ISE 2021 :106 Comms’ Six Session Takeaways.

12 July 2021

Technology isn’t the only thing defining the brave new hybrid world we’re stepping into. At the 2021 ISE Student Recruitment Conference it became clear we’re entering a new age of meaningful connections and mutual respect. This nexus of new perspectives, practical learnings and optimism gave us a glimpse at where we’re at and what’s to come. Take a look below to get your own peek into the crystal ball with 106 Comms’ Six Session Takeaways.

The ISE conference this week was a fantastic opportunity to come together as a community and talk about the changes we want to see across all sectors, and how we can support our graduates in this incredibly difficult job market.

Our team have picked out six themes that were woven across the 25+ sessions. These takeaways are a call to action, for us all to take those small steps that build a movement. Diversity and inclusion is gaining momentum across the board, so it’s vital the conversion from words to actions continues to grow.

1. Recruitment is a force for good!
Early talent recruitment offers an amazing opportunity for us to come together and set a positive professional culture of diversity and inclusion from the word ‘go’. Early talent candidates and professionals have the optimism, the raw talent and fresh perspective that we need to shift the dial.

2. Be aware of your audience and their deeper motivations and experience.
We have to segment groups to market effectively and streamline the talent pool. Be clever with how you divide groups to target, your ideal candidate may look different to what you think. And make sure that you remember, no matter how you segment, every group is granular with infinite variety of experience and intersectionality.

3. Confidence is key – be proactive with early talent and reap the rewards.
Setting D&I goals is vital, but unless underrepresented talent is supported and built up then these goals may fall short. Lack of confidence can stem from imposter syndrome, or from not feeling wanted or capable due to lack of representation, and most often affects people from low socio-economic backgrounds and women. This in turn results in low application rates from these groups or late applications which, in a flooded job market, can mean missing out. Reach out directly to candidates and show them it’s safe to have a go and that they have something valuable to offer.

4. Belonging and inclusion must be the bedrock of company culture.
This goes beyond the recruitment and the induction phase and spans a career. Retention of underrepresented employees has been difficult for some organisations as their D&I policy doesn’t go further than the paper it’s written on. There must be a mentality of equity before equality, to give underrepresented employees the opportunity and support that comes so easily to traditionally dominant groups in the workplace.

5. Be reflexive and bring down barriers and biases.
This will always be an ongoing process, but as we move to hybrid working and virtual recruitment it is vital assessors and employers are aware of new barriers and biases that can arise. Not everyone has access to a good internet connection or has space to set up a productive work environment or an interview room at home. People also have different communication styles online. To be as fair and inclusive as possible, keep communication open and ask what their situation is and how you can help them.

6. Technology has a human heart with immense potential.
We may feel disconnected at times, but the virtual world – as demonstrated by the virtual ISE conference! – has the capacity to engage and create new networks and meaningful connections. It is a fantastic democratizing tool, removing geographic hurdles and increasing accessibility to information and people.

We left the conference with a feeling of optimism and motivation which was shared by everyone there. If you want to take part and read more about the incredible insights brought forward at the conference, head here for session summaries put together by yours truly.

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