UCL News


Call for volunteers: Fair Recruitment Specialists

24 May 2017

UCL's recruitment policy is to seek to select the best candidates for our positions based solely on merit.

Cruciform Building Yet there is considerable research that shows aspects of a candidate's identity, such as their gender or ethnicity, may differentially, but subtly, shape the expectations and behaviours of a recruitment panel and consequently the selection outcome. 

This is not necessarily the result of overt prejudice and can instead be caused by the implicit biases that everyone brings into the process of evaluating candidates, particularly in the relatively informal process of the interview, where subjective judgements are often made. 

For these reasons, diverse recruitment panels are regarded as a significant element in fair and effective recruitment. It adds a variety of perspectives to decision-making, helps mitigate against 'cloning' and the perpetuation of current profiles, reduces the possibility of stereotyping, can improve candidate performance by reducing 'stereotype threat' and is a visible demonstration of UCL's commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

Feedback from departments has been that it is often difficult to have sufficient ethnic diversity on panels, however, as black and minority ethnic (BME) staff are under-represented in certain roles and grades at UCL. To address this, we plan to create a pool of highly-trained Fair Recruitment Specialists who will bring very valuable input into recruitment activity across UCL. 

The benefits of becoming a Fair Recruitment Specialist include: 

  • Playing an important role in decision-making at the university.
  • Being provided with high-level training.
  • Building new relationships in other parts of UCL.
  • Demonstrating an 'enabling' activity that can be recognised in promotion.
  • Boosting your CV and profile at UCL.
  • Helping UCL meet its aspirations on equality, diversity and inclusion.

We are specifically looking for staff who meet the following criteria: 

  • Are from a self-defined black and minority ethnic, or other culturally under-represented background.
  • Are in a role that potentially has wide-ranging relevance across the institution, for example (but not limited to): programme administrators, administrative managers, admissions tutors, departmental tutors, pastoral staff, lab managers and central professional services roles that involve a lot of variety and cross-departmental working.
  • Can commit to being on up to four recruitment panels per calendar year.

The role of the Fair Recruitment Specialists will be to help select the best candidate possible while making sure that best practice in non-biased recruitment is followed throughout the process. It will be voluntary for panels to opt to include a Fair Recruitment Specialist but if they choose to do so, it will be on the agreement that the Specialist plays a full and equal part in the decision-making. 

To register your interest in becoming a Fair Recruitment Specialist, please fill out this short form (.doc) and return it Fiona McClement in the UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team at: f.mcclement@ucl.ac.uk

A member of the EDI Team will then contact you to discuss the role. Once mutually agreed that the role is suitable, the Specialists will be required to seek the support of their manager for undertaking the role.

Sarah Guise
Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, UCL Equality, Diversity & Inclusion