New faces, new ideas: experiential, drama-based training to broaden recruitment horizons and grow a diverse workforce.
The benefits of a diverse workforce are widely known. Improved performance, access to different perspectives, greater creativity and innovation, better customer insight and communications, all these and more have been linked to effective diversity policies in high performance organisations. Getting recruitment right is key. It doesn’t just give you access to a wide talent pool; it can be a game changer.
Because inclusive recruitment matters, we were delighted when our friends at the Supply Chain Sustainability School invited us to develop a livestream training programme for their members. Now, we’re making the programme available for companies in other sectors to train their managers and other employees who are involved in any part of the recruitment process.
Our 4.5 hours livestream training programme uses a dynamic blend of live-action and filmed drama with experienced actors, anonymous polling, group exercises, and powerful conversations to explore more inclusive practices through the different recruitment stages. It’s a highly interactive, impactful experience that will improve your recruitment processes and inspire participants to make a positive difference.
- Understand how a diverse and inclusive workforce benefits an organisation
- Recognise the importance of creating a good first impression and the implications of getting it wrong
- Appreciation of the barriers potential candidates can face and what reasonable adjustments can be made
- Better equipped to improve recruitment outcomes by ensuring that documentation and selection processes are fair and inclusive
- Awareness of how our biases can inadvertently undermine the recruitment and selection process
- Appreciation of other factors that contribute towards nurturing a diverse and inclusive workforce
- A plan to put their learning into action and continue to develop and improve their inclusive recruitment practices back in the workplace
For leaders, managers, and anyone else involved in the recruitment process, our 4.5 hours livestream training programme is designed to be delivered online using Zoom or MS Teams to up to 20 people at a time.
The programme consists of the following modules.
|Module 1:||welcome and explanation of purpose; getting to know each other, outlining aims and objectives, and establishing norms for the workshop.|
|Module 2:||the resignation; we begin at the end of our recruitment journey with the letter of resignation of a recently hired Health and Safety (H&S) Advisor one month into their job at our fictional company. How did we get here? What went wrong? What are the consequences?|
|Module 3:||the beginning; in a live-action scene, learners are taken back in time to the start of the recruitment process. They watch as a panel of employees put together a job advert for the H&S Advisor role. Then, by means of ‘thought tracking’ and interacting with the characters, learners get beneath the surface of the characters and uncover a variety of unconscious drivers at play.|
|Module 4:||meet the candidates; using a gameshow style introduction with photos and voiceover, learners get to meet the diverse range of potential candidates for the job of H&S Advisor. We will revisit this line-up throughout the session as candidates remove themselves or are removed from the process.|
|Module 5:||expectation vs. reality; in a video scene, learners meet an internal candidate for the H&S Advisor job, and find out more about the company culture and the reality of the post.|
|Module 6:||the language we use; in a video scene learners meet two more characters as they talk on Skype about the H&S Advisor job advert. They are concerned about the language used in the advertisement and the underlying narratives it hints at, with predictable results for one potential candidate. The module finishes with an exercise in which learners indicate whether different phrases that appear on the screen would encourage them to ‘apply’ or to ‘avoid’ if they saw them in a job advert.|
|Module 7:||shortlisting and bias; in another live-action scene, we revisit our fictional company’s recruitment panel members, who are now at the shortlisting stage of their recruitment process. As the panel sifts through applicant CVs and apply a ‘scoring’ process, learners see a range of biases come into play. Anonymous polling and group discussion is then used as we explore a range of cognitive biases that can affect recruitment processes.|
|Module 8:||declining an interview; in a short video scene, learners meet one of the candidates who has been invited to interview but cannot attend due to the scheduling/ location. It’s clear that no reasonable adjustments have been made to accommodate him with the result that he is regretfully declining the interview.|
|Module 9:||the interview; in a live-action scene, learners meet one of the two remaining candidates part way through their interview. The panel ask questions that show their positive bias. The scene finishes with them clearly favouring this candidate, before inviting the next person in for interview. Then, we replay the scene, using stop-start forum theatre to enable learners to create a fair interview process. Their job is to redirect events so that panel members ask more objective questions and are better able to assess the candidate.|
|Module 10:||the runner up; in a last video scene, learners hear from the unsuccessful candidate as they vent their frustration about the interview process and its shortcomings in a phone call. They talk openly about their negative feelings and the impact on their wellbeing, future employment, and their view of the company.|
|Module 11:||the resignation (revisited); we are back where we started, but now learners understand only too well how events led us to this point. Crucially, they know what it takes to run a more inclusive recruitment process, the potential pitfalls to avoid, and why it matters.|
|Module 12:||summary, action planning and evaluation; at the end, learners get the chance to identify one or more practical actions they will take back in the workplace, before the session closes with a series of anonymous polls and a feedback form to evaluate whether the session met its objectives.|
Learning Into Action
Although our inclusive recruitment programme only started in 2021, we have been delivering diversity and inclusion programmes since the company’s inception. In that time, we’ve had customers from a wide range of sectors, including health, utilities, local government, and finance.
Results from in-session electronic polling include:
- 89% of learners (13 points up across the session) felt ‘committed’ or ‘engaged’ about using inclusive recruitment practices
- 96% said they were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to implement the training
- 98% increased their understanding of ways to make recruitment more inclusive
- 98% better recognised how personal bias may influence their actions
- 100% felt inspired to make a positive difference at work
If you are interested in running this training programme in your organisation, or if you simply want to ask a question about it, hit the button to contact us or call +44 (0)1484 310234.
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