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Equality & Diversity


Equality Impact Assessment on Recruitment

Update on actions stemming from findings and recommendations, September 2009

The Recruitment Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) was undertaken in 2008 in parallel with a recruitment project in Human Resources (HR). Subsequently, areas of work identified in the EqIA findings and recommendations have been addressed by the University as follows:

Enhancing good practice

The Recruitment EqIA findings and recommendations incorporated:

  • updating recruitment and selection guidance in line with current equalities legislation and best practice
  • developing equal opportunities based recruitment process and detailed practical guidance
  • producing guidance clarifying core selection requirements to ensure consistency
  • promoting positive action initiatives to address the under-representation of women in senior positions
  • implementing action to broaden the pool of applicants
  • organisational participation in external relevant benchmarking schemes
  • ‘equality proofing’ recruitment processes
  • production of standardised pro formas, criteria, scoring systems and interview questions
  • increasing diversity awareness within short listing procedures
  • revising and promoting training programmes to incorporate new procedures and guidance
  • introducing recruitment and equalities training for members of interview panels

The overall aim of the recruitment project was to introduce new robust procedures which support an improved experience for candidates and for those involved in recruitment. A Steering Group was set up to oversee the project, which has explored ways in which selection methods can be enhanced. This has included research on the practices of other UK and US universities, trialling of psychometric tests and the development of draft checklists, guidance and templates for each stage of the recruitment process. Some of these templates will be obligatory and others will assist recruiters to follow University recruitment procedures effectively.

Further project work will be undertaken on each stage of the recruitment process (including for academic staff) during 2009/10 to ensure that all aspects of it are clear, understandable and easily-accessible to recruiters. All developments will be informed by equal opportunity good practice and employment law and consideration will be given to benchmarking schemes.

A variety of information on equal opportunities and reducing discriminatory aspects throughout recruitment and selection exists on the HR pages of the University website1. This will be consolidated and updated to improve its presentation and to reflect legislative change, such as provisions resulting from the expected enactment of the Equality Bill in Spring 2010.

The University's Gender Representation Review Group (GRRG) was formed in 2009 and part of its role is to make suggestions to the University of possible positive action initiatives for women, which it has already begun to do.

The HR Committee has approved the proposal that at least one member of selection panels should have received training on the University's recruitment and selection procedures.

Improving consistency

The Recruitment EqIA findings and recommendations incorporated:

  • regular sample assessment of recruitment campaigns to ensure consistency and the implementation of the new guidance
  • regular checks of new processes to assess progress against improvements
  • clarification of the role of School Secretaries and Departmental Administrators in applying the new guidance and the revised monitoring and reporting mechanisms

A new process being introduced for authorisation of contracts of employment increases the link with HR School teams in establishing the appropriate recruitment process from the start.

The recruitment project will include exploration of methods for monitoring the consistent implementation of any new recruitment processes introduced.

Guidance on recruitment and selection is supported by recruitment and selection training provided by the Centre for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD). They have also run copywriting courses to assist recruiters in writing effective, inviting and non-discriminatory advertisements which were well-received.

CPPD intends to develop recruitment and selection e-learning as part of the second phase of e-learning development which will increase coverage of trained individuals. CPPD is represented on the Recruitment Steering Group which will ensure that any changes in guidance or procedure resulting from the recruitment project will be reflected in future training/e-learning provision.

Monitoring data

The Recruitment EqIA findings and recommendations incorporated:

  • agreement needed between HR and Schools/Faculties/Departments on the data to be monitored, collated and analysed
  • recruitment and workforce data needs to be monitored and reported on a 6-monthly basis by HR
  • clarification of the relevant labour market (local/national/global) is needed in order to benchmark and identify fair and equal treatment, discrimination and trends

The Equality and Diversity team has an increased capability for reporting equal opportunities data and is currently working on a benchmarking paper. This will enable more effective identification of under-representation and areas in which to direct positive action initiatives.

The development of web recruitment will provide an opportunity for reviewing the data which is collated and analysed, as well as improving the efficiency of the monitoring process.

Effective communications

The Recruitment EqIA findings and recommendations incorporated:

  • promote examples of good practice across the University
  • ensure fully accessible University websites meet current web content accessibility guidelines
  • improve advertisements and job particulars to attract people from under-represented groups

Seven recruitment road shows were held in May and June 2009 to promote the outcomes of the recruitment project to date, including the development of draft templates and checklists, to institutions across the University.

Changes to recruitment procedures and processes will be proactively communicated across the University using a variety of methods, including through Departmental Administrator meetings, HR Forums, awareness events, training and the HR web pages.

The areas of the HR web pages relating recruitment and selection are currently being reviewed as part of the recruitment project. The first priority is to restructure and streamline existing content to make it more useable. Following that, the content will be thoroughly reviewed and updated in line with project's outputs and developments in good practice and legislation.