Huge shifts in society’s attitudes since global events such as the Covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have led more jobseekers to seek employers that are compassionate and have a positive effect on society.
They want to join companies that support employees to be their true selves and can help shape its culture. They are looking for a workplace that’s authentic.
“Yes, it sounds like another HR buzzword,” says Ingeus’s Emily Garvie, “but an authentic employer like ours is one that is genuine and keeps its promises.” The Head of Talent Acquisition says: “Sometimes organisations have purposes that don’t reflect what they really do but ours – enabling better lives – genuinely connects with what we do day-to-day.
“We create inclusion in our processes in a proactive way. It signposts to the candidate it matters to us that they have a good experience and create an environment in which they can be successful and their true selves. We are passionate about creating a workforce that represents the society in which we operate and support day-to-day.”
When it comes to being authentic she believes Ingeus has a head start. “The great thing about Ingeus is that it does meaningful things for society. We don’t shy away from the fact we are a commercial enterprise but with our purpose to enable better lives we tie everything back to that.
“There’s a genuine and authentic connection to that purpose and to be successful we need people to know that we recognise, welcome and appreciate difference. Currently we have a project to understand better what ‘belonging’ means to our employees, to make sure we are a creating a culture in which they feel they belong and can be their true selves.”
The key to an authentic culture, she says, is listening to employee views – really listening. The annual engagement survey gives a quantitative view of employee opinions but the Diversity & Inclusion Group at Ingeus, which Emily chairs, is critical in testing we are doing the right thing for both employees and customers.
She says: “When we implement new policies and practices we always test it for our specific communities. We ask people if something we are working on would be useful, based on their own lived experiences and communities, rather than just thinking it feels like the right thing to do.”
The Diversity & Inclusion Group provides valuable listening tools, with specialist groups covering ex-service veterans, gender and parental responsibilities, disability, LGBTQ, and race and ethnicity.
Emily says: “These groups are filled with incredibly passionate people who want to be involved in helping us to be the type of organisation that anyone would like to work for. I’m so proud that I can work with them to help create a truly inclusive and authentic culture.”
Her advice to potential employees? “Check us out. Our website has some great content that articulates what we do and how we do it, but also look at our social media posts. Our employees share amazing stories of the meaningful ways we have supported society.
“I look at them myself and it invigorates me to do more when I read the success colleagues have achieved in helping people into employment, or within our other divisions. This content is authentic. Employees share these stories because they genuinely care about their work.
“Our employee-generated view of Ingeus tells you everything you probably want to know about joining our organisation. We continually strive to improve, we’re not perfect and we have more to do, but we’re all working in the same direction to do this."