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Transport for London Early Talent Solution

Diverse Recruitment and Onboarding

Transport for London had a vision to create a process for their graduates and interns that was free from adverse impact to provide all candidates with the best possible opportunity to succeed.

Challenge

Transport for London (TfL) are the local governmental organisation responsible for most aspects of London’s transport system, which supports 8.6 million inhabitants navigate the city on a daily basis. Certain minority groups are extremely under-represented in the engineering and transport sector, which limits access to an available pool of candidates and can lead to the recruitment of graduate intakes that are not representative of society as a whole, which is imperative to TfL due to the role they play.

Approach

Government research suggests that those from low socio-economic backgrounds are less likely to have work experience or access to employability support, putting them in a disadvantaged position in the majority of recruitment processes. TfL used Strengths-based selection methods that were free from adverse impact to provide a fair and positive selection experience for everyone. This was measured using adverse impact analysis to compare progression rates and proportions of demographics at each stage. In addition, they provided onboarding support for all graduates to promote individuals' strengths and remove any barriers to commencing employment based on previous experience. This was measured through candidate feedback and performance.

TfL introduced Capp’s Situational Strengths Test (SST) to replace traditional competency based application forms, adopted blind screening that prevented unconscious assessor bias. At interview stage, Strengths-based questions were used to allow candidates to express what they would ‘love to do’, rather than relying on what they ‘have done’. Post offer, TfL introduced Capp’s Strengths-based onboarding reports for new joiners, focusing on top areas of strengths with specific advice for how to maximise these in their first 90 days at TfL.

Impact

  • No adverse impact on gender, ethnicity, disability, or social mobility
  • Progression rates are consistent across different demographic groups
  • 45% of candidates attending Assessment Centres have been offered roles
  • 30% offers to female candidates
  • 24% offers to BAME candidates
  • 4% offers to disabled candidates
  • 14% offers to candidates from lower socio-economic groups

Awards

Winners

  • Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion – CIPD People Management Awards, 2016

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