The Institute of Student Employers met in London this week to discuss diversity and inclusion, to ignite change within early careers. The day included in-person debates, panel discussions with industry experts, and a panel with students to give insight into their perspectives. The overall sense was that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusion, but there are already insights we can all learn from to start paving the way into the future.
Here are some of the key learnings from the conference that we think everyone should consider:
1. Don’t be afraid to break the mould and think differently Education-based criteria are typically the industry standard for hiring graduates, but this creates a massive hurdle for junior talent, and we seem to be in a cyclical hiring loop, which is always in line with these education-based practices. Dan Doherty, from Cognizant, suggests that this means we become the next linear point in what the government want to push from a graduate careers perspective, and Dan went on to suggest that if you want to create change, you need to stop the cyclical hiring loop as this creates predictable outcomes, but if you’re brave enough to break the mould, you will get different results.
2. It’s time to remove unconscious bias from the initial stages of a recruitment process With competition for talent at an all-time high, hiring for potential ensures organisations are laying the foundation for an effective EDI strategy whilst also broadening their talent pool. Talent Acquisition Lead at Siemens, Gemma Aldridge, went on to discuss how they realised that traditional hiring methods were screening-out female talent with only 5% getting through to the job offer stage, and this is why they overhauled their recruitment process to hire for potential. Moving away from the CV in the early stages of recruitment, can widen the talent pool and increase diversity - this method has been transformative for their process.
3. ‘It’s me, not you’ - Volume hiring for graduates needs to become more holistic At the moment our processes are set up with elimination in mind, and not for selecting talent at an early stage. Dan Doherty, from Cognizant, gave insight into how our current mindset of mass rejection is holding back graduate volume-based recruitment. One key example is that typically, the screening process criteria is all about experience, and yet a graduate programme is meant to give an opportunity for people who have chosen to go down an untraditional route, or who may come from a different background. If we look at the process in a more holistic way, we can stop penalising graduates and look to provide more opportunities for them which will attract the right graduates.
4. Make the technical interview the last step, and set candidates up for success If you really want to change the way you hire and recruit diverse talent, then it’s time to bring soft skills to the forefront by moving the technical interview to the last stage. Farzana Uddin, from Sanctuary Graduates, spoke about how they’ve found great success in not only changing the process around but by giving the candidates knowledge to take away and learn before the interview. While you may be looking for some technical knowledge, especially in the tech space, what you’re really looking for is resilience, motivation, and to see the drive for the career they’re applying for. As a result, they’ve rejected candidates who have had the technical skills in the past and put through some without the technical skills because the motivations and resilience were stronger at this stage.
If you want to find out more about potential-based hiring then get in touch. Our assessment is the only one of its kind that allows you to measure both workplace intelligence and personality in one place. If you would like to find out how our assessment can help you start hiring for potential - get in touch.