The Workplace: January/February 2023

In November last year, Programme One turned two. And what a journey! Programme One was founded to deliver a lasting programme of change to address the underrepresentation of black talent within the recruitment industry.

Twenty-four months on… with 15 member agencies and over 150 candidates applying through the website, the support and recognition Programme One receives is growing week-by-week.

When I speak to the agencies involved – Amoria Bond, Aspire, Bruin, Franklin Fitch, Gravitas Recruitment, Meet, Spencer Ogden, Signify, Charlton Morris, PRG, La Fosse Associates, HR Genius, Goodman Masson, Deverell Smith and Westbourne Campbell – the continued commitment of all working towards the same goal – to remove the inequalities which are restricting and inhibiting the engagement of black talent in the recruitment sector – is very impressive.

Our sector has come together to deliver this change and as we move through 2023, I’m excited by the prospect of other agencies joining and new, fresh talent entering our industry.

The more mature Programme One becomes, the more impact and change we will see.

We ask for each joining organisation to Programme One to commit to four simple strategic objectives, so not only does the programme stay the length of time and but we enable permanent change.

The four strategic objectives for each participating company are:

One A commitment to embedding a Diversity, Inclusion and Respect strategy within their business. Comprehensive training for all their people and a commitment to capturing, reviewing and publishing their diversity data. All member agencies have seen an increase in the percentage of their employees self-identifying as having black heritage.

Two A commitment to removing any barriers to hiring black recruiters, so that their organisation matches the black representation in their local community. Using the Office of National Statistics estimates by ethnic group, we can understand the representation of Black and/or Black British African/Caribbean heritage by location. In London that representation is 13% (15% for inner London), in Birmingham it is 8% and in Manchester it is 10%, for example.

It is our opportunity to shine by doing what is right for now and for the future”

Three For every black recruit hired there is a commitment that they have access to a mentor. Each black recruiter joining Programme One will have the option of an experienced recruitment mentor through The Aleto Foundation. The purpose is to create an environment of support for the person entering the recruitment industry.

Four A commitment to widening our talent attraction methods and techniques. We have built relationships with sixth form colleges, African Caribbean societies, university alumni, social media communities on Twitter and LinkedIn and charities and specialist non-profits such as the Amos Bursary.

Baroness McGregor-Smith has written a letter of support. You can be part of the change too. As a sector we can deliver this long-lasting programme of change and change the landscape of opportunity for black talent.

It is our opportunity to shine by doing what is right for now and for the future.

Guy Hayward - redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

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