These tips have come from the organisations that were involved in the Inclusive recruitment action group. They come from learning within those organisations as to what works and doesn’t work in trying to make recruitment more inclusive.

 

Culture

  • The foundation for an effective inclusive recruitment strategy is a business case that key stakeholders buy into. Engage with leadership in the organisation on the business case, providing training and evidence grounded in commercial reality and ethical values
  • Make sure that leaders understand the importance of having an inclusive organisation and inclusive leadership behaviours and organisational values. Involve them in making decisions that will drive inclusivity to be certain they understand
  • Create meaningful partnerships to help you achieve your goals. Having a critical friend can help you progress more quickly
  • Break your project up into smaller more manageable chunks, don’t try and tackle the world all at once

 

Foundation

  • Make a compelling case to applicants and employees for gathering diversity data. A communications strategy can ensure that you gain quality data that is useful for reporting and driving future changes
  • Be proactive about your approach to reasonable adjustments. Consider using technology to help you reach these goals – this can make the process easier and more efficient
  • Work with diverse colleagues and stakeholders to ensure that the training you create steers away from bias and groupthink

 

Attraction and talent sourcing

  • Before you decide where to look for talent, consider what your offering is and how you’re going to present it. Always think about the target audience. Whether direct or indirect hiring, make sure that you reach beyond traditional talent pools and routes to market are well researched and third parties checked for their diversity credentials
  • The difference between positive action and positive discrimination is often not clear to everyone. Ensure that all of your recruitment team, hiring managers and key stakeholders understand the difference
  • Not all diversity initiatives will create a spike in applications, but they will certainly improve the employer brand and reinforce your organisation’s commitment to D&I in the long term
  • Check your job descriptions and adverts for language and tone that may put some candidates off. Engineering organisations often default to masculine language

 

Selection and assessment

  • Use your data to understand if there may be bias at any stage in the selection process
  • Make sure you used a structured interview approach. Strengths-based or competency-based interviews ensure that you follow a process and will capture an audit trail
  • Using competency-based assessments for entry level positions can exclude candidates who have not had the opportunity to gain work experience. Consider aptitude- or potential-based assessment
  • A shortlisting matrix can reduce bias. You can miss diverse talent by not objectively assessing candidates at the shortlisting stage
  • Ensure your online assessments are accessible and have been tested by people who use products such as adaptive software. Include ‘test’ assessments for candidates to get used to your process

 

Retention

  • Internal recruitment can often feel more about who you know than what you know. Transparency and consistency of approach, using good practice principles of evidence based recruitment, can make a real difference
  • Commit to the government’s Disability Confident initiative, which will ensure that you are considering your colleagues with a disability or long-term health condition in areas such as progression or promotion, learning and wider HR policies and practice.
  • Celebrating engineering role models from all walks of life can show your employees that great engineers do not have to fit a stereotype
  • Open up your networks to everyone. As the majority of employees in engineering are currently white men, engaging them as allies is crucial to progress in D&I
  • Work-life balance brings benefits to a business. Employees are more likely to be productive and loyal to the organisation if they feel they have a good work-life balance