#TLCon – Emerging Talent South 2018 Review - Part 1

Diversity & Hiring

#TLCon – Emerging Talent South 2018 Review – Part 1

The date: 26th April;

The place? Foyles Bookstore. Fitting venue not because it was filled with printed books, the foundation to how people learned back in 1455 with the Gutenberg Bible, but because of how Ken Brotherston, host of this illustrious event, opened with how it was founded. Brothers William and Gilbert Foyle launched their bookstore after failing their entrance exams for the civil service in 1903 and began by offering their redundant textbooks for sale. They started their careers in through an unorthodox route.

Today, young talent enter the world of work through various different avenues; from the old and established graduate education system right through to apprenticeships and straight into work after high school. But this event didn’t just focus on young talent. It also shed light on people who are just returning to work, whether it be they took a break, out of retirement or from disadvantaged backgrounds (think social class, disability, race, gender etc..). At this event, it felt like ‘Emerging Talent’ was redefined, embodying a wide-encompassing view, the phrase meant any means of entering the workforce through an employer-led hiring program. Such was the diversity of the talks.

Just a note: If you’re looking to improve the diversification and quality of your emerging talent, talk to Jovan about which specialist agencies are best to work with and we will connect you.

Can Unofficial Work Experience Ever be a Force for Good? 
Andre Flemmings, Global & Diversity Recruitment Manager

Andre Flemmings, Global & Diversity Recruitment Manager for Linklaters joked he was the warm-up act but he had some really great answers to whether unofficial work experience could ever be a force for good. It’s a dirty secret that no one ever talks about but yet it impacts social mobility, diversity and the general notion of hiring, promoting and firing people based on merit. And there’s a whole host of risks to recruiting in this way:

  • It’s a security risk; Clients data is suddenly accessible to people within your organisation who may not even have the training and credentials to handle this information.
  • Legal risk; first, unpaid work experience is illegal, secondly, if do they even have the right to work in the country where the job is based, and thirdly, there a child protection laws that need to be adhered to
  • Societal risk – access to work is immediately restricted to those with contacts, and diversity of thought is hindered. Imagine those meetings where everyone is all nodding their head yet the elephant in the room is not brought up because no one notices it. Why? They all are thinking in the same way.
  • Reputational risk – if you’re found out, the costs and PR scandal that can emerge will affect not only how you’re perceived as an employer but in this world where the customer comes first, your clients could up and leave because you didn’t hire right.

So how do you ensure this isn’t happening? Assess how people got in the front door and change your sources so that for every Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, there is a Matilda or Charlie Bucket in your candidate pipeline. People from all backgrounds should be given the opportunity to be assessed on merit.

Train your hiring managers to not go through the back door when they need help but go through the proper channels to hire emerging talent.

Or try something like Linklaters do and create a program where your client can refer a candidate of their choosing but for each one they do, they also sponsor another candidate from a disadvantaged background. Share the wealth!

Connect with Andre on LinkedIn – there are lots you can learn from his experience.

So you think you can DATA?
Jeremy Hindle, CTO and Co-Founder of Headstart

Jeremy Hindle, CTO of Headstart followed and from the title of the presentation ‘So, you think you can DATA?’, you would not have thought it to be relevant. It was and in a very passionate talk, Jeremy kind of posed this kind of scenario.

Tim grew up in the suburbs, went to Eton school, has 2 wealthy parents and graduated from Oxford with a 2:1 grade. On the other hand, Monica grew up in an impoverished area, went to a school with security at the front gates, suffered from severe bereavement from her father’s death, but despite the odds, graduated from Oxford with a 2:1 grade. Tim had all the opportunities in the world to succeed, Monica had hurdles to jump but they both came out with the same outcome. Who do you hire?

Recruiters and hiring managers are notorious for reading a CV in about 6 seconds and then only going on further if they spot something that stands out. At that speed, bias can easily creep in and finding context behind how someone got a grade doesn’t get a factor in the decision-making process. Jeremy stressed that context (how they got the grade) is important and it is now possible to use the data that is available to measure everything in context. Reading between the lines, you can begin to hire early talent in a non-bias way.

