Like many businesses, following the horrific events of 2020, we want to do more to recruit from a diverse pool of talent. Unlike many businesses, we work with people who have experienced homelessness. In short, black people are three times more likely to become homeless. However, in our own data, not only are they under-represented, but their outcomes are poorer.
This leads to some pretty major soul-searching. This isn’t just about ethnic diversity, but all diversity and being a welcoming, unprejudiced, positive, anti-racist, open organisation that is a respecter of all beliefs.
One place to start with our actions in 2021 is our recruitment. Whilst people can put our lack of diversity down to the ‘Norfolk factor’, that no longer flies with me. Norfolk is not the county I grew up in. Whilst remaining overwhelmingly white, we see diverse populations of Asians, Africans, Black British and many more. I welcome and celebrate this and at the same time find myself rocking up to a workplace that is overwhelmingly white.
So, with recruitment kicking off this week for a new Your Own Place Facilitator, here’s a few things we’ll be doing to reach a more diverse population and the talent, ideas, experiences and cultural backgrounds they will bring to a richer Your Own Place.
- Our recruitment pack includes an explicit inclusion and diversity statement.
- All references to he and she have been removed.
- There are no references to ‘desirable’ or ‘essential’ criteria – proven to put some people off if they don’t meet them all.
- Changing the way we reference what they will achieve and contribute, rather than what we are looking for.
- Removing jargon and more ‘masculine’ terms such as assertive or fearless.
- Emphasising our approach as a flexible employer in both ways of working as well as removing essential educational requirements.
- Making new pro-active connections on social media to reach a more diverse talent pool.