Panelists speaking at REC Inclusive Recruitment Forum

REC Inclusive Recruitment Forum

I was invited to join the panel discussion at the recent Inclusive Recruitment Forum hosted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) to share Guidant’s approach to gender equality. The forum is an opportunity for HR and recruitment professionals to share best practice in creating an inclusive workforce and there were some great insights on how we can all help to make a difference. 

How Guidant is working to improve gender equality

Guidant is continuously working to drive gender equality by adopting a more inclusive recruitment process. We’ve introduced strengths-based interviewing to focus on the individual’s potential rather than what they’ve achieved, which works particularly well for returning mothers. 

We use gender-neutral language in our job ads, promote flexible working in our roles to encourage a more diverse range of applicants and advertise roles on Timewise, the job-board specialising in part-time and flexible working. In 2017, 69% of our new hires were female and 22% of our current female workforce is part-time. 

We’re positively influencing our networks, including clients in helping to close the gender disparity. We offer gender pay gap data on their temporary workforce and guidance to help support any initiatives they have in order to become a more inclusive employer.

Key learnings from the forum

It was truly inspiring to hear what other organisations are doing to help candidates from all kinds of backgrounds get into work, and hearing real-life stories from those who have struggled to find a job. 

Although there’s a phenomenal amount of work and initiatives already in place to drive inclusivity, shocking statistics such as 38% of unemployed over 50s have been out of work for over a year, compared to 19% of 18-24 year olds, show that more still needs to be done. As recruiters and employers, we are in a unique position to instigate change and create opportunities for people from across different walks of life.

Below are some key takeaways on the changes we can make to build a more inclusive workforce.

How we can make a difference:

  • Recruiting young people: we need to build better bridges into work for young people through mentoring, preparation in schools/colleges, creating more work experience opportunities and overcoming the financial barrier some may face during the recruitment process e.g. offer financial support such as covering travel costs to and from interviews
  • Disability confidence: we need to see past what people can’t do and focus on what they can do. We need to positively influence our networks by elevating conversations with our clients and suppliers to address the disability employment gap
  • Age-friendly recruitment and workplaces: employers need to value their older workers more as they bring a wealth of experience, offer them greater support and flexibility and implement age-positive recruitment campaigns such as removing ageist terms/language like ‘young and enthusiastic’ and using age-representative images
  • Gender equality: offer flexible working opportunities where possible and create an environment where everyone has equal opportunity to fulfil their career ambitions.  We need to ensure both men and women are fairly represented at all levels and that there is less of a stigma for requesting a more flexible working week.

For the full list of the diversity and inclusion initiatives Guidant is currently championing please click here. If you’d like to find out more on Guidant’s work in the communities we serve, please contact us.

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