Categorized | Jobs, Lifestyle

Company seizes opportunity to recruit at Gay Pride

Posted on 03 May 2016 by editor

With over 100,000 people due to attend Birmingham’s gay pride, the festival is a good opportunity to recruit from the LGBT community. Police Recruitment Manager – David Vidgen has used this tactic before, deploying the recruitment team to the event in order to raise the awareness of careers in the service. The LGBT community can often be hard to reach, in many companies there can be a stigma and it can be difficult for gay workers to reach their potential. Attending Gay Pride is a real opportunity to showcase the work a company has done, not least allowing gay workers to tell and share their stories and experiences of working for a particular employer. It can also allow the company to show the human element of their business, rather than the corporate machine.

From experience, Gay Pride is really good at promoting long-term career opportunities and for overcoming perhaps some negative organisational perceptions. People often have a perception of a company, and the LGBT community can sometimes find this perception as a barrier to entry. Often the perception is incorrect, so attending Pride is a real opportunity to breakdown barriers and to highlight the good work a company does, not just in the LGBT community but across all user groups.

Gay Pride is attended by over 75,000 people from all across the world. It runs Saturday to Bank Holiday Monday and includes a variety of events including a Parade through Birmingham, music festival, food, cabaret entertainment, funfair, plus lots more. You can get involved in the 2017 event by visiting Birmingham Pride website.

Gay Pride is just one of a number of ways that David Vidgen has utilised large scale events as a means of recruitment. Having a presence at venues where these is considerable footfall can be advantageous, not least because of the exposure it can provide. Many companies under estimate the value of taking the business to the community. It provides a great opportunity, not only to recruit from the adult population, but to target the next generation of employees. If the company has a negative perception, there’s no better way to overcome this than by putting the company out there. Targeting the next generation helps to break down barriers and leave a long lasting impression with a group of people who in time will be your next pool of potential applicants. There are particular industries where this would be favourable, most notably the police service. The police service has a terrible reputation in some communities, and sitting behind the desk or failing to turn up when crimes occur, will certainly not help solve this problem. Resources or not, without effort to overcome prejudices or negative perceptions, those perceptions will never change. What’s more, just saying that applicants from particular groups are welcome to apply, again this does nothing to combat any negative perceptions. The approach must be multi faceted, and must include the highest standards possible of recruitment to ensure that the right people are employed. Where employees have been recruited over a period of time and through differing recruitment standards, a modified approach needs to be taken to address any under performers, or those who don’t display the qualities of a modern organisation. You also need to include role-models and ambassadors, and free them up from others duties so they can commit 100%. All too often, they have other commitments, and this impacts on their ability to carry out the task to the best of their abilities. Where advertising has been utilised in the past, this has made little to no effect on the recruitment of staff from under represented groups. Advertising post millennium is now so fragmented, advertising just doesn’t have the coverage it once had. Don’t waste your money on adverts, focus on outreach campaigns, as these provide the perfect platform to actually get out there and speak. This is why so many political parties carry this task leading up to local and national elections. The problem is, they don’t turn out in the community at any other time, so the public are skeptical. If you are going to undertake outreach programmes, make sure they are regular, because it’s this regularity that breads familiarity.

This article has been written by David Vidgen.




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