“IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT RE­CRUIT­MENT, IT’S ABOUT RE­TEN­TION TOO – AND THAT’S SOME­THING YOU NEED TO WORK AT CON­STANTLY

Computer Arts - - Industry Issues - HE­LEN FUCHS

such as Pride AM, Peo­ple of Cre­ativ­ity, Open In­clu­sion and Ad­ver­tis­ing and Dis­abil­ity, can help make sure your job ads are reach­ing a broad spec­trum of peo­ple. And think out­side the box, for ex­am­ple, Let’s Be Brief has a show about cre­ativ­ity on ra­dio sta­tion NTS, whose motto is ‘Don’t As­sume’. “Find peo­ple in the places that mat­ter to them, you can’t as­sume they’ll grav­i­tate to­wards you,” adds Neck­les.

RE­CRUIT­MENT PROCESS

Di­ver­sity re­cruit­ment goals can help. Dig­i­tal agency ustwo has an agree­ment with its re­cruiter than 50 per cent of can­di­dates must come from un­der­rep­re­sented groups. “I’m sure that got me on an in­ter­view list,” says Fuchs. Eval­u­ate your cur­rent process: is your rec­om­men­da­tion scheme just bring­ing in iden­tikit de­sign­ers? Are your in­ter­view ques­tions stan­dard­ised to make for fair com­par­i­son? How gen­der neu­tral is the word­ing of your ad? Start­ing a con­ver­sa­tion about the lan­guage you use can lead you to in­ter­est­ing places. So­cial me­dia plat­form Buf­fer changed the word­ing of its job ads from ‘hacker’ to ‘de­vel­oper’, for ex­am­ple, in a bid to at­tract more women.

“The prob­lem with bias,” says Wolff Olins’ Ije Nwoko­rie, “is that we all want to think we’re not. But we’re all hu­man be­ings and we all form bi­ases.” Or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Al­to­gether Dif­fer­ent, Equal­ity and Di­ver­sity UK and Cre­ative Equals all of­fer un­con­scious bias train­ing, which helps staff iden­tify where those prej­u­dices might come into play. Given that re­search from to­taljobs finds al­most one in five hir­ing man­agers make a de­ci­sion on a can­di­date within a minute of meet­ing them and 44 per cent de­cide af­ter just 15 min­utes, mak­ing sure your team is as open as pos­si­ble is in­te­gral. You could also con­sider im­ple­ment­ing blind port­fo­lio re­views or us­ing an or­gan­i­sa­tion such as GapJumpers, which strips ap­pli­ca­tions of iden­ti­fy­ing info.

Your in­ter­view process may also be dis­cour­ag­ing or dis­crim­i­nat­ing against tal­ented can­di­dates, in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties. “It may be worth de­vi­at­ing from the stan­dard in­ter­view process al­to­gether and in­stead, pro­vid­ing a work trail or test in­stead,” sug­gests Waite. “Hy­po­thet­i­cal or ob­scure in­dus­try ter­mi­nol­ogy can be chal­leng­ing to some peo­ple, as can ques­tions that re­quire overly imag­i­na­tive an­swers,” she ex­plains.

AC­CES­SI­BIL­ITY AND DIS­ABIL­ITY

“It’s not just about re­cruit­ment, it’s about re­ten­tion too – and that’s some­thing you need to work at con­stantly,” says Fuchs. Luck­ily, many strate­gies for mak­ing sure peo­ple from un­der-rep­re­sented groups thrive in the stu­dio make the work­place bet­ter for ev­ery­one. Kar­wai Pun, an in­ter­ac­tion de­signer at Gov­ern­ment Dig­i­tal Ser­vice, who has been im­prov­ing dig­i­tal ser­vices for users with all types of dis­abil­i­ties, says: “Hav­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties on staff brings greater in­sight into us­abil­ity test­ing, ac­ces­si­bil­ity train­ing and de­sign dis­cus­sions. Smarter ways of work­ing such as re­mote work­ing, home work­ing or flex­itime of­fer use­ful al­ter­na­tives for all col­leagues, not just those with dis­abil­i­ties.” Sim­i­larly, many ad­just­ments to your space – in­tro­duc­ing height-ad­justable desks or ar­eas for quiet con­cen­tra­tion – give greater flex­i­bil­ity to all staff. “Start by au­dit­ing your space to iden­tify where the block­ers are,” says Waite. “In­vite some spe­cial­ists in for the day to

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