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Social mobility masterclass for employers #2: Hiring


October 5, 2020 | SMC Admin

Hiring the best talent, with Accenture

The second session in our employers’ masterclass series, which took place on 25 August, was Hiring.

Our first session, Outreach, was geared towards reaching talent – attracting individuals from less privileged backgrounds who may not traditionally apply for roles within your organisation, yet may be able to make a significant contribution in future. But once you have attracted those diverse applicants, the next step is to ensure there is an open recruitment process and no additional barriers in place unfairly impacting a candidate’s success.

Many common hiring practices create artificial barriers for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. You could, for instance, ask yourself whether candidates truly need traditional academic qualifications in order to do the job? And to ensure recruitment pathways are open to all, you may decide to brief agencies on your commitment to diversity, offering flexible working or non-graduate routes where possible. Ultimately, it’s about considering the life skills of an individual and discovering if they are a good fit for your organisation.

As an employer, nothing is more important than the quality of your staff. Who you hire, how you hire and getting the best out of your people are the root of competitive advantage. The most successful businesses recognise that in order to thrive they need to adopt a progressive employment strategy. As John Collins, Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer at Santander UK says “it gives us maximum access to talent”.

We know that:

  • Employees from lower socio-economic backgrounds perform at least as well as their more advantaged peers, often outperforming them
  • Diversity leads to innovation – an ‘innovation mindset’ is six times higher in the most-equal cultures
  • And inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time – and twice as fast, delivering 60% better results

So it makes sense for employers to reach that talent and provide opportunities to people who may have the skills to make a significant contribution in future and bring that innovative approach.

This Hiring session included:
– a short presentation by the Social Mobility Commission;
– in-depth case-study from Accenture;
– interactive workshop in which to explore ideas, share insights and tackle some of the challenges.

On the back of the workshop we are sharing a checklist Social Mobility Commission Masterclass Hiring After Pack to help you refine your ideas and develop a ‘best-practice’ recruitment process, together with a recording of the presentation and case-study.

Our employers’ toolkit is also packed with ideas on the data you can use to measure progress, build a strong outreach programme or create a more inclusive culture. Each individual section includes tailored guidance, as well as videos that will give you our top tips on the key themes of data, outreach, hiring, progression and culture & leadership – enabling you to become a real change-maker in this space. You can watch the Hiring video below.

We hope that you find these tools and videos both insightful and inspiring. And we thank for your commitment to hiring a diverse pool of talent – as it will ultimately no only benefit candidates, but your business.

The next session in this series, Leadership and Culture, with Grant Thornton will take place on 16 September.

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Comedian Rob Beckett has spoken up about the class divide in comedy and his heroes "imagining what a working-class person’s life is."


Rob reflects many working class people’s experiences entering the creative world, including being unable to work for free.

We know the creative industries are heavily skewed towards hiring and progressing people from more privileged backgrounds. But it is vital they stay in tune with and reflect their audiences.

Our Creative industries toolkit is designed to help the industry be more #CreativeAndDiverse. Take a look 👇

#socialmobility #comedy #creativeindustries #diversityandinclusion #culture

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