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  • Writer's pictureHumdex

D & I: Aligning the science and keeping it real

We have invited our partner Steve Marley; CEO and Founder of Ashwood Executive search to explain why he is a passionate advocate of Humdex and its data driven workforce analytics.

A perspective from the recruitment business

Steve Marley - Founder and CEO Ashwood ESI

At Ashwood we assist, our primarily FMCG, extensive client base to identify, engage and hire executives at C-Suite to C-Suite minus 2 level. We work Internationally primarily, not exclusively, across Europe, USA and Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa.

I have been in the recruitment business for over 20 years, in that time the market and recruitment methodologies have changed fundamentally and the way we do business today is very different. Recruitment methodologies and approaches change not only year on year, but now at an even faster rate, compared to when I started this business all those years ago. I speak to many HR professionals and I continue to be surprised at the ad-hoc nature of some of the data measures that we, as recruitment consultants, need to work with to define success. I believe that in some cases this is because the HR organizations themselves lack that vital data they need to better measure what they do and get an effective barometer on their own performance, particularly when it comes to how they compare with the external market.

At Ashwood we have taken the view that we must get even more deeply involved in driving and partnering diversity and inclusion with all our clients and getting an accurate barometer of the external market is an essential part of getting its execution right. We need to shine a light on this vital area because not only is it the RIGHT thing to do from an ethical and principle perspective, it is the RIGHT thing for our clients to do for improved business performance. Commitment to D & I leads to hiring better talent, which leads to improved leadership and thereby to a more content workforce that produces better business results. This commitment to evolving the workforce is essential, especially now as the pandemic accelerates and catalyses transformation even in forward thinking organisations. We see daily how such leadership talent adapts, collaborates, persuades, provides feedback, develops and inspires others to be their best.

So, it makes sense to do be close to the D & I needs of businesses, but we knew we needed a partner to help with the science. We knew that mining key internal and external data by geography and function would be essential to gaining the buy-in of our clients at C-Suite level. We sought a partner with gravitas, integrity, international experience and the relevant skills and knowledge plus the infrastructure to deliver. We insisted on a partner who can assist our blue-chip client base and mid-sized international clients all of whom are eager to build on, or create, an effective Diversity and Inclusion vision and strategy.

Well when looking for a great Partner you need both a plan and an element of good fortune. I was in luck as my ex-client, intellectual sparring partner and good friend Caroline Brent has founded a business called Humdex Ltd. (Human data experts). Humdex is a team of international data, digital and HR experts who have seen the need to bring authentic science /data to this vital issue. They are passionate about D & I, bringing an energy and skill level to projects that is impressive and that above all delivers results.

Not surprising then that Ashwood has partnered with Humdex, as we believe they can help us bring more science to the passionate area of recruiting for balance. We feel that if both Ashwood and its clients have a clear grasp of the external talent market as well the internal talent demands we can make data-driven recruitment briefs built on facts; we know this will make us more effective recruiters, we will get better results for our customers that are truly in the context of market availability and may even afford us the opportunity to celebrate better than market performances based on (factually articulated market understandings).

By using a targeted approach, we can gain a positive candidate advantage enabling our clients to accelerate not only their D & I policies, but hire the best. ALL candidates seek an impressive business culture and they believe a diverse workplace provides an empathetic environment conducive to creativity, bigger and bolder ideas leading to greater success and therefore opportunity. Candidates will benefit from this focused approach too; as we deliver talent quality in the reality of real market context, rather than chasing unrealistic calls that frustrate all concerned, especially candidates.

Therefore, investing in this partnership with a true application of workforce analytics and a real specialism in working with companies to drive data-led recruiting for diversity is essential.

• You can’t fake it – the facts speak for themselves

• We believe data will help you attract and retain better talent through more effective hiring strategies

We passionately believe all companies should have a clearly defined diversity agenda, which includes how they go to market for recruitment that is built on market facts. We know that if we help our customers achieve a diverse workforce they will attract first class talent, be leaders by improving equity (including pay and benefits), and above all benefit their EMPLOYER BRAND.

To conclude, remember that with Humdex you can’t FAKE IT and THEY’RE GOOD FOR BUSINESS in every way. So keep it real and enjoy the benefits of a targeted approach to D & I.

To find out more on Ashwood executive search C-suite services you can visit their site HERE or contact them directly via email:


At Humdex we deliver data driven high-level workforce analysis, which we decode bespoke for your Strategy Workforce Plan. For support in unlocking the power of your people data CONTACT US to find out more.

Guest author -Steve Marley -Ashwood ESI-

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