Recommendations for developing a socio-economic strategy. Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.
Use inclusive language and test with students in your outreach programmes to ensure job descriptions have wide appeal (e.g. “We’re looking for potential rather than experience”).
Remove unnecessary qualifications, which can create barriers for applicants. Advertise for skills and provide examples where appropriate.1
Be clear about the application process and what is assessed at each stage.
Ensure interview assessors are from a diverse pool.
Review the diversity of the educational establishments you target, ensuring they have a diverse intake, and make sure you are working with traditional and non-traditional institutions such as non-fee paying schools, FE colleges and non‑Russell Group universities.
Design engagement activities that connect directly with a school, college or university’s curriculum so that opt-in does not depend wholly on students’ existing interests.
Target sponsorship at student societies and/or community groups which represent minority groups that are under-represented in your organisation.
Be transparent about eligibility criteria and the broad achievements of successful applicants for similar roles (e.g. typical A level or technical qualification grades, or skills other applicants have exhibited).
Ensure that when hiring from lower socio-economic backgrounds, should an applicant be unsuccessful, detailed feedback is given on specific areas of improvement.
Offer additional guidance to applicants such as dress codes for interviews.
Train hiring managers to disregard loud environments, poor WiFi connectivity or other features during virtual interviews.
1 For more help and ideas, visit the Financial Services Skills Commission
Recommendations for optimising your approach. Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.
Use simple language when defining your desired competences and report the characteristics of those who progress in the organisation.
Undertake market research internally and externally to understand how applicants from different demographics respond to marketing materials, to inform future development.
Work with external organisations, careers services, specific faculties and other experts to design events, programmes and digital activities that engage under-represented groups.
Create inclusive online environments that give applicants detail on application processes and hiring approaches to support diversity and inclusion.
Provide interactive access to your diverse role models for individuals from diverse backgrounds.
If you use an assessment tool, offer a practice test with feedback so applicants have the opportunity to practise for free.
Use assessment techniques that reduce your reliance on grades, previous internships, study abroad or other networks (e.g. contextualised recruitment).