They were struggling to hire. So I helped them, with my Diversity, Equity and Inclusion toolkit.

When I introduce myself to people I say I’m a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialist and I support growing organisations. I’m passionate about fairness and equity (and have been for years! See the About Us page on my website if you don’t believe me… ) but I’m serious
about business.

I’ve been a senior HR and DEI person in large global organisations for many years too. In those roles I really enjoyed understanding the challenges for the business and considering how my HR and DEI toolkit could help to solve the problem.

In my role as a DEI specialist, supporting organisations from the outside, I help them by applying the combination of the two – my passion for fairness, and ensuring everyone that everyone is able to contribute and thrive – and my understanding of business: the processes, the metrics, the pressures…

So in an organisation that was struggling to grow because they couldn’t hire enough employees, we looked at how they could diversify their workforce. Find new sources of talent!

I recommended them to look at organisations who support women who’ve taken a career break back into the workplace, and who support ex-forces personnel into civilian roles. We looked at outreach sites and early careers, setting up an internship through 10,000 Black Interns.

And then we looked at the hiring process. How did they advertise themselves? We looked at their “employer brand” – how they were showing their company values to the world (and therefore to their potential new employees).

How did they describe their roles? We used an online tool to ensure that the language in their job adverts wasn’t inadvertently turning some candidates away. We looked at where they were advertising, to make sure their roles were being seen by a wider audience than in the past.

And then we looked at their internal processes for recruitment – interview structures and scoring, who were the interviewers etc. to make sure there weren’t any opportunities for unconscious bias to creep in. Yes, we all have those unconscious biases, including me! So
the secret is to engineer the processes to minimise the impact of those biases that we’re not even aware of, on the decisions being made.

We created a suite of standard questions to enable their interviewers to be consistent across interviews, ensuring the questions were designed for candidates to demonstrate the attributes required for the job – the skills, the competencies. And a standard scoring method.

Initial CVs were shared with the hiring managers without names. According to Harvard Business Review, bias in hiring has been extensively documented. In one study, “Jamal” needed eight more years of experience than “Greg” to be seen as equally qualified. Other studies have found that women, LGBT+ candidates, people with disabilities, women in headscarves, and older people are less likely to be hired than their peers. So by taking away the names, we at least reduced the likelihood of this issue.

We looked at who would be the interviewers, making sure that the candidates would actually see a cross-section of the real people they’d be working with, aiming to ensure that for the candidates, one or more of the people they met during the recruitment process would look
like them.

We insisted that managers had more diverse pools of candidates to consider. Research shows that the odds of hiring a woman are 79 times as great if at least two women are in the finalist pool.

Result? A 30% increase in applications. One happy company. And some great new recruits.

About Us.