Creating an unconscious bias e-learning programme for these global recruitment experts
Winner of the 2017 Course of the Year Award from Nimble e-learning.
Harvey Nash wanted to engage their UK teams in mitigating unconscious bias and the impact it can have on talent attraction and development. They initially approached us with the task of delivering an unconscious bias training programme for over 300 hiring managers, to be delivered through a suite of online resources. Our bespoke e-learning module was so well-received that it would later be rolled out to all UK staff.
Our response was to design a bespoke e-learning module centred around Building Inclusive Teams.
The Harvey Nash project team were especially impressed by our bespoke approach to unconscious bias e-learning, and by the complete tailoring we provided to the day-to-day operating context of their learners, the majority of whom were recruiters. Ultimately, they wanted an internal development programme that mirrored their wider vision for diversity and inclusion, and the successes of their own external diversity initiatives.
The business case was clear: by building a workplace culture where people feel accepted and can succeed, the company stands to become an even more attractive prospect to both candidates and clients. At the time, the business was also looking to achieve a major UK diversity accreditation, in which the success of this programme would prove a major factor. Harvey Nash wanted the theme of addressing unconscious bias to play a foundational role in their diversity and inclusion efforts, right from the CEO down.
Our e-learning module featured an interactive introduction to the concept of unconscious bias and the business case for confronting it, based on the latest research. Learners then watch a series of actor-based videos designed to draw out the potential for bias in managerial decision-making.
The company in question has landed a major talent attraction contract, and the manager is faced with choosing the best candidates for her team. The scenario is then re-run from an alternative perspective, accompanied by questions and other learning checks to highlight what good and bad practice might look like in the workplace.
The acted scenarios were backed up by a practical toolkit that delegates could download and use day-to-day at work. The inclusion of an end-of-course assessment with an 80% pass rate also ensured a high level of concentration throughout the e-learning module. As Eliz Fidan, Team Leader in Talent Acquisition, tells us, “This meant that our learners really understood the value of the project, rather than it just being a tick-box exercise.”
Participants identified a 96% increase in their understanding and confidence around unconscious bias in the workplace.
Based on the success of the e-learning for managers, our programme was then rolled out to all UK staff, from the CEO to all new starters. The online resources are also now made available to new staff as part of the Harvey Nash on-boarding process, with quarterly completion metrics. Every individual joining the company must complete the course and meet the minimum test score. Again, this will ensure the learning is fully embedded across the whole business, over the long term and in a truly measurable way.
The programme won the Nimble eLearning Course of the Year Award for 2017.
The course has also been hailed as a key difference-maker in the company’s successful attainment of their diversity accreditation – and becoming the first UK recruiter to do so.
“Diversity and inclusion has become a common language in the business over the past 12 months. The custom e-learning developed by EW Group was a new departure for us but it has had a noticeable effect on our ability to self-reflect and be aware about unconscious bias. The e-learning was embraced by everyone in the company. Working with EW Group enabled us to communicate key messages, new ideas and fresh approaches. The response has been great.”
Lisa Jobson, Former Director of Talent at Harvey Nash