving into recruitment 5 years ago.  Since then I have recruited in the public sector, media, retail, oil and gas, charity and finance.  I helped create a recruitment system for the social housing sector called i-Talent in 2011 which was bought out in 2013 by JobTrain Solutions.  I am also a qualified SAP HR consultant.

My speciality at EY is volume recruitment, helping bring diverse and passionate candidates to EY.  In addition I have recruited for entry level to director positions within our Financial Services teams.

I have worked in a variety of roles & have built up an interesting skill set.  This has made me very adaptable to situations.  I like to keep an active life & am a regular gym goer.  I have represented my county & region for swimming.  I also have a passion for music having previously played bass guitar in punk/alternative bands.

  • Nick Ooi

About the author

Nick recruits for the European Tax Centre in addition to the high volume recruitment for EY’s Financial Services hub in Newcastle.