October marks Black History Month in the UK. A whole 31-days of learning and celebrating Black contributions to British society, while reflecting upon the history and culture.
The event has been observed in the UK since 1987, with this year’s theme being Time for Change: Action Not Words.
Black History Month in the workplace
In the workplace, Black History Month provides an opportunity to amplify issues crucial to the cause, such as widening access and ensuring everybody has a fair and level playing field from the very start of organisation’s recruitment process to the finish.
But the 31 days of October is not the only time to support the cause and make change. It is something employers should be acting on all year round.
We caught up with senior consultant Charlotte Lambert, who is no stranger to running high stakes projects across selection and assessment, organisational development and change and innovation. Charlotte has shared some pointers on how to ensure your recruit and assessment process is both fair, inclusive and will level the playing field month after month.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind this October and beyond:
1. Communicate early
Like with most things in life, communication is key. So, make sure your organisation is communicating clearly and transparently to all the different types of applicants that might be interested in your role/s.
For example, ensuring that information is easy to find, or is being shared in a proactive and consistent way with applicants, so it doesn’t favour those that are better at finding this information or familiar with the organisation already.
2. Have preparation materials
Good quality practice and preparation materials support in levelling the playing field for all applicants regardless of prior knowledge/background and ensuring these are freely available for all applicants.
Also considering what types of information to use to support with any potential ‘levelling’ of the field required.
For example, even if something appears obvious, consider that there may be some applicants that have no prior knowledge and therefore this would be really useful information.
3. Get everyone involved
When designing and/or implementing recruitment processes, ensure a variety of individuals are involved.
This means not just those differences that can be ‘seen’ such as gender or ethnicity. But also, experiential differences.
Where possible, don’t just rely on individuals volunteering to be involved as you may end up with very similar people being part of processes each year.
Instead, proactively reach out to different groups to explain why it would be great for them to be part of the process, and that they can be a role model to current and future employees and provide different perspectives.
4. Give some consideration to the job role
Think about what is absolutely necessary on day one of the role and therefore what needs to be there at the point of selection.
Also consider if it would matter if an employee learns these skills in the role and how you communicate this to employees. For example, perhaps they’ve never worked in an organisation with a culture like this. But be honest with them about what this looks like and allow them to develop this knowledge and practice in the role.
Time for change?
Organisational change comes in many forms, and WPG specialises in helping navigate that change successfully. Whether it’s large-scale recruitment or developing and embedding organisational values.
Or perhaps providing development tools to support personal development and career progression
At WPG, we provide the innovative solutions to your organisation’s problems, whatever they may be. Get in touch to find out how we can help.