As part of the PlayFair Steps equality and diversity initiative in ISG we have been looking at our staff demographics and considering our recruitment practices.
There is many a cliche to be heard around how difficult it is to recruit women into tech jobs. Some of it is true, some of it is lack of imagination. As a large tech employer in this city we compete for the best talent against other tech employers in the city. The competition for new graduates, skilled software engineers, designers, excellent IT managers and creative thinkers is hot*.
As an organisation we recognise that we need to improve the diversity in our teams to improve our insights and creativity, to draw upon a diverse set of ideas and experiences and to model for our own students the world in which they might want to work.
One of the things we’ve done is to start employing student interns. Dozens of ’em. It’s been really invigorating. All the teams in LTW have benefitted and I am personally very much enjoying having the most up-to-date thinking and input from the interns in my office. Dominique works with me on my gender equality plans and Polina works with me on digital marketing and recruitment. These two projects are linked. If we want to get more women into our organisation- particularly at senior levels- we need them to apply for our jobs in the first place.
I am not certain that as a tech employer we are very well served by our recruitment strategy currently. We have no specific graduate careers track in ISG, no ‘return to work after a career break’ initiatives and we tend only to advertise in ‘university places’ such as our own HR pages and jobs.ac.uk**. I’ve never seen a twitter feed or anything similar pushing out our jobs (other than mine).
HR sites, and even jobs.ac.uk rely on the premise that a person wants to work in a university first and that they’ll be looking for a job and your ad will happen to be there at that moment. I’m not sure that is the market we most need to be in. I think we need to be digitally transforming our recruitment approach and reaching passive talent*** while they happen to be browsing.
I have asked Polina to investigate LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has company pages, where employers can gather followers and networks and get their news and jobs in front of people who already have jobs and are busy networking in their professional field. Looking at Linkedin I note that as well as the University news pages, our business school is already using linkedin for their recruitment. Polina is a business school student so she knows her stuff. My hope is that we will figure out how best to use Linkedin in ISG to get our adverts to new eyes using linked people, friends, friends of friends, networks, news, alumni, students and interested tech followers to show them what a great place this is to work.
I’ll let you know how we get on. If you would like to follow our nascent company page, please do.
*this is what I learned when i recently chaired an Holyrood magazine event on Graduate Digital Skills.
**it turns out that 15% of working professionals are scanning their network at any given time, and 45% are totally open to considering a new opportunity when approached by a recruiter. I know this. It happens to me a lot. In addition to the 25% who say they are actively looking for a new job, 85% of the global workforce are your oyster.
*** I’m also having trouble finding anyone who has any stats about how many views or shares our ads get. What I am finding is some anxiety amongst our HR professionals that I may be about to disrupt the status quo (again).