The Power of Inclusive Recruitment

One of our objectives in the Business and Innovation Strategy Action Plan 2017 to 2020 is to support businesses struggling with attracting and retaining skilled staff.

With a low unemployment rate throughout Oxfordshire, many businesses are beginning to look at less traditional sources to help them find new valued, skilled employees. 

The following article looks at “The Power of Inclusive Recruitment”, summarising Aspire’s recent inclusive recruitment conference as well as two support campaigns and five local organisations who can help get your business started on the road to being a more inclusive employer.

Aspire’s ‘The Power of Inclusive Recruitment Conference’ 2019

On 23 May, representatives of the Council’s Economic Development team attended Aspire’s ‘The Power of Inclusive Recruitment Conference’ in Oxford.

The conference highlighted opportunities for inclusive recruitment in different businesses, with success stories from employers that have already benefited including Taylor Wimpey, Oxford Westgate’s John Lewis store and Hello Fresh.

The organisations were able to showcase their inclusive recruitment stories including working with employees from a variety of disadvantaged groups including refugees, ex-offenders and young people not in education and employment (NEET).

The speakers detailed how dedicated their employees are and how becoming a more inclusive employer had benefited the individual, their existing staff and the business as a whole.

If your business is interested in becoming a more inclusive employer, you’ll find resources below to help you on your journey.

Aspire would like to invite employers to speak about adopting inclusive recruitment practices in the workplace. The next free Employer half day workshop on adopting open and inclusive recruitment practices for your workplace is taking place on 19th June. This is now full and they are operating a waiting list with a view to run another later in the summer.

Aspire also offer a free 30 minute telephone or meeting consultation about your bespoke needs. To register your interest please contact Aspire’s Recruitment Adviser, Emily Clayton (

See Potential Toolkit

See Potential is a campaign that encourages employers to give people from different backgrounds the opportunity to work and turn their lives around. This can ensure your business doesn’t lose out on employees who can bring a host of benefits.

You can sign up here to support See Potential, share best practise and receive extra guidance. There are also free resources available online including an Employer Information Pack and Step-by-step guide to open Recruitment.

You can watch more Case Studies here to see the real impact inclusive recruitment has.

Danielle at Marks and Spencer

Kyra at Home Group

Disability Confident

The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to a workplace. It helps businesses to recruit and retain high quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hard working. 

Guidance is provided on how the scheme can help your business, as well as how to attract, recruit and retain disabled people.

Matthew at Zurich

Maddie at Sodexo

Adam at Marriott

Gareth at RSBi/City Building

Who can help you

The following local agencies are a small selection of local providers who offer resources to help employers with recruitment. The organisations listed below also provide ongoing support for businesses recruiting: 

Aspire – Aspire is a social enterprise supporting homeless and disadvantaged people and employment charity.

Activate Learning – an education group working across further and higher education, schools, apprenticeships and training.

Mencap – Offer a variety of resources for employers and work with organisations to improve the employment prospects of people with a learning disability.

SOFEA – work with young people to build their employability skills, whilst providing nutritious food for those in need.

Yellow Submarine – work with young people in community settings from the age of 11 onwards, to build their social skills, confidence, independence and ultimately their employability.