Apprenticeships, like other important talent initiatives, should be aligned to corporate strategy and accountable to the same business metrics as other people-related programmes.
Diversity and inclusion has become a strategic issue around the world. Business leaders now see diversity as a business priority from apprentices to the boardroom. There is strong evidence available that shows a link between an organisation’s workforce diversity and performance. Senior individuals are now accountable through metrics and transparency of reporting on diversity in promotion, hiring and compensation- why should apprenticeships be any different..?
For diversity recruiting to be effective, you can’t treat all diverse apprenticeship candidates the same, strategies to attract new apprentices should be tailored to each diverse segment. Here are five actions you can take to align your apprenticeship strategy to your organisation’s diversity strategy.
- GET INTELLIGENT ABOUT DATA
Capture and measure diversity data reporting results across all channels.
Include these diversity-linked reports as part of the overall evaluation of the effectiveness of your apprenticeship strategy.
Use advanced software and predictive analytics to provide intelligence to:
- which sourcing channels, adverts, approaches you should be adopting to optimise your diversity attraction strategy, targeting the right audience and delivering relevant brand messaging.
- channel examples and imagery to the right audiences.
- GET ALL OVER THE METRICS
Are diversity statistics meeting corporate objectives or mirroring national and local benchmarks?
Develop dashboards that provide forward indicators helping identify problems such as gender or racial bias and reassess your approach, take immediate action to make sure you stay on track with diversity performance.
Invest in an approach that provides you with this granularity of reporting will help boost the internal profile of your apprenticeship programme evidencing performance against corporate targets.
- GET YOUR DIVERSE APPRENTICES USING SOCIAL CAPITAL
Our own social networks both on and offline tend to reflect our own demographic backgrounds.
Use diverse apprentices as advocates for apprenticeship program messaging- amplifying and broadcasting awareness of available apprenticeships to a wider range of diverse candidates.
Use case studies and testimonials showcasing your diverse apprentices’ experiences performing roles and qualifying in different apprenticeship standards where there is no diverse mix.
- GET GENDER DECODING
Gender-coded language can be found in many adverts for apprenticeships. It refers to words that are more likely to appeal to one gender more than another skewing the diversity of responses. Characteristics such as, ‘strong,’ ‘decisive,’ and ‘independent,’ can tend to appeal more to men and words such as ‘encouraging,’ ‘supportive’ and ‘committed,’ can appeal more to women.
Use tools such as this gender decoder to remove barriers to diverse applicants. The tool was inspired by a research paper written by Danielle Gaucher, Justin Friesen, and Aaron C. Kay back in 2011, called Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, July 2011, Vol 101(1), p109-28).
- GET YOUR STATUS AS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER OUT THERE
Promote your own status as an equal opportunities employer. Are you an employer who agrees not to discriminate against any employee or job candidate because of their race, colour, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, or age? If so you can be defined and classified as an Equal Opportunity Employer. Include this wherever you can to appeal to diverse applicants.
GetMyFirstJob work with over 300 customers supporting awareness and measurement of diversity in their apprenticeship attraction campaigns.