Jeremy also touched on the candidate experience and how it’s not about making the process shorter but rather ensuring that you’re communicating according to the candidate’s intent. Ensuring they can understand what they can achieve with your company and align that to what you offer; it goes a long way to improving your employer value proposition. Furthermore, you can use the data you have to measure someone’s hard & soft skills and map that to their potential to achieve success in the role. He called it, the ‘distance to learn’ and effectively it is predicting how long it will take a candidate to learn a particular skill. It’s a better way of using your data in an effective manner and more importantly, allows you to hire according to what people want to do in the next career/job vs what they’ve already done.

Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn to carry on the conversation

Navigating the vagaries of the graduate application process – how can employers help
Simon Wright and Jon Porter from tmp.ww

TMP quite elegantly pointed out how there is a mismatch between what graduates think of the candidate experience and what employer’s think. It was pretty telling that many probably haven’t gone through their own process. 9 out of 10 employers thought they gave great feedback whilst only 4 / 10 candidates thought the same. That’s a percentage difference of 77%. That’s a huge disconnect and it’s no wonder that according to TMP, 9/10 students would renege on an offer in preference to another. Even if they’ve accepted the first offer, they would drop out and choose another.

The real reason why is that all-important human touch. Given that it can take a total time of 2 days applying and going through the motions of one job, are employers giving enough back to value their candidate’s time? What came out of the session, was that regularity of contact is an important factor when graduates make their choice. Furthermore, peer feedback is the most important factor for candidates as it can give them belief in the process. If we circle back to Jeremy’s point in part 1 of this post, candidates want to understand what can they achieve at your organisation, and speaking to other’s who can give warts and all will give them that understanding. An interesting way to do this came by the way of offering a WhatsApp group that current graduate schemers can answer any candidates question. This makes it authentic, and most importantly shows that you haven’t underestimated the importance of the human touch.

Follow tmp.ww on twitter as they share some really good articles for further reading there

Breaking down barriers to work – Barclay’s ‘Able to Enable Higher Apprentice Programme
Sarah Riches, Operational Specialist for Early Careers at Barclays

At the beginning of this review, we defined Emerging Talent as being a more wide encompassing word to not only mean the youth, but also those who are older, disabled, of a different class and all manners of entering a new career through programmed means.

Sarah Riches shared with us how Barclays is breaking the barriers to work with their excellent ‘Able to Enable’ apprenticeship program. In principle, it is a 3-month internship program that if successful, applicants can join their apprenticeship program. Barclay’s began by taking their application program offline, reaching out only to providers and partners e.g. charities to attract candidates for the Able to Enable Scheme. This no doubt immediately changes the diversity of people you will attract from the outset. They first started by focusing on attracting young candidates before moving on to ‘bolder’ candidates and then focused on people with disabilities.

During the 3 months internship, candidates go through a series of life-skills workshops, role play exercises and strength based assessments. One of the outcomes found that many of the applicants had low confidence levels, so Barclays worked to increase their confidence during the life-skills workshops. Candidates opened up about their life and told some truly inspiring stories that had it not been for the setting provided for by Barclays, they would not have got in any traditional interview (Great for assessing soft skills). During the internship, candidates pretty much self-select whether they want to carry on until the point of beginning the apprenticeship. The result is a more diversified apprenticeship program, Barclay’s has more knowledge into untapped talent and feedback from customers who love their new customer service providers at their local bank.

Follow Sarah on Twitter to pick her brains how they carried out this incredible initiative

Go to part 2 for Hiring young people & mental health with Vodafone, Reed.co.uk & Colin Minto

Just a note: If you’re looking to improve the diversification and quality of your emerging talent, talk to Jovan about which specialist agencies are best to work with and we will connect you.

Picture credited to Craig Thompson

Get started

Book a demo with our team to learn more about RAMP