Mott MacDonald – Inclusive recruitment

Mott MacDonald is a US$2 billion engineering, management and development consultancy. The company is involved in solving some of the world’s most urgent social, environmental and economic challenges by helping governments and businesses plan, deliver and sustain their strategic goals. It responds to humanitarian and natural emergencies and improves people’s lives.

Mott MacDonald’s expertise by sector includes buildings, communications, defence, education, environment, health, industry, mining, oil and gas, power, transport, urban development, water, wastewater and more. The company’s skills encompass planning, studies and design, project finance, technical advisory services, project and programme management, management consultancy and beyond.  

For every project, the company creates the blend of talent needed to deliver the right result; cost, carbon and resource-efficient; safe, easy, and swift to deliver and operate; reliable and resilient; delivering great outcomes.

What did they do?

Specific inclusive recruitment activities are informed by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Recruitment Working Group. This is a group of HR and recruitment staff who collaborate to achieve agreed goals. The approach looks at what already exists that could be used more effectively. For example, online reporting tool BrassRing was not being fully exploited and is now central to goal setting and measurement of recruitment trends. The approach is not currently one of targeted recruitment but of ensuring ‘business as usual’ recruitment is inclusive, looking at this holistically with a number of often small, more embedded changes making an impact. Some of the initiatives that have been implemented and continue to be measured include:

  • Capturing diversity monitoring data at expression of interest, shortlisting, interview, and offer and acceptance by age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  • Unconscious bias training for recruiters and hiring managers, delivered as ‘Lunch and Learns’, with an unconscious bias e-learning package embedded in the new global induction process.
  • Advertising on Diversity Jobs (now Vercida), which provides an accessible jobs platform and a hub to share information on Mott MacDonald’s EDI efforts external to the company website.
  • Updating the external website to create an EDI zone linked to the ‘About Us’ and ‘Careers’ sections.
  • Tracking recruitment data through an EDI lens, reviewing data on all protected characteristics to identify areas for improvement and key, positive actions that may be required.
  • Launching EDI goals internally and externally with a downloadable document providing SMART aims.
  • Reviewing recruitment collateral, with designs and language tailored to support inclusion, adapting graduate materials to reflect greater diversity.
  • Information on EDI efforts and signposting the Advance network in Group welcome packs.

What was the impact?

The immediate impact of setting clear goals and having the EDI in Recruitment Working Group is that action is happening and things are changing quite quickly by leveraging existing resources. The first set of statistics were available at the end of 2017 and goals will be revisited with activities assessed for impact from 2018, which will shape efforts going forward.

Where there any challenges?

One key challenge links to the point on impacts as several initiatives are newly launched, so it is difficult to see measurable impacts at this early stage. The BrassRing platform captures EDI data and the company is collating these reports to further analyse and identify key trends. The data from this next layer of assessment will help shape further efforts to attract and recruit a diversity of top talent.

Hints and tips

It is important to educate recruiters, hiring managers and all employees on the difference between positive action and positive discrimination, the latter being illegal. There is a need to engage in positive and proactive steps to reach out to diverse talent pools who may not know about engineering or specifically Mott MacDonald.

It is also important to engage in opportunities across a diversity of characteristics and those which have direct and indirect recruitment opportunities. For example, a group of LGBT+ and heterosexual colleagues from Mott MacDonald marched at Pride in London in 2016 and 2017, which sends a positive message and shows it is committed to LGBT+ inclusion.

Does this directly translate into a spike in applications? Maybe not, but if someone sees Mott MacDonald on a jobs site they may remember the company from Pride and click to find out more information, as people want to work for inclusive and responsible businesses.

“To deliver on our EDI goals we have connected our HR, recruitment and EDI teams. With a focus on how we attract and recruit a diversity of top talent, together we have increased online visibility of Mott MacDonald through several channels, including social media, and have ensured that information on our opportunities is available in several accessible formats.”

Jen Ross, EUNA HR manager