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Case study – apprentice recruitment

Our Recruitment Co-ordinator developed and trialled a new apprentice recruitment event and wanted to ensure candidates who declared a disability were well catered for in the process. Rather than simply asking candidates who declared a disability on their application form for their required reasonable adjustments on the form, the Recruitment Co-ordinator contacted them by phone to discuss their needs.

The aim was to make their experience more comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable, giving them the best chance to succeed. Those who could not be contacted by phone were emailed. Feedback from candidates was that this approach was very welcome. After these discussions, the following adjustments were made to the process for relevant candidates:

  • Statements did not have to be read out in front of the whole group and just to the hiring managers
  • Information was given regarding the group activity so people were aware of what they would be doing before the event
  • An additional 10 minutes were given for Maths and English tests
  • Interview questions were provided 10 minutes before the interviews to give the candidates time to process the questions before interview
  • A quiet and safe space was provided in case it was needed
  • An advance visit to one of our venues was provided so the candidates could have a look around, meet a Beyond Housing colleague and have any questions answered
  • We also ensured that there were lifts in the venues and that they were working.

Feedback below is from candidates and a support worker from North Yorkshire County Council regarding the processes put into place.

“I’d like to thank you again for the adjustments you applied to the assessment day. This has been a really positive and valuable interview experience for [candidate]. On behalf of [candidate] and myself, I would like to say thank you very much for all the interview adjustments you have offered. It really is very much appreciated. [Candidate] is now feeling more relaxed about Monday and is really looking forward to meeting you all. Thank you very much for your email and for taking [candidate’s] individual needs into consideration.”

“All the adjustments suggested are extremely supportive and will really help [candidate] on the day. If you could apply these measures that would be excellent. Thank you. I am extremely grateful to you and your colleagues for your support and assistance in this matter.”

“I really appreciate your time and kindness in supporting me throughout the interview process today. It was a pleasure to meet you and the rest of the team.”

“Regarding the assessment days: I found everyone to be approachable and supportive. The team building exercise was good fun, I think perhaps doing it in quite small groups was a wise approach to ensure everyone could get involved. It was also great to have a cup of tea and the opportunity to chat with some of the team before interviewing. This likely also helped habituate/settle nerves a tad. The interview questions were mostly clear, and I was given ample opportunities to ask for clarification, something I really valued was the interviewer’s conversational style. Above all, I massively appreciated the timely and proactive approach to providing reasonable adjustments. I had never been offered the adjustments afforded to me before, but I now recognise how helpful they were, so thank you for being highly considerate with this.”