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Values and strengths based recruitment: University of Warwick Graduate Scheme

How did the idea of using a values and strengths based recruitment method come about?

We made some changes to the Ambitious Futures scheme format (previous National HEI scheme we were part of) to make it more appealing to all, not just those who traditionally have considered applying for a graduate scheme opportunity. This included how we framed the scheme, target marketing as well as a change to a more strengths and values based focused assessment. We wanted to attract people who believed in Warwick and our values, who would be passionate about what we stand for and whose values and behaviours aligned. Here is a summary:

• Recruitment – designed to be more inclusive, using strengths questioning style and hypothetical scenarios which focuses on the skills of candidates rather than how much past experience they have had the opportunity to gain. EDI data was removed from the panel information pack to enable ‘blind’ scoring.

Two members of staff sit on a sofa discussing recruitment strategy

• Support – we linked with the Migrant Leaders organisation which is a charity that supports 1st and 2nd generation migrants as well as all disadvantaged youths in the UK, offering support with applications and preparing for interview as well as connecting them with Mentors. The Migrant Leader organisation also shared this opportunity.

• Widening participation – the scheme was shared with our current and alumni Warwick scholars programme attendees.

How did these changes impact the recruitment campaign?

We had the most diverse amount of applicants we had ever seen apply to a Graduate Scheme at Warwick. 47% of applicants identified as BAME and 18% declared a disability. What these figures don’t show is the number of non-British white applicants, for example South African, Polish and Russian of which there were many.