Heathrow is Opening Doors to Disadvantaged Talent
Heathrow is the UK’s largest airport. Recognising it has a skills shortage and wanting to increase the diversity of its workforce, Heathrow signed up to Business in the Community’s Opening Doors campaign, which calls on employers to make recruitment processes more inclusive.
Heathrow has committed to three actions over the next three years, prioritising local unemployed jobseekers and those receiving work-related benefits. A year and a half into their Opening Doors journey, Heathrow has made substantial progress towards these commitments.
We are committed to making Heathrow a ‘great place to work’. We have an ambition to be a truly inclusive organisationBal Gill, Heathrow’s Resourcing Delivery Manager.
,representing the diversity of our local community at every level of the business.
The Opening Doors actions Heathrow has committed to
- Partner with organisations that support disadvantaged groups into work
Heathrow has developed a strategic partnership with Evenbreak, an accessible job board which connects disabled candidates to employers that struggle to attract these candidates. They have also formed strong partnerships with local employment organisations such as Shaw Trust, which supports local residents on Jobseeker’s Allowance to get back into work.
- Advertise jobs on channels that target diverse groups
Through Heathrow’s partnership with the local Jobcentre Plus, it can advertise to local unemployed jobseekers, one of its primary targeted diverse groups. Working with the Jobcentre Plus, Heathrow provide employability support and access to key frontline roles such as Security Officers. Heathrow has brokered over 800 job offers since 2022 for residents in and around West London.
- Remove jargon
Heathrow uses a job description and data analysis tool called Be Applied to monitor the use of gendered language, language complexity and jargon and prompt its removal. The tool identifies if particular words could have anegative impact on a specific group. For example, words like “strong” may appeal more to men. The tool also identifies if a job advert overuses certain words, e.g., “must have essentials”.
Other ways Heathrow has become a more inclusive recruiter
Heathrow is also focusing more on the essential skills needed for the job. Heathrow’s job adverts differentiate between essential and desirable criteria, and it has moved away from a competency-based interview to a more value-based system. This year, Heathow launched a video application for some of the roles on offer, which allows candidates to apply using written application answers or a video response to the same questions.
“We are committed to making Heathrow a ‘great place to work’,” explains Bal Gill, Heathrow’s Resourcing Delivery Manager. “We have an ambition to be a truly inclusive organisation
, representing the diversity of our local community at every level of the business. We’ve made some great progress to date, but we know that there is always more that we can do, which is why we were delighted to be one of the earliest signatories of the Opening Doors campaign. By working with BITC and a cross-section of our peers, we’re confident that we can continue to strengthen our capability and determination.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Business in the Community inclusive recruitment Opening doors campaign identifies five keys to unlocking employment to ensure that jobs are accessible to all.
BITC is asking businesses to participate in the campaign by identifying at least three specific actions to take forward over the next three years and share the progress with BITC.
The actions should be selected from the list that underpins the five principles, developed in consultation with a broad range of charities that support the disadvantaged groups targeted by this campaign.
There is no cost to becoming an Opening Doors Employer, and the campaign is open to all employers – Business in the Community members and non-members.