Reaching out to women

Barclays has just launched a new social hub in an effort to engage directly to reach out to potential female candidates.

The hub is part of the bank’s overarching diversity strategy which includes a commitment to have 50/50 male/female shortlists for senior jobs and a proactive job share register.

A spokeswoman said: “We’re looking to change the way we recruit people and to use a more socially intelligent recruitment process rather than just posting roles on job boards.”

She described the hub as a trial for a bigger project on social recruitment which will come later.

Sitting on the Barclays job site, the hub will host a range of blogs by 12 ambassadors within the business who will address specific topics, including specific areas where Barclays struggles to recruit women like risk management.

Blog posts

The hub launched last week, but it is only this week that the blogs have really got up and running. So far they have covered everything from how technology can help with flexible working and make life easier for working parents, flexible recruitment and female career progression to female role models.

Susan Firbank, Director of Resourcing, writes about how Barclays’ recruitment process has become more flexible to make it easier for people to apply and how it is aspiring to achieve 50/50 male/female shortlists for senior jobs. She talks about how her team have moved more of the recruitment process online to make it more open, convenient and flexible.  For instance, candidates can do virtual tours, select their own interview times and chat with the HR team outside office hours if they need to.

Regional Director Rob Harris talks about Barclays’ decision to give tablet computers to staff across its branch network and how this is revolutionising the way it works, for instance, it is raising questions about whether all its experts need to be located in one place or whether managers of multiple sites need to spend all day driving between branches. Helen Sachdev echoes this, saying that technology has made working parents’ lives easier in many ways, including flexible working, making it easier to contact their family in an emergency and saving them time as customers.

On female career progression, Carly Pike, Resourcing Business Partner, details what she sees as the main issues holding women back, including unconscious bias in the workplace, lack of role models and family commitments and she says that more needs to be done to change stereotyped male role models and encourage men to work more flexibly.

Janine George, Head of Mass Market Propositions, provides a video blog on how Barclays’ Women’s Initiative Networks are helping women across the business to identify and connect with potential role models and mentors.

Over the next few weeks, the subjects covered by the blogs will include:

– We think the world has changed quicker than the world of work

– We think banking would benefit from more women

– We think children change your life, so why shouldn’t they change the way we work

– We think technology changes the rules for working parents

– We think there should be more women in the boardroom

The blogs will also be shared on the new Arena Network for Professional Women on LinkedIn which Barclays sponsors. They will also be linked to relevant jobs on the Barclays site. “We want to create content that is relevant to women and that they want to read,” says the spokeswoman.

To visit the hub, click here.

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