Santander's HR Director: How HR can ensure their workforce reflects their communities

Santander's HR Director: How HR can ensure their workforce reflects their communities

A workforce that reflects the community it serves will always benefit the bottom line.

However, with unconscious bias still clouding the hiring processes and diversity targets, for some, reachable only in the next few years, HR needs to work on improving this.

Enter Vicky Wallis, HR Director at Santander UK; she told us the “many” steps HR can take to ensure that the workforce reflects the communities they serve.

“Companies should recruit at both a national and local level to source talent from all parts of the country and offer training and development programmes for employees of all ages throughout the UK,” she said.  

“Understanding that a ‘one size fits all’ approach no longer works for recruitment is also an important consideration. Recruitment professionals should take a holistic approach to assessing candidates and be sure to understand the context of applications before making final decisions.

“Well-rounded assessment techniques, including interviews, can shed more light on someone’s potential than standardised tests or base qualifications. Offering a variety of ways to start or restart a career is important in ensuring that as wide a population as possible view working for your company as realistic, though still challenging and ambitious.”

But how can HR offer paths into work for candidates who followed 'less travelled' routes?

Wallis tells how: “Schemes such as internships, work placements, traineeships and apprenticeships can help companies find candidates from less traditional routes. While many successful employees are sourced from universities and other more conventional paths such as recruitment consultancies, offering entry into a company at all levels can ensure you have a good variety of staff from diverse backgrounds.

“These recruitment paths then need to be reinforced with structured development and internal mobility within the company to set the candidates on course for success, and provide them with all the support they need. The opportunity to teach someone from the ground up can build loyalty and help employees learn business- and industry-specific skills.” 

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