This week TMP Worldwide held its "Investing in Diversity" Event at the Bank of England in central London with over 100 HR and Recruitment professionals in attendance. This event focused on the current thinking on observing the role of diversity within the recruitment cycle and beyond.
After filling up on some breakfast and an introduction by TMP's Robert Peasnell, Managing Director of the Government,Health and Education Solutions group, the seminar began with Morgan Lobb, CEO of The Big IDEA. Morgan spoke about what diversity means today, and how public figures such as Conchita, the Austrian winner of this year's Eurovision is showing how society is calling for more tolerance and difference. He also spoke of there being a business case for diversity, quoting from recent research that revealed that for every 1% of rise in gender and race diversity in the workforce there is a 3 and 9% rise in sales revenue respectively.
Following on from this overview of diversity today, Helen Hodgkinson, Head of Culture and Inclusion at Nationwide discussed how to approach achieving equality in talent pipelines and the importance of branding in attracting a diverse talent pool. Helen also focussed on how an organisation's values were fundamental to support both organisational objectives that directly contribute towards diversity and inclusion.
The session on attraction was followed by TMP's own Senior Consultant for Assessment Services Clare Forrest discussing how digital assessment methods can be used to reduce bias and adverse impact in selection processes while also educating and reaching out to more diverse candidates. Phil Wilson, Chief Psychologist and Assessor for Civil Service Fast Stream illustrated how to adopt selection methods that worked to counter bias in the assessment stages of recruitment. He described the Fast Stream's own selection process and the importance of early engagement with students at school, the balance of assessment methods and how positive action can make a big difference on diverse groups.
After considering assessment's role in diversity, the next session was focussed on engaging with entry level talent. TMP's Head of Graduate Solutions, Jayne Cullen illustrated the lack of female participation in STEM subjects and how graduate employment is not always reflective of some ethnic minority's high school performance and how we need sustained intervention by educators and employers to raise awareness of career options and increase self-esteem amongst these groups. Cat Hines, Annual Rounds Recruitment Manager from the Bank of England picked up how the issues Jayne raised were tackled by the Bank's own recruitment methods. One of the key improvements the Bank has made to increase has been the widening of their higher education candidate intake target institutions from a small number of Russell Group universities to now include over 50 UK universities.
Georgia Greer Head of Recruitment at the Bank of England, followed the view on recruitment with some of the Bank's approaches to retaining diverse talent and ways in which organisation's can keep this talent inspired and included by the organisation. These methods included the importance of flexible working and how buddy schemes, secondments and mentoring could help in the future.
Our final topic of the seminar was employers' attitudes to diversity. Simon Fanshawe, writer/broadcaster and co-founder of astar-fanshawe described how diversity needs to be about purpose, how initiatives around diversity need to be stopped unless they are effective and how the overall consideration of diversity should still be about meeting an organisation's strategy of business. Simon also recommended how companies should adapt the way they recruit - his advice was that organisations shouldn't recruit the best person for the job, rather recruit the best person for the team as diverse teams function much better.
Finally Angela O'Connor, CEO of the HR Lounge discussed how senior boards need to be more engaged with diversity aims, that feedback needs to be utilised with candidates and how managers need to be supported when implementing these changes as they have the most influence on whether employees leave or stay.
A lively panel debate was then held chaired by TMP's Paula Simmons, Senior Employer Branding Specialist where attendees asked questions about the morning's seminar. A fantastic and insightful morning was had by all and we hoped we opened up some questions and thoughts about recruiting for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.