Barclays Award: the best for talent attraction

A comprehensive job share programme, work on gender neutral job adverts and unconscious bias and a 50/50 target for shortlists for senior jobs are among a range of initiatives undertaken by Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking (PCB) division to boost its female representation at all levels. That work helped the bank win the 2015 Top Employer Award for Talent Attraction.

Talent Attraction

Top Employer Awards

Job shares were first rolled out across Community Banking (retail bank) before then going PCB-wide in 2015. Now every job at Barclays PCB is advertised as welcoming job share applicants and there is an option to select ‘job share’ when applying.

For those seeking jobs from within Barclays PCB, the bank has created a database to enable them to register their details, indicate which roles they would be interested in and also enable them to search for colleagues who may be a perfect fit to share a role with them – either by skill, location, grade or job title. The database also allows the recruiting team and hiring managers to search for candidates.

A range of supporting tools – such as ‘ways of working’ sheets used by hiring managers when agreeing a partnership, case studies of successful job shares and information on best practice – have also been created, to support all involved and to address pockets of scepticism in the firm about the practicalities of how job shares work.

The bank says there has been a clear increase in job shares as a result and that momentum is building. Some 32 job share partnerships have been made since the job share initiative was started and another 87 part-time roles offered from the applications that didn’t form partnerships.

Gender ratios

The Top Employer Award judges singled out the job share initiative, but also praised Barclays PCB’s 50/50 male/female target for director and managing director roles shortlists.

The company has already reached 50/50 on graduate intake, but diversity at board level, as with every organisation, has proved more challenging. It currently stands at 31%, with 17% of the Executive Committee being female. Barclays’ strategy is underpinned by extensive tracking of gender ratios, both in terms of candidate shortlists and projected movements of senior female leaders.

Caroline Bruno, who leads Barclays PCB Executive Resourcing Team and is responsible for senior hires, says: “We have to be able to prove that we have made every effort to meet the 50/50 target, but it can be quite tricky sometimes. Some areas of banking simply attract more male candidates.”

Her team can track the applicant split prior to a shortlist being drawn up and can analyse the gender split for all applications to the role.

Caroline says Barclays PCB is continually looking to see how it can attract and recruit more women. This includes working closely with the search firms it uses to ensure they are not just replacing the status quo, but are communicating with the right candidate pool for both financial and non-financial services.

Specific roles are advertised on job boards geared towards diversity and Barclays has become the first European bank to trial Textio, a software company that uses technology to support gender diversity, for job profiles and advertisements.

The technology detects terminology that could, subconsciously, be biased towards men and provides recommendations and support in shaping a more gender balanced adverts and job profiles. As a result of positive feedback this is now being rolled out across Personal and Corporate Banking.

Whilst there is and will continue to be an overall reduction in roles across Barclays globally, announced last year, Kate Milloy, Resourcing Communication Lead, Personal and Corporate Banking, says: “There is a continued focus on communicating and promoting the Barclays brand to a more diverse future candidate audience.”

Caroline adds: “Since our hiring volumes have decreased we have tapered our approach to the external market. However, what remains key is to keep potential future candidates updated which helps us attract the best talent when roles become available.”

Social media

In the last year to support its Dynamic Working campaign, Barclays PCB has also partnered with specialist agencies to share insight, information and inspiring stories via Twitter, LinkedIn and through its social ‘hub’ on the careers site.

“We want to share authentic and personable content, which will bring to life what working at Barclays is like and use this to highlight people’s stories about ‘dynamic’, flexible working experiences,” says Kate.

“In 2015 the @BarclaysJobsUK followers shot up by 75% to 4,600,” Kate continues. “The PCB LinkedIn careers page saw an increase of nearly 45% with 11,300 new followers and Barclays PCB.”

The PCB has also had a constant presence in the Social Recruitment Monitor which ranks social media recruitment activity for the world’s leading employers, reaching number three at its peak.

As part of its work on recruitment, the PCB has also worked on ensuring the interview process supports female applicants. In recognition of the fact that some women might feel more comfortable and may perform better at interview with a diverse panel, Barclays PCB has created a pool of senior female interviewers for those parts of the business with few or no female interviewers at the right level to access when needed. This has attracted a large number of female interviewer volunteers internally and is likely to be rolled out across the organisation.

Internal mobility

In addition, the bank recognises that internal mobility can contribute greatly to retaining and attracting staff, whether male or female. In the last 18 months it has been working hard on how to make it easier for employees to see how they can enhance their career by moving around the wider Barclays, not simply their immediate function or business area.

The internal careers portal was relaunched – MyCareer – and a number of internal careers fairs were held across multiple locations. 2016 will see this step up a gear to shape a more pro-active approach to sourcing internal candidates for critical roles and career progression, redefining how the bank mobilises and retains internal talent. This includes plans to allow employees to sample ‘taster sessions’ so they can try out new roles and opportunities.

The bank is about to launch a website for women in Barclays. It’s a one-stop shop for resources, tools, case studies and other careers information for women working in Barclays which aims to bust myths and stereotypes about managing women. It also includes any job opportunities within the firm and information about unconscious bias training.

These more recent diversity initiatives support longer standing, established practices, such as the award-winning Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), which aims to raise women’s representation across Barclays by providing links with mentors and role models across the organisation.

They are backed by the senior leadership and, as Caroline says, Personal and Corporate Banking “absolutely stands by them”.

Kate Milloy adds: “What we do and how we do it is key – talent is the fuel on which our business runs so ensuring we are all able to bring the best of who we are to work, and for this to fit into our life and how we want to live, is key to our success.”

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