14 May 2024

Inclusive recruitment workshops

Inclusion and diversity logo, with a circle that is half blue with a poutama staircase design, and half coloured with different colours of the rainbow. Inside the circle is text saying Inclusion and Diversity, and around the outside of the circle is text saying Ara Poutama Aotearoa Department of Corrections

Inclusive recruitment practices are a key focus for Inclusion & Diversity and the Regional Recruitment team in the East Coast, Wellington and Taranaki, Whanganui & Manawatū Regions. Inclusion & Diversity has partnered with the Regional Recruitment team to write and deliver a series of drop-in workshops for all hiring managers to attend throughout 2024. Each month a different group of staff are the focus of the workshop, with National and Regional Employee Led Networks supporting the development and delivery of the workshops.

Focusing on inclusive recruitment practices is an important way of working towards our Inclusion & Diversity commitments as a Public Service organisation.

Neuroinclusive recruitment

In February, Senior Advisers Inclusion & Diversity Alice and Amber ran two workshops on neuroinclusive recruitment, which 57 hiring managers attended. The workshop covered:

  • foundational information about neurodiversity
  • the estimated prevalence of neurodivergence in our organisation
  • barriers for neurodivergent people in recruitment
  • what neuroinclusive recruitment looks like in practice.

“The application and interview process can be intimidating for anyone, but our neurodivergent kaimahi can find the process more challenging if it is not done in an inclusive way," says Amber. "Delivering this session and hearing all the ways our recruitment team and hiring managers are already ensuring the process is more inclusive was fantastic, and we loved seeing how committed they all were to  increasing the inclusiveness of their recruitment practices. Neuro-inclusive practices are not only good for neurodivergent people - they are good for everyone!”

Inclusive recruitment for Pasifika people

The workshops in April explored supporting Pasifika people. These workshops focussed on inclusive practices when interviewing new staff, and had a specific emphasis on supporting our current Pasifika staff with career progression.

The workshop explored:

  • our obligations to Pasifika staff as a Public Service
  • organisational barriers for career progression
  • recognition of Va to support conversations about career progression
  • what inclusive recruitment looks like for Pasifika people
  • beyond recruitment - inclusive retention practices.

I’m always impressed with the drive our people have to improving ourselves and our ways of working," says Director of People, Practice and Capability Symon Leggett, who attended the workshops. "The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see the world from their point of view ensures we’re constantly striving for a better outcome.”

Workshop outcomes

Since the workshop initiative started, the Regional Recruitment team has made some more adjustments to make the processes as inclusive as possible. These include:

  • providing technology for candidates to use where needed e.g candidates with dyslexia can request a laptop with spellcheck to use instead of the written component of the assessment centres
  • Providing eye level reading rulers to help neurodivergent candidates or candidates with vision challenges read information and scenarios
  • printing scenarios and information on pastel paper to support neurodivergent people read the information with more ease
  • providing questions in advance when requested to provide time for candidates to process the questions, translate words if English is a second language, and find appropriate examples.

The next workshop will run during International Pride Month in June, focusing on inclusive recruitment for Rainbow people.

“Recruitment is one of the most important roles for leaders to continue to strengthen as we identify new kaimahi with the skills and attributes that will support Hokai Rangi and who align to our values - no easy feat in such a brief interaction!" says General Manager Pae Ora for Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatū Region Tracey Rowe.

"Successful teams need diversity. It was great to have some managers commit to making some changes to how they practice recruitment following the workshop.”

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