How to support diverse students overcome barriers in recruitment

Jan 24, 2023 | Case studies, Diversity

Low barriers to entry, behaviour based assessments and personal support can help diverse students overcome barriers in the recruitment process, explains Katie Murphy, head of contingent recruitment at Sanctuary Graduates.

Sanctuary Graduates and futureproof shared their experiences and advice for recruiting and retaining diverse talent at ISE’s EDI Conference.

Here they share how they are supporting diverse students so that they can overcome barriers in the recruitment process.

futureproof & Sanctuary Graduates’ mission

futureproof’s mission is to resolve the widening technical skills gap in the UK by helping the best, most diverse talent build the tech of tomorrow through its free 12-week coding course and subsequent potential two-year paid placements.

Sanctuary Graduates has partnered with futureproof since 2019 to support this mission, growing from three to five cohorts of 10-15 students a year, to delivering up to 20 students every month on to the course and into junior tech roles.

Students are found through Sanctuary Graduate’s unique networks, put through a full screening process and then tested by futureproof trainers, with over 5,000 candidates applying in the last 12 months.

Overcoming recruitment barriers

Diversity within the workplace and particularly in the tech industry is something futureproof strives to encourage and improve.

Examples of how they support these students and candidates overcoming barriers in their recruitment process begins from the initial CV application stage, all the way through to final placement.

To be eligible to join futureproof cohorts you do not need to have attended university or achieved a particular grade; candidates from all backgrounds including career changers are encouraged to apply.

futureproof switched their testing method stage back in 2021 to ensure a more inclusive approach was offered, focusing on the wider La Fosse’s brand and their key values of care, humility and ambition.

The switch from psychrometric to a gamified testing method has allowed a wider pool of diverse candidates (especially neurodiverse applicants) to reach further in their application stages and ultimately be hired into futureproof’s cohorts.

Candidates are considered based on culture fit as opposed to ability to reach a pass mark on standard psychometric testing. History has shown that in some cases candidates are limited to progressing in application processes due to lack of experience with this psychometric style of assessments or identification of disabilities causing barriers to success.

Sanctuary Graduates’ personal touch approach

Beyond the fixed application stages, Sanctuary Graduates continues to recognise candidates as individuals rather than a number towards a target to meet or a cohort to fill.

Our team offers additional one-to-one preparation calls ahead of technical interview stages with futureproof. This personal support looks to overcome the barriers that diverse students in particular face in recruitment processes.

Plus, if unsuccessful, the introduction of a candidate waitlist works towards changing the face and inclusivity of the tech world. Our waitlist encourages candidates to apply again after three months with ample resources provided by the futureproof team to support their coding skills going forward.

To summarise, the above methods including low barriers to entry, the switch to behaviour based assessments and offering personal support to all candidates are just some ways futureproof and Sanctuary Graduates go above and beyond to accommodate and encourage diverse students to overcome recruitment process barriers.

These actions are key to all candidates’ success as they take their first steps into the tech industry.

Read more insight and data on EDI


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