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Emma Grigson, Partnership and Social Value Solutions Director of PeoplePlus explains how social recruitment positively impacts the labour market and one of the founder members of the Social Recruitment Advocacy Group, G4S HR Director Bridget Brookfield, outlines what this means for its approach to recruitment

Emma Grigson, Partnership and Social Value Solutions Director, PeoplePlus:

“In the UK today, 1.3 million people are unemployed and economically inactive and there are 1.04 million advertised vacancies. When these statistics are quoted together, an analysis of how we got here usually follows, while solutions are developed outside the mainstream to address the issue.

But acting at scale is difficult – people stay unemployed and disempowered, and businesses struggle to adapt to a reality where vacancies persist and competition for staff is fierce. Could an analysis of the barriers to employment individuals are dealing with lead to better outcomes for all?

The core principle of social recruitment – that people who want to work should be supported to gain and keep rewarding employment – can be used to sense check who among those 1.3 million people, with the right interventions, could accept a job offer and move into sustainable employment. How many of those 1.3 million people could be what employers need? Could acting to change recruitment policy and practice be the key to finding out?

Social recruitment has been seen as a ‘good thing to do’, not an informed business choice. The fact is that it is both. Equality, diversity, and inclusion polices are brought to life by thinking differently about the talent pool, application process, onboarding and mentoring of a different kind of job starter. For example, only 18 per cent of people with Autism will secure employment – despite the unique range of skills they could bring to the workplace.

Employers taking action, sharing ideas, experiences and committing to building a stronger pipeline of opportunities for individuals who face disadvantage in the labour market are all imperative if we are to truly create equity in our society.

Working in partnership with social recruitment experts like PeoplePlus can energise recruitment drives. Employee attraction, development and retention are enhanced. Community links are deepened and strengthened. Actions that create social impact, and accrue social value, are chosen, together.

Social recruitment reaches hidden talent – talent that needs to be found.”

Bridget Brookfield, HR Director, G4S Secure Solutions UK:

“Security is one industry looking for an effective response to the challenges presented by the labour market. Not only is attracting and filling vacancies a challenge, the modern security consumer expects evidence of positive and proactive activity to recruit from minority and diverse groups and expects their security provider to deliver measurable social value back into our communities and participate in the communities we serve.

G4S has joined The Social Recruitment Advocacy Group, a body that has been set up by PeoplePlus, and chaired by The Rt Hon Anne Milton, to encourage employers, at scale, to place greater emphasis on recruiting people who are disadvantaged in the labour market. This group will underpin our ‘People’ pillar of the G4S social value programme moving forwards.

As part of the affiliation, G4S has been accredited to silver charter mark status. This means that G4S can demonstrate an open recruitment policy that encourages individuals from underrepresented groups to apply for roles.

In addition, G4S is required to evidence active partnerships with local and national organisations that exist to support the employability of people who face barriers in the labour market. So, what does that mean in practice? G4S already has a number of tactical initiatives underway in this space, including:

  • The successful appointment of dozens of unemployed people into G4S roles in the last two months.
  • Strategic partnerships with pre-employment training providers to feed into recruitment activity and the development of sector-based work academies.
  • Working collaboratively on solution design for our customers, to evidence social value as part of the overall proposition.
  • Consultancy services to assist with the embedding of social value within the G4S approach to security operational delivery.
  • Providing tailored services to the G4S workforce, assisting with planning for retirement and financial resilience and taking stock of skills and health.

Social value is a value that runs through all G4S recruitment activities and our day-to-day activities. It is critical to our talent and acquisition strategy. Social recruitment enables the business to create long term learning and future growth opportunities through local government events supporting local, sustainable, and environmentally ethical suppliers. G4S is committed to improving social value to benefit local communities, by supporting local people into employment and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce, reflective of the communities we serve.”

For information on G4S careers

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