Actions you can take
Take advantage of this resource on how to have a fair and transparent recruitment practice for information on how to make each step of your recruitment fairer and more effective. You may also want to find out if internal HR support is available from the production company to discuss any recruitment issues.
Make a statement of the production’s commitment to supporting wellbeing and better mental health on your vacancies pages and in individual job ads. This can encourage disabled talent and people with lived experience of poor mental health to apply, alongside those who may be feeling burnt out after other productions.
Consider removing barriers for those who may be struggling to enter or re-enter the industry. For example, is driving absolutely essential to the role? Are certain academic achievements really necessary? Could you hire someone after they have been forced to leave a job due to sick leave?
In job adverts be transparent about what kind of interview it will be, and state clearly that you will offer appropriate assistance and adjustments.
Instead of using the same pool of people, also advertise the position through groups that focus on hiring deaf and disabled and diverse talent. For example, film & TV talent lists for underrepresented groups, Look Beyond the List, Film London’s Equal Access Network, The TV Collective or Deaf and Disabled People in TV. You might also want to look at these highlights from the Pact Inclusion Tool for more guidance on how to take positive steps.
Consider ‘blind recruitment’: when you remove a candidate’s name and other identifying factors from their application. This can include someone’s age, address or location, years of experience, and school or university names. Remember, bias can show up in all parts of the recruitment process so think about how you can tackle it throughout the interview process and when choosing the successful candidate.
Aside from making sure the recruitment process is set up to attract deaf and disabled and diverse talent, you also need to make sure that the working environment is suitable. Find out more about how to be more confident about disability, for example, and how to make reasonable adjustments here. Making reasonable adjustments in relation to disability (physical or mental) is a legal requirement (under the Equality Act 2010). This could be adding a portable ramp to your production office, checking whether facilities companies and studio spaces you use have equipment and buildings that are accessible, making sure you use clear signage for visually impaired people, or having a chair on set or location. Also consider those with mental health conditions – could you provide a ‘quiet area’ for those with sensory issues or anxiety for example. You could also consider including accessibility in your budget lines or hiring an accessibility coordinator to make sure reasonable adjustments are made for crew. For more ideas, check out the recommendations from a disabled-led pressure group of TV industry professionals’ Underlying Health Conditions’ 2021 report.