Diverse recruitment must begin at a grassroots level

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Diverse recruitment must begin at a grassroots level
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Diverse recruitment must begin at a grassroots level

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world more than any technology - but like any disruption, it's also brought opportunities

For anyone who has a stake in technology, the question of bringing more people, especially women, to the sector is so important. New technology and improved services already caused so much disruption in the consulting technology space; now, with COVID thrown in for good measure, the disruption has multiplied, although not only in a negative way - it's also opened a multitude of opportunities. This is the time for all of us to really step back, look at our resource plan, and think about what it is that we can do to try and meet the continuously rising tech demand in the UK.

New ways of working and new technology disruptions have made it important to demonstrate, not just to try and understand, how we can have a hybrid approach that meets these requirements in a smart, clever way.

It's very clear that without diverse workforces, organisations are not going to meet their growth plans. We all have a responsibility towards this goal; not just for ourselves, but for the industry.

The opportunities are fantastic. While the 'women in tech' problem is widespread, it's something that we all must step into and do our bit towards. For me, grassroots is where we have to begin. There's an opportunity within the junior cohorts of talent that organisations are hiring for to bring diversity into the workforce, to create that opportunity for younger people through training, work experiences and engagement at that level. We need to have the right conversations, with schools, colleges and communities, get involved and make commitments to actively make a difference.

Organisations have an important role to play, as well; they should be showing the way when it comes to training and providing opportunities. Eventually, the ROI on projects like this is phenomenal.

At Agilisys we have partnered with Fast Futures to provide a mentoring programme to support young people and help them take their first steps into the work environments. The mentoring and knowledge sessions are designed to provide them with a toolkit that will support their journey into the tech industry. Based on their interests and potential, they choose their areas of interest and we support them with training and internships within the company to upskill.

We are also partnering with ADA, a national digital skills agency for apprenticeships, and looking to pilot our first project with them. We chose our partner carefully, as we wanted it to be someone who shared our D&I vision and strategy, and who had a track record of engaging with a diverse pool of talent, which is essentially to make sure that the opportunity is made available or offered to a much wider audience. We also run the Cloud Development Programme, (CDP) which has already seen two successful cohorts, and we are now looking to replicate it with other practices.

Radhika Bajaj is a senior talent acquisition partner at Agilisys.

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