Inclusivity in Early Talent recruitment – best practice
A lot of our clients are approaching us wanting to know how best to ensure inclusivity in their early talent schemes, how to encourage applications from under- represented groups and how to support all applicants to do their best at each stage.
This is something we are huge advocates of and are keen to encourage all of our clients to think about. However, it is important to note that increasing diversity is not about limiting opportunities for certain socio-economic groups but rather, presenting more opportunities for the under-represented groups.
In a recent early talent campaign for our clients Ofwat and Ofgem, we were pleased to be able to achieve an excellent range of candidates as part of our attraction strategy. We had applications from candidates attending 146 Universities, 130 of which were non-Russell-Group universities.
In order to attract candidates from a wider socio-economic background we made specific provisions within the recruitment process such as:
Steps taken within attraction / advertising / website:
- Inclusive wording used in adverts and removal of barriers to application eg. 2:1 criteria reduced to 2:2
- Localised (as well as national) attraction approach, which supports students unable to move away for their studies
- Targeted attraction campaigns to non-Russell Group universities, and those with a diverse student demographic eg. via MillionPlus Universities and utilising Cohesion relationships in place eg. UWL/De Montfort/Napier
- Increased engagement with university careers services to promote the scheme to under-represented groups within their universities eg. London Business School ‘Out in Business’, ‘Black in Business’ and ‘Women in Business’
- Inclusive wording and imagery used in photographs and videos on careers website
- ‘Hints and Tips’ for all stages of the application process available to all, in written and video format
Steps taken within the recruitment process:
- A varied process looking at values, strengths and behaviours, as well as competencies and work experience
- Tracking of candidates in need of additional support such as extra time in assessments
- Tracking of applications and data analysis to spot where under-represented groups fall out of the recruitment process
- Interventions made during the recruitment process to all groups, where required eg. one-to-one video interview coaching and assessment centre preparation support
- Tracking of candidate socio-economic diversity which will be analysed at the end of the campaign
Steps taken within shortlisting:
- Analysis of diversity data to make more informed shortlisting decisions and ensure a balanced and diverse final candidate pool at virtual assessment centre
- Considered where (all other things being equal), any imbalance between groups can be redressed at the final stage
Recruitment is not an exact science, and we always wish to appoint the most suitable candidate for the role on merit.
Our recent event – Inclusion: Opening doors to non-Russell Group Universities covered this in more detail. The recording of the event can be accessed here.