Race Equality Awards 2018 - Recruitment Award: Capgemini UK

Active inclusion 

Award Type: 

What was the issue?
Capgemini's business relies on talent: the more ethnically diverse it is, the better it understand its clients, the greater its creativity, delivery and innovation.
In 2016/17, 22% of Higher Education students and 23% of science students were BAME. However, the number of BAME students entering the tech sector is unknown – what we do know is that this talent is crucial to the organisation’s continued success.
Nearly 140,000 new, skilled recruits are required annually in technology, half of digital businesses report a tech skills gap: Capgemini recruits c.250 graduates and apprentices every year to fill these gaps. 
Its BAME population is increasing year-on-year, from 19.2% in 2015, 22.7% in 2016, to 24.6% in 2017. Through its schools programme and refreshed recruitment process, it aims to inspire BAME students to choose a tech career. Driven by CR&S and Country Boards, part of its Active Inclusion strategy and reported to its HR Director and Chairman, the aims are to:
  • Foster digital and employability skills
  • Promote the company as an employer of choice for school leavers, through employee engagement
  • Ensure its junior talent offering and recruitment processes target and give opportunities for BAME students. 
Action taken
Its schools programme is an ambitious, long-term project, unique in focussing on digital inclusion. For 2017, it stepped up to improve the quality of its interactions in attracting young BAME people. It partnered with Apps for Good because of their diverse audience (37% of their schools are above average for ethnic minorities) and innovative approach to teaching digital skills.
Its Apprentice programme gives young people a route into an industry that was previously only for graduates. It was the first to create Degree Apprenticeships in 2011 – increasing social mobility and attracting BAME candidates by providing a degree without the costs of university:
  • 278 team members currently enrolled on the degree apprenticeship with Aston University;
  • Its Degree Apprentices were the first ever to graduate in 2017 – 54% achieving a first-class degree. 
In 2016-2017, it innovated its approach by:
  • Refining its six target universities – only one is in the Russell Group (e.g. hosting a hackathon at University of East London)
  • Ran unconscious bias and inclusion training for recruiters and hiring managers
  • Introduced strengths-based assessment, based on job fit and future potential, rather than background and achievements, removed screening for academic achievement
  • Provided feedback to all unsuccessful applicants, Jargon-free Jobs campaign to increase accessibility
  • Ensured visible BAME role models on its recruitment collateral – e.g. two female apprentices (one BAME) interviewed on Radio 4’s “Woman’s Hour” on tech apprenticeships
  • Ran a competitive work experience programme, seeking applications from partner schools
  • Set its graduates and apprentices a “Giving Back” objective, to engage with target universities and schools
  • Partnered with Lewisham-based Urban Synergy to support 20 young people with limited role models in their home life
  • Included a workshop in the London office, meeting our UK CEO, who shared his career journey (progressing without having gone to university), presentation skills workshops, invitations to internal networking events and a trip to Aston University
  • Partnered with Bright Network (39% BAME membership), Debut Careers (innovative careers app) to target students.
Its schools and recruitment leads are accountable to its UK HR Director and CEOs. Stakeholders – leaders, recruiters, employee volunteers – are incentivised to achieve the company's aims through the business benefit and within their performance review.
What was the impact?
From remaining static under 30% for several years, in 2016 the percentage of BAME graduate and apprentice hires leapt up to 36% in 2016, sustained at 35% in 2017.
Internally, over 100 team members regularly participate in its schools programme. Externally:
  • 2015: 40 schools, 5,843 student interactions
  • 2016: 59 schools, 5,800 student interactions
  • 2017: 50 schools, 5,200 student interactions
Employee network events deliberately profile diverse role models: Burberry’s Fumbi Chima and Unilever’s Cindy Hoots. Students attending gave outstanding feedback – BAME schoolgirls called the events “truly inspirational” and wanted to “prosper in the IT field and question the stereotypes written by society today.”
Face-to-face interaction provides a huge ROI – 20% (57) in 2016 and 28% (69) in 2017 of its graduate and apprentice hires had engaged with teams through recruitment insight events or its schools programme One example – Jay Ugra engaged with us in a charity consulting week while at university, then joined us: “it really does become apparent when an opportunity needs to be grabbed with both hands. And that’s exactly what I did.”
2017 has shown that focussed engagement with schools, colleges and universities pays dividends in increasing BAME participation. The next step is to apply these learnings to experienced hires recruitment and alongside recommendations from the Social Mobility Index 2018. Action will be sustained; multiculturalism is a pillar within our long-term Active Inclusion strategy: to continue to offer opportunities to the next generation and cultivate true diversity in our current and future workforce.