Advancing Diverse Hiring with an Inclusivity Audit at the Phoenix Group

Case Study  •  16 November 2023

The Challenge

Phoenix Group is the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business serving c.13 million customers and owns brands such as Standard Life, SunLife and ReAssure. Phoenix has much to be proud of but wanted to challenge itself to ensure that diverse hiring is hardwired into every part of its recruitment processes. They partnered with Resource Solutions to gain an understanding of where bias existed within their end-to-end recruitment and hiring process using a pioneering Inclusivity Audit delivered by Resource Solutions.

Our Solution

Phoenix Group partnered with Resource Solutions to look at their end-to-end recruitment process using their Diverse Hiring audit: a research-based methodology that resulted in actioning meaningful change. Resource Solutions’ Inclusivity Audit applies a proprietary academically informed, research and data-led framework to assess the end-to-end recruitment and hiring process, identifying and assessing bias. The audit analyses bias across 12 stages of the candidate recruitment journey, through 7 diversity lenses. This pioneering audit referenced research from over 60 peer-reviewed academic papers and studies, to ‘hold up a mirror’ and parse out aspects of Phoenix Group’s current hiring processes and career content that had the potential perpetuate bias. The Inclusivity Audit analysed 149 data touchpoints for bias, to provide immediate, actionable, research-informed recommendations that provide an actionable roadmap of meaningful change.

The seven lenses

  1. Gender
  2. Ethnicity
  3. Disability & Neurodiversity
  4. LGBTQ+
  5. Age
  6. Socio-economic
  7. Faith

The Audit identified many current approaches and interventions that minimised bias and removed barriers to under-represented talent:

  • The facial representation analysis identified that careers content at Phoenix Group accurately reflected the communities it mains to represent.
  • The current application and onboarding process included clear, concise and inclusive information on what to expect next. This content was identified as best-in-class – benefitting all applicants and particularly neurodiverse talent.
  • Significant steps has been taken to include older candidates; a diversity lens often overlooked by corporate employers.

In total, 53 recommendations were provided to Phoenix Group to minimise bias further including:

  • 8 recommendations to minimise Gender bias such as removing bias from interviews using an objective, robust approach and implementing a ‘salary history’ ban.
  • 10 recommendations to enable Ethnicity inclusion including the rewording of how ethnicity data is captured as part of the application process and best practice.
  • 10 recommendations to ensure that Neurodiverse candidates and those with a disability are not disadvantaged in any part of the recruitment process including recommendations introducing an ‘adjustments concierge’ service.
  • 18 recommendations relating to LGBTQ+, Age and Faith including re-engineering hiring processes and updating careers content.

In the space of just one month, Phoenix Group has already actioned a number of these recommendations although this is just the start. Over the course of 2023 they intend to action several recommendations.


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