From education to employment

Why your recruitment strategy is limiting your business.

A shakeup on recruitment is needed to help businesses improve social mobility, says Babington CEO, Carole Carson.

The recruitment process is rarely questioned. A company decides to advertise for a vacancy using traditional channels and sets a screening criteria. They discard anyone who doesn’t fit the criteria, and knowingly miss out on potential talent.

This in turn can reinforce the company culture to ‘do what it’s always done’, which doesn’t encourage a diverse workforce and may impact on growth. Without realising it, companies are maintaining the poor status quo of social mobility.

With social mobility stalling since the 1990’s, people from disadvantaged backgrounds could take up to five generations to achieve the national average income. “Social mobility has a far wider impact than many businesses think, so it’s important for companies to see how they can help play a part through reviewing their recruitment process,” Carole Carson comments.

Creating more opportunities

Creating a more diverse workforce benefits companies and its stakeholders in many ways. Being proactive in encouraging social mobility in the workplace can help a business and its local area to flourish.

Carole Carson adds: “During the last five years at Babington, we’ve been committed to making an impact in many areas, especially in the lives of people who have struggled to find long term and stable work. Since 2013, we’ve prevented nearly 8,000 16 to 18 year olds from becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). Babington has helped these young people gain the skills and experience they needed to get into work.”

Companies across the country are struggling to fill vacancies, and this can be attributed to the lack of social mobility in the UK. They may inadvertently be ignoring rich talent pools due to overly strict hiring criteria, or hidden bias. Part of this problem can be a lack of support in deprived areas where there are skills shortages.

“Babington has increased its footprint in underserved areas moving from 20% of learners in 2012 to 50% in 2017 being from the top 30% deprived regions. Additionally, we’ve helped over 5,000 unemployed learners nationwide move into full-time, stable employment,” comments Carole Carson.

Not only does this benefit the local economy, it contributes to the national economic situation. Communities that were heavily deprived will gradually benefit from an influx of employment, which in turn can help attract external investment.

Where many training providers are focused on output of learners and programme enrollments, Babington is dedicated to seeing every learner as an individual on their own unique learning journey.

“Babington has especially focused on helping 16 to 18 year olds access more opportunities through traineeships and apprenticeships. This route into the workplace has proven to be successful with a huge number of our apprentices,” Carole Carson adds.

What can a business do to help social mobility through their recruitment process?

Social mobility is a complex issue, and it certainly won’t be solved overnight. The sole responsibility doesn’t lie just with businesses, but also the government. Social mobility is an affair that needs to be tackled through a variety of ways such as education and new policies. A business however can still help improve social mobility in its own way by:

  • Focusing on creating fair policies and processes that create the opportunity to recruit people from a variety of backgrounds and abilities
  • Considering new methods of entry over traditional recruitment. Apprenticeships, traineeships and employability programmes are all valid ways to help improve social mobility
  • Removing bias from recruitment processes by removing the name from CVs and any other information that could induce bias, such as educational establishments

What is important is that every business can adopt ways of being more socially responsible, such as using an alternative recruitment process. It’s also important to remember it’s not just making the difference to the economy, it’s making a difference for someone who may not have had this opportunity before.

“The biggest impact you can have is changing a person’s life, and that is something we have at the centre of everything we do at Babington,” comments Carole Carson.

About BabingtonBabington is an award-winning training provider with an Ofsted ‘Good’ rating and a focus on employability and apprenticeships. Babington delivers flexible learning solutions for apprenticeships in financial services, leadership and management, business admin, sales and marketing, with an average pass rate of 70%.

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