WPR Signs #DontMindTheCareerGap Pledge
The Birmingham-based PR agency is part of a growing movement of organisations removing the dates attached to previous roles, so that prospective candidates specify just the number of years’ experience they have on their CVs. It’s an approach that has been shown to improve call-back rates by 14% when compared to candidates with ‘gaps’ on their CV.
Rebecca Williams, director of people and planning, said: “People take time away from work for any number of reasons – some through choice and others by necessity. From travel and personal development, to raising a family or caring for a relative, when people are ready to return, the last thing anyone needs is to be excluded on the basis of gaps on their CV.
“#DontMindTheCareerGap is an important initiative to end the stigma of career gaps, particularly for women who are statistically most likely to have taken time away from the workplace. We agree wholeheartedly with the need to give everyone an equal chance to succeed on their own merit and it aligns perfectly with our fair and inclusive approach to recruitment.”
Addressing the issue of career gaps is just one step WPR has taken in recent years to improve equality and diversity through its recruitment practices. Other actions have included:
- Running an outreach programme with schools, colleges and universities to reach a broad pool of young talent
- Partnering with the Taylor Bennett Foundation and 10,000 Black Interns to offer internships and mentoring for people from diverse backgrounds wanting to enter the industry
- Implementing blind recruitment so that nobody shortlisting candidates sees any personal data such as name, age, gender or ethnicity prior to interview
- Introducing diverse interview panels
- Rewriting job descriptions to focus on skills and competencies, not academic qualifications
- Removing the word ‘graduate’ from entry-level roles to ensure ‘junior’ positions are relevant to people from any educational background
53%SAID THEY’D FEEL MORE CONFIDENT APPLYING FOR A JOB IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO SHARE THEIR CAREER GAP
1 IN 3 BRITSHAVE HAD A CAREER GAP OF SIX MONTHS OR MORE
38%OF WOMEN said childcare was the main reason for their career gap