Gillian Howarth, Resourcing Development Manager at John Lewis Partnership (JLP) demonstrates how historical application data has helped the retail giant – owners of John Lewis and Waitrose – to increase the diversity of its graduate intake, whilst also improving the calibre of candidates reaching assessment stage and helping to minimise graduate recruitment costs overall.
By looking at a new funnel system that would make graduate recruiting as diverse and efficient as possible. The process allowed JLP the opportunity to be more rigorous in its sifting using automated assessments and video interviews to screen applicants and helped to improve its diversity in areas such as gender, ethnicity, disability and age, so that the retailer could be sure that its new intake of ‘partners’ were more representative of its customer communities. Measures to achieve this included removing UCAS points to show that they were investing in students from all types of socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, the change helped encourage JLP to make graduate recruitment fully virtualised. The programme now has no campus visits and has a larger focus on social media engagement with senior management investment as and where appropriate.