Happy International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day (or IWD) is an annual day to celebrate the achievements of women, and the progress made towards gender equality socially, culturally, economically and otherwise.

Our governing body, the REC, has recently partnered with the Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to conduct valuable research: ‘How to Recruit Women for the 21st Century’, which has resulted in a toolkit and annual report. It is jam-packed full of useful and interesting findings that could help employers to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace – from the recruitment process and beyond – to support their current female workforce, and also helping other women to find the workplace more accessible.

This six-chapter toolkit/report looks carefully and critically at current working cultures, trends and patterns, assessing potential obstacles for women, and thinking about how to overcome them. It asks how employers can help to support women entering into the workplace, and in so doing, how they can help to promote a more diverse workforce.

“There is a ripple effect that occurs when women are in quality paid employment. Their children are more likely to have good school attendance and go on to further education, mothers can save and provide for their families, and children are less likely to get involved in crime and gangs”

– Jocelyn Hillman, Founder, Working Chance (p.6)

As an agency, we are committed to fair, open and honest recruitment processes. As a candidate, you can expect:

Task-based assessments

Prior to candidates coming to see us, you will be asked to conduct a series of assessments that provide us with a baseline on some transferable administrative skills. Task-based assessments give a “better indicator of performance and a way to tackle in-built biases” (p5). We use the same assessments for all candidates, with some additional and more specialised testing where required for more specialised roles, such as those requiring languages.

Fair interviewing processes

We screen all candidates before submitting their CV to a client. This gives us a chance to meet you, talk through your CV in more detail, and get to know a little more about you – your strengths, areas for development, and so on. The interview is structured, yet relaxed and relatively informal. We have some pre-set interview questions that help us to build a picture and better support you into employment. Pre-set questions are fairer (p.5), and ensures that the candidate experience is standardised where possible.

CVs and CV writing

We can offer you support with your CV writing if you ask us! The report says that 40% of young women doubt their abilities to write a good CV (p.6), and that even more don’t know where to obtain support if they need it. Not only that, but we also put your CV into our format before sending your details to our client, so we make the recruitment process fairer by standardising all candidate information.

Putting your best foot forward

The report shows that 53% of women and 43% of men between the ages of 18-30 worry about their abilities (p.6). This lack of self-confidence is something that we seek to address by providing comprehensive interview preparation which is tailored to you, helping you to prepare effectively for your interview. Having met you already, we’re able to give you honest and open feedback about your interview with us, and help you to utilise this feedback constructively in your interview with our client.

Feedback from interviews

The report says that 30% of young women do not receive feedback after an interview (p.6). After your interview with our client, we will seek out feedback, and feed this back to you constructively. If you’ve been successful in securing the job, great! If not, we’ll aim to help you to understand what you can improve on for next time.

We highly recommend that you read the ‘How to recruit women for the 21st Century’ report, which can be downloaded here.