Cynthia Davis: BAME Recruitment & Challenges in the Workplace

Today I’m speaking with Cynthia Davis. Cynthia is the founder and CEO of BAME Recruitment. She has over 18 years of experience working with organisations that include BT, Carphone Warehouse and ITV. Cynthia has also won multiple awards including being named a Rising Star by We are the City.

Cynthia understands the challenges of underrepresented groups within the workplace regarding the recruitment process. I was thrilled to speak with Cynthia so that she could share the benefit of her considerable experience with us.

In todays show we discuss several things including:

  • The tactics used by recruiters to place candidates in front of hiring managers
  • The Dilemma facing recruiters who wish to promote Diversity & Inclusion
  • The real reason why Cynthia named her organisation BAME Recruitment and much much more.

Here’s some of the wisdom that Cynthia shared:

Recruiters Respond to Strong Incentives

This was a central theme of the show; Cynthia explained the motivations of recruiters and some of the practical dilemmas they experience on an everyday basis. Cynthia describes how the current system encourages tactics and behaviours that are intended to support clients but often lacks incentives to challenge existing norms:

“They’re too eager to please the clients, to get the businesss, they don’t feel comfortable challenging them”

Talent is not Always Enough

Cynthia outlines the inconvenient truth about the labour market as an expert immersed in it. She explains how competitive the marketplace can be for both candidates and recruiters, however she suggests that this does not always means that being talented is all that is required to make it in the workplace:

“The talent is essential to have… sometimes talent is not always enough”

You are Going to Stand Out

Cynthia explains how she accepted her hyper-visibility in the workplace. She recognised that she was easily recognisable within the workplace and chose to use this to her advantage. However Cynthia describes how this had benefits and costs in the workplace.

“People remembered my name for the right reasons, because I had nowhere to hide, if I did something bad, they would always remember me because there’s only one of me…”


If you want a quick snapshot of what the episode is about I’ve created some slides that you may find interesting


Exercise your personal choice, despite your bias

Show notes

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

BAME Recruitment


Carphone Warehouse


We are the City Rising Star

Cynthia Davis Linkedin

BAME Recruitment Facebook Page

BAME Recruitment Twitter

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