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As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion we are piloting a new recruitment initiative which is designed to address issues of underrepresentation of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates in our recruitment activities.

The Fair Recruitment Specialist Initiative will provide a pool of staff volunteers who identify as being from a BAME background and who are available to join interview panels across the university. This initiative provides our BAME staff with development opportunities involving comprehensive training through which they will develop key skills as well as hands on experience taking part in recruitment panels.

The Fair Recruitment Specialists Initiative brings benefit not only in providing visible diversity to our applicants and in our community and to ensure multiple perspectives in hiring decisions.

Ensuring diversity and equality of opportunity is at the heart of our values at St George’s. The Fair Recruitment Specialist Initiative hopes to be a valuable and constructive way in which we can embody these values in our recruitment practices. I encourage our staff to recognise the importance of diversity in decision making, and engage with this pilot scheme. 

⁠— Professor Jenny Higham (Principal)  

 

Please refer to the Fair Recruitment Specialist Initiative Guidance document for detailed information about the pilot initiative. All Hiring Managers and panellists are expected to read this document alongside the Expectations of Panellists document prior to interviews taking place.  

 

 

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Why are we piloting this initiative?

Analysis of our recruitment data over the past four years shows a disparity in the representation of BAME candidates and White candidates at interview and appointment stage. Whilst we have a large volume of applications from BAME candidates, the percentage of staff being shortlisted for interview and being appointed is consistently lower for BAME candidates than for White candidates.

Furthermore, the majority of our interview panels are not representative in terms of race and ethnicity. Over the last four years a significant percentage (around 66%) of interview panels consisted only of staff members from White backgrounds.

We are committed to addressing these issues of disparity and underrepresentation. The Fair Recruitment Specialist Initiative aims to ensure multiple perspectives in hiring decisions to mitigate for the potential impact unconscious bias and 'group think'. Furthermore, the initiative also aims to demonstrate the visible diversity of our staff to interview candidates. 

How will the process work?

A pool of volunteer Fair Recruitment Specialists will be recruited and given relevant and comprehensive training in recruitment and selection, unconscious bias and participating in interview panel discussions.

SGUL staff recruiting for roles will be expected to consider including a Fair Recruitment Specialist in their interview panel. A Fair Recruitment Specialist will be allocated, taking into consideration relevant factors such as the grade, location and type of role being recruited to. Specialists will be consulted before their allocation to a panel to ensure they are comfortable, suitable and available to take part.

The Fair Recruitment Specialist will be included as an equal member of the interview panel and will take part in asking questions, taking notes and in the post-interview discussions. Hiring managers and panel members should ensure that the Fair Recruitment Specialists’ voice is heard and their perspective listened to. 

Who can become a Fair Recruitment Specialist and how do I sign up?

Any staff member who identifies as being from a BAME background can sign up to become a Fair Recruitment Specialist. This includes staff at any grade across the university, including Joint Faculty staff.

Those who sign up to be a Fair Recruitment Specialist must attend the relevant training prior to taking on the role.

If you are interested in signing up to be a Fair Recruitment Specialist, or have any questions regarding the role, email Liz Grand, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser.

Why should I include a Fair Recruitment Specialist on my panel and how do I go about it?

Research continually shows that unconscious bias and 'group think' can have a significant impact on recruitment, often causing us to hire in our own image. This is particularly the case where interview panellists are from similar backgrounds and experiences. By including individuals from different backgrounds on interview panels we mitigate this risk by ensuring multiple perspectives are included in the decision-making discussions. 

Further to this, multiple perspectives are essential for panels to make a fair and equal consideration of each candidate. Diverse perspectives help to challenge one another, ensuring assumptions are avoided and assessments are evidence based.

Including a Fair Recruitment Specialist on an interview panel also carries benefits for candidates being interviewed. It enables them to see the diversity we have in our staff community as well as our commitment to diversity and representation.

Fair Recruitment Specialists will be included as an equal member of the interview panel and will take part in asking questions, taking notes and in the post-interview discussions. Hiring managers and panel members should ensure that the Fair Recruitment Specialists’ voice is heard and their perspective listened to.

The HR Recruitment Request Form includes a tick box which asks Hiring Managers to confirm they agree for HR to request for a Fair Recruitment Specialists for their panel. Hiring Managers are expected to engage with this initiative, where their interview panel is not already diverse in terms of ethnicity. 

If you have any questions regarding the initiative and how you can get involved, please email Liz Grand (Diversity and Inclusion Adviser).   

What is expected of Hiring Managers?

In line with St George’s Leadership Attributes, we expect Hiring Mangers to demonstrate an inclusive and consultative approach to change and decision making, to value and respect diversity and create and inclusive environment. We expect interviews to be conducted in line with these principles, including embracing the participation on panels from Fair Recruitment Specialists. 

All staff involved in recruitment at SGUL must have completed unconscious bias training within the last three years. This can be completed either via the online course or by attending one of the face-to-face training sessions.

The Hiring Manager and all panel members are expected to read the Expectations of Panellists Document which outlines what the Specialists expect and request of those they will be sharing the interview panel with.

The Fair Recruitment Specialist will be included as an equal member of the interview panel and will take part in asking questions, taking notes and in the post-interview discussions. Hiring managers and panel members should ensure that the Fair Recruitment Specialist’s voice is heard, and their perspective listened to. 

After the interviews have taken place, the Hiring Manager and panel members will be asked for their feedback by the Diversity and Inclusion Adviser, a feedback form will be circulated. This feedback is valuable in ensuring the initiative is meeting its aims and that staff have a positive experience engaging with it. 

What do the Fair Recruitment Specialists get out of the initiative and how are they supported?

The experience and development opportunities for the volunteer Fair Recruitment Specialists is an essential element of this initiative. Where BAME staff are volunteering their time and efforts they will receive development opportunities in return. This initiative has been designed to work collaboratively with BAME staff to achieve representation in our recruitment.

Fair Recruitment Specialists will receive comprehensive training on recruitment and selection procedures and practices, in unconscious bias and in taking part in an interview panel. This training will give the Specialists the opportunity to develop valuable, transferable skills which will aid career progression and facilitate networking across the university. 

Taking part in interview panels will provide the Specialists with hands on, direct experience of interviewing as well as giving an opportunity to meet new colleagues and develop professional relationships.

It is recognised that the Specialists participating in the scheme may wish to raise questions, concerns or comments surrounding interviews and during their participation in the initiative. Specialists will be supported by the Diversity and Inclusion Adviser throughout their participation in the initiative and can contact them at any time for support.  


 

 

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