How selection and assessment processes can improve diversity

Nov 28, 2019 | Selection & assessment

Following our Selection & Assessment Special Interest Group, Marina Semencuka explains how the process is adapting to improve diversity.

With the election confirmed for 12 December, Tristram Hooley presented our new manifesto to the group, which is the result of our recent consultation with members to ensure that wants and needs are heard by the next government. The ISE community believes that it is important that the government supports businesses and educators to improve employment outcomes for all young people. One of our main asks is that government must facilitate better employment outcomes for disadvantaged students.

We all know that recruiting a diverse workforce is the right thing to do. Moreover, McKinsey research reinforces the link between diversity and financial return. The report suggests that diverse teams perform better and attract the best talent. Our members agree – 76% of employers cited the desire to secure top talent as the primary reason for focusing on diversity.

The importance of enabling diversity in the selection process is reflected in our annual recruitment survey findings reported in Inside student recruitment 2019. It shows that a key aim of many organisations’ attraction and selection approaches was to ensure organisational diversity. And the selection process is evolving to address diversity – almost half of firms (46%) provided diversity training for staff involved in the selection process. The survey also showed that employers are giving a higher priority to all diversity issues than they were last year.

Case study: Deloitte

Deloitte is one of many firms that has redesigned its selection and assessment strategy to support greater diversity, but also improve efficiency and reduce time and resources.
Following a strengths analysis, Deloitte introduced an Immersive Online Assessment (IOA) as a replacement for off-the-shelf online tests. Furthermore, job simulations replaced face-to-face first round interviews.
Leah Knapton of Deloitte said they were able to save thousands of hours of interview time and reduce candidate travel expenses by removing the need for the candidate to come to the office. Additionally, candidates thought it respected their time and 80% agreed it reflected well on the brand, Leah said.

Earlier this year Deloitte won the ISE Award for Best Assessment and Selection Process. Members can learn more about Deloitte’s prize-winning process in the Autumn 2019 issue of The Student Employer.

Bottom line

Positive candidate experiences like Deloitte’s provide an opportunity for the company to gain advocates, strengthening its reputation and potential to attract top talent.
A refined selection and assessment strategy can improve your entire recruitment process and organisational diversity. Too often the wrong people are hired, promoted, or developed for the wrong reasons. The result – wasted time, labour and money. Poor recruitment decisions can have significant direct and indirect consequences for the company. For that reason, ISE members use a range of selection and assessment approaches and this year there have been a variety of changes to improve diversity such as increased use of name and university blind recruitment. This highlights that selection and assessment is a complex process – not just a written test.

ISE members can read the presentations from the Selection & Assessment Special Interest Forum on the event page.

If you’re not a member and are interested in joining our community, read about the benefits.

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