Recruitment - what we are doing

Recruitment – what we are doing

Thursday, 04 August 2022

A learning journey that is important to us.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are important to us. Up until now our focus has been on raising awareness through training and seeking the views of colleagues, customers, and people with lived experience to inform our EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) plans and actions. 

We know there is more we can do to make sure EDI becomes an integral part of our day-to-day work and we’re in the early stages of our journey to becoming truly inclusive. Exploring how we can make our recruitment and selection processes more accessible is an important part of that journey.  

We’re in the process of talking to people with lived experience to learn how we can remove barriers for employment. Improving our understanding of the challenges faced by people applying for jobs will help us to identify where we can make changes to improve their experience.  

At present our customer to workforce comparison isn't where we want it to be and our diversity monitoring shows we are underrepresented in the following groups: ethnicity, disability, and LGBTQIA+. It’s really important to us that our workforce becomes more reflective of the community we serve and, although we have some way to go, we’re already making good progress in changing the way we recruit to incorporate different perspectives and experiences. We’re always open to feedback and will carry on talking to people and looking for ways to make sure our opportunities are open to all.  

What we have done so far...

We have recently looked at our approach to recruitment, and this has helped us to take a closer look at our application process and the way that we advertise roles. As part of this project, we have been working closely with mentors from Disability Connect to gain an insight into how we can make our processes disability positive.  

The Disability Connect scheme works with organisations to increase disability awareness by pairing us with mentors who have experience of living with a disability and are able to share invaluable insights of disability in the workplace. By doing so, they have helped us to identify practical steps we can take in making our recruitment process more inclusive.  

We are in the process of adapting our approach by:  

  • Looking at our recruitment documentation and adverts and removing any language that can create barriers for applicants.
  • Updating our website to show our commitment to being an inclusive employer as well as being transparent about what we are doing to meet our targets. 
  • Creating supportive materials (i.e., how to prepare for an interview and how to write a CV guide) to provide support with the application process.  
  • Looking at our interview methods to identify what additional support we can provide for neurodivergent applicants, for example, by providing interview questions in advance.  
  • Considering techniques to allow candidates to present the best version of themselves during the interview, for example, offering all candidates the opportunity of receiving core interview questions ahead of the interview to allow additional processing time to reflect on their answer. This can be particularly helpful for neurodivergent applicants.  
  • Promoting our membership of the disability confident scheme, which guarantees an interview to anyone with a disability, if they meet the minimum criteria for the role, and working towards the next level of membership.  
  • Adopting a blind recruitment process – that removes any identifying details from a candidate's application - to eliminate any potential for bias in the recruitment process  
  • Broadening our advertising methods to reach a wider, more diverse audience.  
  • Implementing new systems to enhance our ability to report on a wider range of diversity data across each stage of the recruitment and selection process.  

Working with the Disability Connect Scheme has allowed us to challenge the way that we think about recruitment and be open to trying new techniques to support us in creating a process that is fair and accessible to all candidates.  

We are embracing this learning journey and will proactively seek feedback and challenge ourselves to continue to do more in this area. We appreciate the positive impact that our changes will make for our future job applicants as well as supporting us in recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce.