We anticipate our workforce needs and plan to make the most of all available talent.
Planning ahead can help avoid time-pressure in recruitment, where managers and HR are forced to make decisions too quickly and risk unintentional bias sneaking in.
Identify how many apprentices you need over a longer timescale, this will allow you to plan ahead and to make early contact with potential applicants.If you have a 3 year plan, you can develop a sustained engagement strategy with girls through schools to encourage them to consider a career with you.
We review our recruitment process and adapt and make changes to remove bias.
Build in time to make changes to your recruitment process – doing the same things will only lead to the same results!
One of the most successful ways to tackle unconscious bias throughout the recruitment process is to educate hiring managers, HR colleagues and interviewers about the risks of bias, how to be aware, and how individuals can avoid bias in their decision making.Train staff involved in your recruitment process in unconscious bias.
We write job and person specifications ensuring gender bias is removed.
Be creative in job design by constructing a role that might appeal to more people. Consider the profile. What competencies/attributes do you really need? Asking for competency and attributes rather than long experience and qualifications could open up the applicant pool to women who are less likely to fit the traditional profile of a typical engineering or industrial apprentice.
Often hiring managers look for someone very similar to the person they had before in that role – you may need to challenge whether criteria are truly required and if so, why.
Job titles can make a difference to whether women apply or not. We have found previously that job titles that include ‘Design’ or make reference to creativity encourage women to apply. Avoid words that may be hard for women to identify with – by changing a job title from Distribution Technician to Customer Response Technician you could increase applications from women significantly.
The language used in job descriptions can affect how likely women are to apply for an apprenticeship.Make it clear if you offer flexible working.
Be creative in the design of your apprenticeship programme.
If you are a microbusiness (10 employees or less) you can add up to two units to existing Apprenticeship frameworks to adapt the scheme to your workplace needs. This allows you to be creative in apprenticeship design as well.
- Consider adding technical units such as science and technology to a Business Administration apprenticeship which is more popular amongst women (in 2014/15, 73% of starts on Business Administration apprenticeships were women). Adding technical units to business admin or customer service apprenticeships could be the first step for some women into a higher level STEM qualification.
- Be explicit about family friendly policies and flexible working if available.
- Consider the start and finish times for those with children.
- Can the apprenticeship be delivered flexibly?
- Do you provide childcare facilities, or childcare vouchers?