A fresh look at early talent attraction can boost social mobility

Nov 2, 2023 | Diversity, Home Featured, Opinion

Early talent attraction and marketing can be adapted to enable social mobility, explains Stafford Long.

Social mobility can unlock a wealth of untapped talent, enriching our workplaces and communities with diverse perspectives and innovative ideas. It’s not just a matter of ethics; it’s a strategic imperative.

By providing opportunities for all young people, we pave the way for a more inclusive, productive, and vibrant society where everyone has the chance to thrive and contribute.

Significant inequality gaps in the UK

A young person’s socio-economic background has a decisive impact on their future career and financial opportunities.

The Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation 2023 Report shows that, “among young people with similar educational levels, there are significant socio-economic pay gaps. Those from higher-professional backgrounds earn 18% more than those from a lower working-class background who have the same level of education”.

In the UK, there are significant inequality gaps which harshly stratify society along intersecting lines of socio-economics, race, gender, disability and sexuality. For instance, whilst “disability gaps are significant for people from all socio-economic backgrounds”, the report also found that “the gap is even wider among those from a lower working-class background, suggesting that professional families are better able to mitigate the effects of disability on young people’s life chances.”

Meanwhile, in terms of gender, data from the report concludes that the male-female gap in economic activity among people aged 25 to 29 years is only 4% among those from a higher professional background, but 15% for those from a lower working-class background.

Stafford Long believes that no young person should feel stuck or excluded from achieving their brightest dreams. Where they come from should never inhibit where they are going.

A fresh approach

Recruitment practices have a crucial role to play in addressing this inequity and promoting social mobility.

When trying to enter the workforce, underrepresented talent can face daunting educational requirements, financial constraints, a lack of networks and the absence of role models.

A fresh approach by employers to attraction and marketing is key to easing some of these challenges.

For example, finding ways to include young people’s perspectives at more stages of planning outreach activities— particularly at stages where decisions are being taken. Also, reflecting more on the experiences within organisations that allow people to be themselves, with less need to ‘fit in’.

ISE EDI Conference 2023

At this year’s ISE EDI Conference, Stafford-Long is proud to present a truly illuminating and bespoke session on social mobility, where we will explore some of these themes further.

We’ve partnered with cultural research specialists, Word on The Curb, who excel in engaging with underrepresented audiences and offer immersive insights to fuel change.

Together in our session, ‘Breaking Barriers: A Fresh Look at Social Mobility and Sector Perceptions,’ we are setting out to explore the perceptions, barriers, and attraction factors faced by young talent striving for upward mobility.

Incorporating tailored research, and a focus on key actions for attendees to incorporate into their talent acquisition practice, this session has two clear objectives:
• To help employers gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of young individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
• To show how employer comms and engagement methods could be adapted to address these challenges.

We will delve into how young individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds perceive various employment sectors, uncovering what shapes these perceptions. We’ll also explore the common obstacles they encounter when trying to enter the workforce.

By sharing key research outcomes to substantiate the challenges faced by young individuals, you’ll walk away with credible and unique information to inform your attraction strategies. We hope to see you there!

More information or register for the ISE EDI Conference.

For a taste of ISE’s EDI Conference read…

How the transition to net zero could unlock social mobility

See beyond the disability to the ability

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