Human ResourcesRecruitment diversity action plans

As a socially progressive employer that is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse range of candidates to the University, we have introduced diversity action plans that should be completed by the Department/School prior to advertising any vacancy. This plan should outline the various steps that Departments will take in order to ensure that they encourage applications from a diverse pool of candidates and evidence that attempts have been made to target applicants from under-represented groups.

Departments should complete a Diversity Action Plan. It should be uploaded along with the Further Particulars when completing a Vacancy Approval Workflow on the Engage ATS System. Please note that action plans are only required for roles at grade 6 and above.

Your action plan should include details on the following steps that should be undertaken:

  • setting up a search committee within the department, with responsibility for taking appropriate actions to attract a diverse pool of candidates to apply to the new role(s). This committee should consist of a diverse range of colleagues within the Department and contact details should be included in the plan
  • identifying relevant networks within your areas of expertise, particularly ones that are focused on women or underrepresented groups
  • designating a member of staff from the department who could talk to interested candidates about equality and diversity at the university. These contact details should be included in the Further Particulars in the appropriate section
  • ensuring that the roles will be advertised on relevant social media throughout the recruitment period (for example, the department's Twitter/X feed)
  • department-wide communications encouraging staff to promote vacancies to their contacts

It is important to be aware of the difference between positive action, and positive discrimination. Positive action occurs where it is recognised that people with a certain protected characteristic are disproportionately underrepresented, and action can be taken to encourage greater participation. Examples of positive action include advertising a role in targeted publications or taking some of the steps suggested above. Positive discrimination is where a member of that underrepresented category is given an unfair advantage because of their protected characteristic, for example recruiting a female candidate who is less qualified for the role than a male counterpart. Positive action is legal, positive discrimination is not.