Last month KBC Bank hosted the first Inclusive Employer meeting in Cork. At the session Munster based companies described their schemes to support apprenticeships and work placements which in the majority of cases provide candidates that they can recruit and progress through the organisation.
According to Louise Murray our Senior CSR Adviser, the logic stacks up. “We are told that today’s labour market is reaching full employment and yet, the ESRI has pointed out persistent levels of unemployment among jobless households, lone parents, the homeless or those affected by housing exclusion, people with a disability and ethnic minorities. This also impacts on families, communities and society. Including these cohorts in the workforce is paying off for these companies. Where external job adverts look for a certain level of experience or qualifications, it may be that someone on an apprenticeship or a traineeship internally already knows the business. If the business knows and trusts them, they can often be a better fit with prospects for further training.”
Companies described how their schemes have become part of the workplace culture, where hiring managers and wider staff are notified and expect to see the trainees on the premises. Now too, after several years learning, the companies have tried and tested structures and procedures for introducing recruits to the workplace and their roles.
Among the initiatives explored by companies to recruit from outside mainstream paths were:
The discussion highlighted that success has some common factors: structure for candidates entering roles – just as there would be in any form of recruitment; collaboration with community partners who have expertise in engaging with the target groups; and measuring the impact of what companies are achieving in their communities through this intervention.
How can business make a significant step forward?
This is a change management project requiring the same approach as any business transformation. The steps may vary from one organisation to another:
This group will be meeting again in September in Cork (date TBC). Any company is welcomed to attend, particularly those from the Munster region. Please let your account manager know or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.