Every year Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) recruits up to 150 graduates for their Graduate Policy Adviser programme, offering the chance to shape policies that affect a nation. A popular proposition, they sought our help to identify the very best candidates from almost 2,500 applications. While well-subscribed, delivering a satisfactory candidate journey had historically proved to be a challenge, and they were keen for our help to improve the application experience. A key objective was to attract a more diverse range of candidates, reflecting the diverse make-up of the UK population they would be supporting. Specifically, they wanted to engage a wider socio-economic, gender, ethnic and disability community. Understanding – and addressing – any adverse impacts on these groups was essential.
Our attraction strategy was to shift the perception that HMT roles are primarily ‘financial’ when, in fact, communication and analytical skills are the most important abilities. This allowed us to broaden the sweep of our attraction strategy in general and also, to target specific talent groups.
We reviewed all of HMT’s assessment materials to establish their fairness, and to ensure they represented best practice. We also monitored every recruitment stage for any adverse impact. Implementing a batched recruitment process, we established a structured schedule of keep warm emails, regularly updating candidates on their applications. And we also applied our standard reasonable adjustment process, making sure that every candidate with a disability-related request was personally contacted to assess requirements.
A recruitment team was also made available to support candidates throughout their entire recruitment journey.
‘The attraction campaign generated 49% of all applications and increased applications from key target audiences – particularly women, BME and state schools.’
Our analysis of the recruitment process also demonstrated that it was free of adverse impacts. For example, a disabled candidate was unable to complete the online test, so we worked with the online provider to replicate testing in Microsoft Excel, and completed the test with the candidate at our offices in London. The candidate was successful and progressed to the next stage.
All hiring targets were achieved. The attraction campaign generated 49% of all applications and increased applications from key target audiences – particularly women, BME and state schools. And HMT was thrilled with the results – so much so that they have asked us to take on further campaigns.