5 Ways Organisations Can Improve The Recruitment Process

The following article contains contributions from a discussion topic in Expert Link’s ‘Conversations on Co-production’

1. Remove the barriers

The challenges faced by many people regarding recruitment, begin before application. Since the pandemic, we rely on technology like never before. Digital exclusion has become more apparent, meaning the most vulnerable and poorest members of our society are often left behind.

The Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2018 showed that almost one in five of working-age benefit claimants had low or no digital capability.

We need to ensure that advertisements for job vacancies are non-discriminatory for those who have no digital access. The new digital world has opened up opportunities for many, but for certain members of society, it has plunged them deeper into digital darkness and opportunities have been pushed further away.
Organisations should think about how they can be creative in advertising for positions, moving away from off-the-shelf recruitment tools, and consider how they can reach people who may be at a digital disadvantage.

2. Get creative

For many, the application process can be a daunting task. Filling in lengthy forms and attending interviews can put people who are well qualified and experienced off applying. This can result in those skilled in form filling and interview techniques, being at an unfair advantage over someone who may be more suitable for the role in terms of their values and lived experience.
To balance this out, some recruiters have taken to scrapping traditional processes completely; instead accepting video applications and workshop-style interviews. Employers can better get to know applicants by allowing them time to prepare, by sending interview questions ahead of time, giving them breaks during the interview process, and designing questions that can encourage answers from all areas of experience, lived as well as professional.

3. Encourage and support progression from Volunteers

A member of Expert Link’s community stated that “People who volunteer or advocate for others, often cannot get past recruitment barriers to paid employment within the same organisation”. Employers can help manage this by adjusting the tasks in voluntary roles to help them gain useful experience and skills relevant to the paid role they are applying for. Volunteer supervisors can help suitable candidates apply for paid positions within the organisation, by assisting with interview techniques and explaining the recruitment process.

By accepting video applications and carefully considering the questions asked at the interview, employers can get to know candidates at a more meaningful level and evaluate if individual values align with organisational ones.

4. Manage risk effectively and fairly

Lived experience should be core, not periphery. In order for us to not only be inclusive but also ensure the best-suited applicant gets the job, the correct and appropriate level of criminal record checks should be carried out. All checks should be well justified and in line with the specific duties of the role.
DBS checks clearly play a vital part in keeping the workplace and its service users safe, however, we must be aware these can be ‘snapshotty and prohibitive’. A person should not be defined by their past. We must ensure that our approach to risk, all checks, and decisions made around records, are fair and necessary – not just tick box and over-cautious.

5. Recognise strengths and values

To eradicate bias and inequalities in the workplace, recruitment needs to become less linear and more holistic. Value-based recruitment should not become a buzzword. It needs to be core and expected, with role-specific skills considered ‘teachable’ with the correct guidance and training from employers. Recruitment processes could encompass value and skills evaluations, whereby organisations work with candidates to help them realise strengths that may otherwise go unrecognised.

Let us challenge the norm, let us prioritise values, and let us accept that the best person for the job may not always appear that way ‘on paper’.

To join future Conversations on Co-production, click here.

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