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Supporting the Civil Service in becoming the UK's most Inclusive Employer

Diversity and Inclusion

Crown Commercial ...

As a supplier through Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Permanent Recruitment Framework, Yolk are committed to supporting the Civil Service in becoming the UK’s most inclusive employer.

The foreword to the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy explains:

“Every day, civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Civil Service must represent modern Britain in all its diversity. Evidence shows that diversity – of background, of life experience – brings different insights, creates challenge and encourages change and innovation. This in turn produces more accountable and trusted public services and better decisions – better because they are more attuned to the needs and interests of all of our communities.

We understand the Civil Service needs to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves. The Civil Service is at its best when it reflects the diversity of the country as a whole and is able to understand what the public needs. We get better services that work for everyone when they are developed and delivered by people who come from the diverse communities we serve.”

Yolk is committed to supporting the Civil Service’s ambition to become the most inclusive employer.

We’re seeing lots of innovation throughout the hiring process in both the public and private sector as Diversity & Inclusion remains firmly at the top of organisations’ agendas. We are all becoming more aware of the benefits a truly diverse workforce brings and are making steps to improve in this area.

Organisations who are getting it right tend to have a top down approach with everyone in the organisation embracing diversity and working hard to create an inclusive culture. They understand this isn’t a one off campaign or a quick fix approach, but rather an ongoing and gradual process.

‘Blind’ recruitment is becoming commonplace and Yolk often runs campaigns supporting this practice for our clients. Other approaches have included candidates being asked to complete a range of screening questions rather than submitting a CV and therefore omitting any potential unconscious bias. Using psychometric and personality profiling at the outset can also ensure candidates are shortlisted on merit and fit.

Organisations who have embraced diversity have benefitted from increased creativity and broader perspectives and ideas. As their workforce has become more diverse it’s able to attract further diverse talent through staff referrals and being viewed as a more progressive organisation. These same clients have also noticed an increase in retention as their staff feel more valued and accepted.

Whilst organisations are moving towards ’blind recruitment’, it’s worth noting that this alone will not necessarily eradicate bias in the process. Staff who make hiring decisions need to be effectively trained on unconscious bias to understand where they could unintentionally employ unconscious bias while screening candidates, in order to overcome it. To shortlist purely on the merits of a blind CV, only to then unconsciously discriminate at interview due to lack of training or awareness – is essentially just delaying the discrimination.

Process can also be a barrier for organisations. If your agency partner or HR/Recruitment team are employing a ‘blind’ recruitment process but a hiring manager accepts full CV directly from another source, there will be a lack of consistency in the process and therefore lack of engagement from other managers.

If you’re not using an agency but recruiting directly – it’s important that an impartial party creates ‘blind’ versions of CVs to enable sifting panel to assess fairly.

Although introducing ‘blind’ recruitment methods aims to increase diversity, it can’t always support organisations’ specific diversity goals. For example if you’re proactively trying to address your gender balance then this method might not support you in achieving this.

Your recruitment partner however, can support you in attracting both a diverse and ‘blind’ shortlist.

If you’re struggling to know where to start, there are many other ways to begin your diversity journey. For example:

  • State on adverts that your organisation is an inclusive employer and encourages applications from diverse backgrounds. If you have a specific diversity goal, i.e. addressing the gender balance, don’t be afraid to highlight it
  • Understand your starting point by running a confidential internal survey and putting a plan in place to improve in 1 area at a time
  • Link up with local or national organisations/charities which work with people of protected characteristics or under-represented communities such as LGBTQ+ or BAME and find opportunities to collaborate
  • Attend events aimed at under-represented communities  
  • Engage early! Work with schools and colleges to promote your organisation as a diverse and progressive employer taking away any future barriers to application

Yolk Recruitment works with many organisations to ensure we are able to provide our clients with the most diverse shortlist possible. We are able to provide redacted CVs and D&I MI following recruitment campaigns. We support our clients to ensure their recruitment practices are fair and to promote them as an inclusive employer.

Yolk Recruitment is an equal opportunities employer and embraces diversity in our workforce. We employ the best people for the job at hand and actively encourage applications from all qualified candidates, regardless of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, educational background, parental status, gender identity or any other protected characteristics. We champion and celebrate diversity at Yolk allowing our team to bring their whole selves to work.

To find out more about Yolk Recruitment and how we can support your Diversity & Inclusion Strategy please get in touch with njones@yolkrecruiment.com