Race Equality Awards 2018 - Recruitment Award: Enterprise-Rent-A-Car

Attracting the best and brightest BAME talent pool

Award Type: 

What was the issue?
With 1,566 promotions last year and 95% promotions from within, including Directors and senior management team, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car have to attract/hire BAME students at the entry level. As one of the largest recruiters of UK graduates, it has a responsibility to recruit BAME talent. This is not only tied to its core values, but has been shown to positively impact the four core areas of its business – retention, customer service, growth and profits. Over the past four years the business has grown 20% with a 7% increase in BAME retention. Award winner 2018 thumbnail

Action taken
Inclusion is an integral part of its founding values which are lived and breathed by every employee, every day with every interaction it has. The company has continued to be driven from the top leaders. For this reason, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car continues to allocate 25% of its training budget to diversity. All executive/managers are measured on the diversity of their teams in their annual review. Its diversity scorecard has examples which are able support in attraction/hiring strategies.

  • Four of its most senior directors are responsible for the success of our BAME strategies. The Talent Acquisition Director reports into this group quarterly with an update on BAME attraction/hiring success. 
  • All UK regions report monthly BAME hiring numbers and are held accountable for these numbers in performance reviews.
  • It uses HESA and ISE data to assist in targeting and building relationships with universities with a high BAME population.

To hire the 1200 students into its business this year, it has hired from over 140 universities (to be clear many companies hire from 10 elite universities) and participated in over 440 events, specifically targeting BAME students. These events include, a student mentor diversity programme, workshops, guest lecture opportunities, and widening participation programmes. It has reached over 25,000 students on campus this year and hired 346 BAME students. Unlike most graduate recruiters it does not actively target many High Fliers top 25 Universities, as they don't have a diverse student population. Its careers site has a dedicated diversity page highlighting BAME employees’ and their career journeys. This is important as it can demonstrate to new hires successful BAME role models.

This year it launched two targeted university events in Leicester; Black Girl Bloom Project and a Paris trip for BAME students to see international opportunities. It engaged with 63 BAME students increasing their employability skills and have received and fast-tracked four applications.

Its school leaver programme has grown this year and now has over 40 mentors in its Bridgebuilders mentoring programme. By removing grade or university criteria in its process, its hiring managers are unaware of a candidate’s background. This removes any unconscious bias in this area from the process. Its selection panels are diverse because over 25% of our employees are

The company reviews all of its attraction and selection numbers for all stages of the recruitment process for all job across the UK to ensure there is no bias in its process.

It normally doesn't use a third party for attracting BAME talent, it uses its own employees to find talent in an authentic and unbiased way. However, in the occasion that it does use an agency, they are clear on our diversity targets.

What was the impact?

  • Its business continues to grow as it again achieved 20% growth with 82% customer satisfaction as its BAME employee population has increased by 36.5% in the last four years.
  • It has hired 28% or 346 BAME employees into the business which when benchmarked, is significantly higher than many of the countries graduate recruiters.
  • 88% of its hires are from non-Russell group universities demonstrating diversity and social mobility.
  • Its current UK MD is BAME and its two most recent director level promotions have been BAME employees, demonstrating that its initiatives are working and its leadership team is benefitting which is of ultimate benefit to the overall business. Its senior team is 19% BAME.

Its success in hiring diversity led the company to be invited to speak at networking events (for example The Scottish Government on BAME hiring), on diversity and share its strategy and best practices, again recognising the impact it makes in its attraction and selection. It recognises the wider its talent pool, the more BAME applications/hires it will have.

Its great to have the stats but as some of its BAME female managers say:

  • “I am defying all stereotypes with my career”
  • “I love having a level playing field”

This demonstrates that hiring BAME employees is part of our everyday culture and inclusion. It isn't a special initiative or a one off programme to make us look good. The organisation is impacting the lives of hundreds of talented BAME individuals.