Hiring those who are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds requires some extra flexibility in thought, but there can be a host of benefits.
Those candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds can often have less glamorous CVs. However, if you understand why that is and why you should overlook it, you could be finding your perfect employee.
Bringing a perspective from a community that has often been refused stable and quality opportunities highlights to that employee and others that this company is worth working hard for. In turn, those who are given such an opportunity to thrive often do their best to fulfil that potential.
Not only do these employees bring a sense of gratitude and dedication for being given the opportunity but have a much higher work ethic. Coming from a background in which parents, friends or family recognise they must work exceptionally harder to counteract the lack of quality opportunities, these candidates are unlikely to be lazy.
If someone has come from a disadvantaged area it is likely that the local institutions, in particular the schools, do not set them up to access esteemed higher education institutions. As such, their accreditations or qualifications are less likely to jump out of the page. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not a quality candidate.
Knowing how to navigate and apply for the top universities is something the school and its teachers or local parents has to deeply understand. For candidates from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background, there are probably none of these prerequisites.
As such, you can consider all the achievements of those applicants to be of even greater than their counterparts. Furthermore, if you are able to have that insight about these candidates, you can access untapped potential which is something your competitors may not have considered.
First and foremost, those who have come from an unstable and precarious situation will jump at the opportunity for quality employment. In turn, they are often very grateful and end up being your most loyal employees.
Furthermore, research suggests those brought up in close knit communities where their friends and family often can’t afford to move are often more likely to want to stay in one place. As such, you are hiring a dedicated and loyal candidate who is unlikely to leave.
Given that staff turnover is one of the greatest unnecessary costs to UK businesses, this is a great way to increase stability in your business.
There are often a range of funding options employers can access in return for providing opportunities to those in disadvantaged areas. Currently, there is a government scheme called the Kickstart Scheme which will temporarily pay the wages and some of the hiring costs for any young person you help to take off Universal Credit.
However, if you get in touch with your local council and Jobcentre Plus, you might find even more opportunities open to you.
As with hiring anyone from a diverse background, adding their voice to conversations is invaluable. First, in any conversations about developing an inclusive company culture you need as many different perspectives as possible. Not only are they highlighting to their colleagues notions they may not have considered but it ensures everyone appreciates their own position and history.
Furthermore, having a diverse set of employees encourages a range of ideas when coming up with new ideas or just general problem solving. For more information on creating an inclusive company culture, see our bespoke section with a range of dedicated guides for employers.