Comic Relief uses new recruitment platform Applied to help ensure inclusive and diverse recruitment

Comic Relief is using Applied, a platform that makes recruitment smarter, fairer and easier, as part of its strategic plan to ensure an inclusive and diverse application and selection process.

Comic Relief, which has raised over £1.3 billion since 1985 to help eradicate poverty world-wide, began using Applied in January this year to help manage recruitment for both full time staff and short-term recruitment for its peaks of campaign activity such as Red Nose Day and Sport Relief.

Applied’s use of sophisticated behavioural science methodologies will help to ensure that Comic Relief continues to attract the best fund-raising, organisational and digital talent for these varied needs.

The platform is also transforming how Comic Relief handles its widely-differing staffing or short-term project resourcing needs while fulfilling corporate-level demands for improved diversity and inclusion in its hiring processes.

Charlotte Hillenbrand, Comic Relief’s executive director of digital & innovation, says the Applied platform has improved the recruitment process while enabling the team to seek candidates from more diverse backgrounds. “With Applied in place, our hiring can be more strategic and focused. In addition, we can plan how and where we’re searching for talent across many different communities, job forums, regions or universities, so that our recruitment is diverse and ensures we get the best people for the roles available.”

The Recruitment team’s adoption of Applied’s customisable processes is a breakthrough at Comic Relief, because it helps optimise senior departmental colleagues’ time in identifying high potential candidates through the job description, application and candidate interview processes.

In its day-to-day hiring work, Comic Relief’s central recruitment team engages more closely with potential employees by scheduling reminders in Applied for applicants to complete their initial applications or alerting candidates to interview dates. Additionally, the charity’s management team has an overview of system data, so it can see which channels are bringing in the most candidates.

Comic Relief’s recruitment manager Charlotte Cole explains: “With the new applicant tracking system, our colleagues are finding it easier to assess a candidate’s potential.”

“Applied enables us to ask specific role-related questions in the application process. This lets us focus on the candidate’s skills, rather than trying to connect the dots between a cover letter and a CV and risking our own unconscious bias contributing to decision making. By only interviewing candidates that have demonstrated the combination of skills we are looking for, we find that our interviews are much more satisfying for candidates and managers and ultimately lead to a higher conversion rate, from candidate to employee.”

Comic Relief’s team sees further potential with Applied to develop wider standardised processes and candidate descriptions for each management function. These advances will enable busy managers to spend more time on assessing the shortlisted candidates and building a high-quality ‘corporate memory’ that further supports diversity and inclusion in hiring operations.

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