Job seekers

Job seekers more likely to apply to companies that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, survey finds

National Survey Finds Americans Expect Employers to Remove Discriminatory Hiring Practices

TROY, Mich., May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly three in four Americans say they are more likely to seek employment with companies that are committed to eliminating discriminatory hiring practices, according to an annual survey conducted by the solutions provider Kelly Recruitment and Workforce.

Kelly revealed today conclusions of its annual report [email protected] survey that show that Americans want companies to provide better access to work for underemployed talent groups, including job seekers with criminal histories, people with autism, veterans, older workers and women. More than 4 in 5 (83%) agree that employers should do more to remove barriers that prevent job seekers from these talent groups from being hired or promoted.

“Companies desperately need skilled talent. At the same time, millions of skilled job seekers face significant barriers to employment,” says Kelly vice president and [email protected] Program manager Pam Sands. “It’s time for employers to provide fairer access to work for these talent groups. Our survey results indicate that this will have a positive impact on their ability to identify skilled workers in all fields.”

Nearly 33% of working-age Americans have a criminal record that often prevents them from finding a job. The unemployment rate for adults with autism is around 85%. Veterans without a four-year degree often struggle to find civilian employment. Older job seekers may find it difficult to change careers and there are nearly two million fewer women in the workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly, which places 350,000 job seekers each year, launched its [email protected] initiative in 2020 to remove systemic barriers to employment for these Americans. Its survey of 1,020 adults in the United States shows that companies can benefit from hiring policies that embrace these talent groups:

  • 76% of Americans say they are more likely to support companies committed to removing barriers to work.
  • 72% say they are more likely to seek employment with companies committed to removing these barriers.
  • 80% say employers should value the relevant skills military veterans have learned and factor them into hiring decisions.
  • 71% say they are more likely to support companies that provide employment opportunities for people with autism.
  • 70% say employers should eliminate or reduce blanket bans that automatically reject job applicants who have minor, non-violent offenses on their criminal record.
  • 62% agree that women forced out of the workforce due to the pandemic face reduced earning potential and opportunities for advancement when they return to work.
  • More than half of Americans (52%) say baby boomers face ageism issues in the workplace.

“The message is loud and clear: Americans expect companies to do better,” says Sands. “Recruiting from these underrepresented talent pools isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good business.”

For full survey results and information about Kelly’s [email protected] initiative, visit

[email protected] Survey methodology
The survey was conducted online by Atomik Research. 1,020 adults in the United States completed the survey between February 15 and 21, 2022. The overall margin of error was less than +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% confidence interval. The researchers implemented sample quotas based on gender identity, geographic regions, age groups, and ethnicity to reflect similar statistically representative ratios based on U.S. Census reports.

About Kelly®
Kelly (Nasdaq: KELYA) (Nasdaq: KELYB) connects talented people with companies that need their skills in areas such as science, engineering, education, office, contact center, light industry, etc. We are always thinking about what lies ahead in the changing world of work, and we help people let go of the script of old ways of thinking and embrace the value of all working styles in the workplace. We directly employ nearly 350,000 people worldwide and connect thousands more with work through our global network of talent providers and partners in our outsourcing and consulting practice. To visit and let us help you with what awaits you. Follow Kelly on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, instagramand Youtube.

Media Contact
Christian Taske
[email protected]

SOURCE Kelly Services, Inc.