On 4th February 2021, networx, recruitment software and service provider,  will join organisations and individuals nationwide in fighting the stigma that surrounds mental health. As 1 in 4 are likely to experience a mental health problem in any given year, now more than ever it is important to be changing the way we think, act and feel about mental health in the workplace,  including how we approach recruitment.

Candidate experience and equality, diversity and inclusion are two of the key focuses for many HR and recruitment teams in 2021, as organisations seek to offer greater support for those facing difficulties, including mental health. As a conscious employer and one seeking the best talent for your roles, it is important that organisations proudly demonstrate and are proactive in promoting inclusivity not just inside the workplace, but for prospective candidates to see too.

networx share some of the ways employers can show their support with initiatives such as Time to Talk Day and how you can positively encourage great candidates through the way in which you recruit:

Carefully distinguish job requirements

Most businesses will read articles sharing the best top tips for optimising your job adverts and requirements to best reach your target audience, but it is important to be mindful of how you position the role and the essential vs desirable attributes you define. It is important to be specific to attract the right type of candidate, however there needs to be a degree of flexibility and consideration for the language used, to avoid stereotypes, bias and putting those candidates off who may have a disability or need working adjustments.

Communicate your commitment

As a vital part of any collaborative working partnership, clear communication as part of your recruitment process is vital. This could include your organisation appointing Time to Talk Champions within your business, training individuals on mental health first aid and sharing information about your working environment, culture and commitment with an inclusion policy. Although there is no legal requirement to have a policy, it will be perceived by candidates as a proactive and supportive step in ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Allow for reasonable adjustments

UK employers have a responsibility to make adjustments to accommodate and support the needs of individuals with disabilities not just when going for an interview, but for completing the role too. This could include physical work environment adjustments, training and mentoring or specialist software. Communicating this as part of your recruitment process will ensure candidates remain confident in their submission.

Managing applications

A lot of organisations across the UK are tweaking their recruitment process to ensure there is no bias, such as removing names and personal information from the sifting process. The same goes for information about health or disabilities and this should be kept separate from the job application form, to ensure unconscious bias does not impact the processing of applications.

HR and recruitment professionals play a key role in creating a fair and inclusive workplace, as part of a clear equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and to support their talent acquisition and employee retention. The CIPD and various other professional bodies and charities, such as Mind, have a suite of resources for employers to utilise to ensure a positive experience in the workplace for recruitment and beyond.

Time to Change is a social movement, pioneered by Rethink Mental Health and Mind. Supporting millions nationwide, the campaign sheds a light on personal stories and provides individuals, schools, and employers with resources, guides and webinars.

For more information on how to get involved and to access the resources directly head to time-to-change.org.uk

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