Driving fairness in recruitment
Having recently opened applications for our newly launched MEng employer-sponsored degree for September 2024 entry, we lay down yet another milestone in Dyson Institute’s vision ‘to develop the best engineers in the world who will pioneer technologies and radical new designs that shape the future of engineering and innovation’. Developing, nurturing and supporting this future talent isn’t just something that starts on day one of the programme, it is part of everything we do – including our application process. We believe applicants should feel supported to reach their full potential and their background shouldn’t impact progression. That’s why we strive to provide a supportive, inclusive and personalised applicant journey in order to recruit the highest potential engineers of the future.
So how do we do that?
We choose not to follow the status-quo. In a change to previous years, we no longer require either a CV or Personal Statement from any applicant, recognising that these are potentially unfair screening tools for applicants from different backgrounds. This also enables more applicants to progress through to complete our online assessments, giving them a better opportunity to showcase their technical ability and other key strengths required for this programme.
It starts from the initial application.
At the point of application, we ask all applicants to answer a broad range of questions about their background, providing a detailed picture of the context from which they are applying. This information is then used to determine whether an individual may be eligible for contextual admissions support – an additional layer of support available to eligible applicants that supports them to achieve to their potential and not be limited by their circumstances. This information is not used to make assessment decisions.
We offer eligible applicants a group coaching session with a member of our team. The purpose of this session is to provide specific guidance for elements of the online assessments and give applicants an opportunity to boost their confidence by learning and practicing in a group context. We hope these sessions will enable applicants to showcase their true potential in the assessments.
One to one conversations
Secondly, we are then able to offer successful applicants an individual preparatory call ahead of the assessment day. This is an opportunity to review and reflect on the online assessments, showing the applicant where they performed well as well as drawing out any potential development points. Furthermore, we also discuss the upcoming assessment day with each applicant to ensure they are fully prepared, including the opportunity to answer some mock interview questions.
Last year, we saw the positive impact of how this additional layer of support brought about greater equity and fairness to our admissions process, ensuring we recruit the highest potential individuals into the Dyson Institute.