Appendix A version 2. The conditional formatting of the arrows shown within the original published document (Appendix A) had been misaligned and showing incorrect representation of the figures. This has been rectified and a revised version is published below
The Committee received a detailed report from the Director of Workforce and Change updating on the work of the HR recruitment team on recruitment since it was last reported to the Committee in December 2019.
The Committee’s attention was specifically drawn to the following points –
1. The diversity of the organisation was a key priority of the new Workforce Strategy and the advancing Equalities Action Plan, this was being achieved through attracting, promoting and retaining diverse talent;
2. Since the last report significant progress had been made with an increase in the appointments of women and those who had identified as being from Black, Asian and Minority Ethic and LGBT groups. There had been a reduction in the number of appointments from those who identified themselves as Disabled but the rate of internal career progression for Disabled employees had improved;
3. There had recently been a 33% reduction in the amount of recruitment taking place across the organisation, in response recruitment processes had been strengthened to ensure that diverse talent from under-represented groups would be attracted. As part of this work the requirement for employees to secure managerial approval to apply for secondments had been removed;
4. The recruitment advertising contract for 2021 had been recommissioned to deliver social value, expert diversity knowledge and cost efficiencies;
5. The Covid-19 situation had a significant impact on the recruitment process significantly reducing the turnover rate and the work being done on the diversity of the workforce. However overall, the work had made positive progress.
Key points highlighted during discussion were –
a) With regard to the recruitment of people with criminal records the Head of Human resources stated that the Council was the first local authority to ‘ban the box’ in 2018 so that job applicants were not required to disclose any convictions until the end of the selection process. By end of 2019 the Council had employed twenty-five employees who had a previous criminal record;
b) The apparent significant decrease in the application numbers of disabled candidates had, following further investigation, revealed issues in relation to the recent implementation of the Council’s new i-Trent recruitment system. The Head of HR stated that the report would be adjusted accordingly, and future reporting would be accurate;
c) The Council regularly audited its recruitment process including that relating to ‘Headhunting’. The Council’s agent for this group, ‘Guidant’, had a good track record of securing the best candidates and performance of this was routinely monitored;
d) Managers were trained to ensure mitigation of unconscious bias within the recruitment process. Other mitigations included the use of ID number for candidates with names not being seen by selection panels until the interview process had begun;
e) Timescales for the recruitment process varied between work areas with some areas apparently taking significantly longer which had an impact on existing staff and workloads. A member suggested that formal targets could perhaps be instigated to improve the timeliness of the recruitment process. After further discussion it was agreed that a report be brought to the HR Committee in the new municipal year to identify areas where the recruitment process was slower with a view to exploring remedies. This was agreed. Action: Head of HR to include in Work Programme for next municipal year;
f) Declaration of disability, religion and ethnicity could be misleading depending on how people described themselves and that some candidates preferred not to give full details. It was acknowledged that this could miss important trends and that appropriate amendments should be made in future to improve on accuracy of reporting;
g) Regarding secondments, no longer requiring approval from a line manager, the process had commenced in July 2020 and there was some evidence that the new scheme was working well. Future reporting would provide more granular detail to identify trends amongst groups of employees eg, ethnic groups.
Resolved – That the content of the report be noted.
(Councillor Eddy left the meeting at this point)