Encouraging diversity in the recruitment process

16 July 2020

By Julia Samuel

Encouraging diversity in the recruitment process

One of our clients recently adopted a new Inclusion and Diversity Statement, and wants to partner only with organisations that also recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce. It sparked off another great team conversation about how and why decisions are made in terms of applications (something we do regularly), by us, and how we make sure that we continue to work to the right/highest possible standards.

For our team, being ethical is not just about meeting legal requirements, it’s about being honest, respecting others, acting with integrity and being socially responsible. Here’s some of the ways we’ll encourage diversity and discourage unconscious bias when we’re working together.

Why is diversity important?

Not only is it the right thing to do, there's long been evidence that companies with a more diverse workforce are able to better innovate, solve problems and make decisions – that ultimately leads to increased profits – than those with a more homogeneous team. It can also lead to higher employee engagement and a better reputation, which helps when it comes to attracting new individuals to the team too.

Challenge or questioning your assumptions

Before we work on any role, our team will have an in-depth conversation with you, to understand the skills and experience you’re looking for, as well as the characteristics or values someone will ideally have, too. During this conversation, with the best of intentions, we may challenge or question your assumptions and encourage you to think differently – where we think that’s in your best interests. Whilst we totally understand organisations want to hire people who’ll ‘fit in’, this process is an opportunity to explore those who might bring something different to the culture or team, that doesn’t already exist.

Use of language

Our adverts are written in the broadest way and we’re mindful of the language we use. Where there’s some flexibility in terms of skills, qualifications or industry experience, we’ll highlight that as well.

As we’re advertising, we may also vary the job title a little, over time, to encourage the broadest range of applications, as this helps attract candidates who have specific keyword searches set up.

Using a broad range of platforms

Once we start working on a role, we’ll do this through a combination of advertising and proactive search. Our search is detailed and extensive. We explore our existing and substantial connections, those in your organisation’s industry and those outside of it – those already in the South West and those who would consider relocating here.

We advertise our roles through a broad range of channels too including job boards, social media, as an organisation and individually. This combination of advertising and proactive search will attract as many potentially suitable candidates as possible. We deliberately have a presence across various mediums and channels in a bid to attract diverse applications.

It's more than just a CV

When it comes to progressing candidates and presenting them to you – we meet with each one for an in-depth registration meeting. From that, we’ll only send you candidates who we believe are able to fulfil the requirements of the role. That said, we’ll send you the broadest, most diverse shortlist possible.

We’ll also remove any information from an individual’s CV that might contribute to unconscious bias (we are happy to agree what these are, together). We also provide you with a profile of each candidate, based on the information we’ve discussed in our registration meeting to give you more detailed information, over and above what’s on the CV.

Adapting our process

It’s made clear to candidates, at the registration stage, that we’re able to adapt our process if needs be, so that they are able to compete fairly for a role.

Question us!

Throughout the process, we’re on hand to discuss candidates in more detail, if you need it, when deciding who to progress to the interview stage. It’s an opportunity for you to explore any assumptions you may have made from the CV and profile we’ve provided.

We’re a member of the REC

We’re also a member of The Recruitment & Employment Confederation and which mean’s we’ve passed a compliance test and adhere to their code – observing the highest principles possible.

If you’re looking to hire and would like to find out more about how we work – we’d love to hear from you!

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