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Recruitment Lessons From Dr Who

Posted by Kate Smedley on 19 Jul 2017

The announcement by the BBC that the 13th Dr Who will be played by a female for the first time in the show’s history was greeted with a Twitter meltdown and a variety of responses to this unprecedented move.

What does the casting of actor Jodie Whittaker in this iconic role teach us about recruitment?

Interrupting unconscious bias is essential

For decades the assumption has always been that a male actor will play the role of the Time Lord. This – for some - dramatic change demonstrates how unconscious bias can influence expectations.  Reducing that bias in hiring is essential to transform stale talent acquisition strategies and resolve productivity and performance issues within your business.  ‘Confirmation bias’ and ‘hiring on intuition’ hinder your hiring success. Google’s re:Work platform has adopted a strategy of ‘unbiasing’, ie, ‘acknowledging and minimising the impact that unconscious bias has on our attitudes  and decisions’. Your own HR analytics will reveal the extent of bias in your own hiring process.

Begin to interrupt the bias in your hiring process by removing the screening filters in your applicant tracking software and introducing the use of anonymised CVs.

The importance of engaging with your audience

The anticipation surrounding the announcement of the new Dr Who demonstrates the importance of brand in capturing the imagination and connecting with your audience. When did your employees last – or ever - express any interest in the announcement of a major appointment within your business?

The problem for most employers lies in a disconnect between company leadership and employees. For example:-

  • 74% of employees rarely see their CEO in their working environment.
  • 31% have never met their CEO.
  • 48% feel their company leadership is ‘distant or remote’.
  • 87% feel the only opportunity to contribute or share ideas occurs during the annual appraisal.

The result is workplace apathy which affects nearly half of all UK workers.

Ongoing engagement and connection is vital to improve staff retention and productivity. It is also essential in hiring to prevent talented candidates from leaving your recruitment funnel.

Your message must be consistent

While the BBC has been applauded for its decision to appoint a female Dr Who, it has attracted less favourable headlines regarding the significant disparities in its gender pay gap in figures published today. Beyond these discrepancies, concern has also been expressed about the overall lack of diversity within the organisation. A token gesture isn’t enough. Consistency is vital to create a positive employee experience and promote a brand message which will encourage talent to apply to your vacancies.

Review your recruitment data relating to your recent hires and staff turnover to identify potential issues in your business.

Changing perceptions is a challenge

Introducing change within your hiring processes which results in seemingly ‘radical’ changes to candidate selection, will inevitably be met with a degree of resistance, as we have seen with the debate surround the new Dr Who. Acceptance of that perceived change requires a change of culture. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, business psychologist and leadership advisor Rebecca Newton suggests that ‘true culture change means altering the way the organisation lives and breathes’ which must be supported by business leaders working collaboratively with HR to ensure success.  

Constant changes in technology mean HR cannot afford to rest on its laurels. From chatbots to dark data, emerging trends are shaping your business, its culture and the perceptions surrounding your hiring process. The most successful employers will embrace and respond to those challenges.

Support your talent management strategy with world class software which helps you to hire better people faster. Contact Advorto today.

You might also like to read:-

5 Essential Lessons HR Can Learn From Leicester City

6 Problems With Your Candidate Experience

Image : 123rf.com/profile_davidmartyn

Topics: talent engagement

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