Young people experienced the greatest rise in unemployment during the pandemic, due to a period of reduced recruitment. However, job vacancies have since reached record levels, and employers, now faced with strong competition to fill roles, have a great opportunity to tap into underutilised pools of talent who have previously been overlooked. Young people from marginalised groups are in particular need of job opportunities, and employers have a critical role to play in helping them get into paid work.
This practice summary, published in partnership with Youth Futures Foundation, gives evidence-based guidance on how to attract young talent from diverse backgrounds and discusses selection tools and techniques employers can use to ensure an accurate evaluation of their potential.
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- When producing job adverts, make sure they appeal and feel inclusive to marginal or disadvantaged groups. Consider consulting people from the target groups or experts who work with them.
- Customise recruitment channels and messaging based on local context and target group characteristics – for example, using LinkedIn or job sites may be less likely to reach people from disadvantaged backgrounds than using local community groups.
- Before starting to select candidates for a job, identify which capabilities are needed to perform well, rather than just age and experience.
- To reduce bias, use validated methods of job analysis to identify the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed by good performers.
- In selecting candidates, use structured interviews instead of free-flowing unstructured discussions as a good way to ensure both valid and fair appraisals.
- Use cognitive ability tests but make sure you select ones that compensate for subgroup differences and therefore do not unfairly disadvantage certain candidates.
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