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Waste Management ED&I

Comensura collaborated with a pioneering company dedicated to environmental sustainability and combating climate change. Over a six-year partnership, Comensura assisted the client in expanding their ED&I (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) strategy to their contingent workforce.

The Customer

Comensura has worked with a client that is a company that offers solutions that create a more sustainable environment and help fight climate change. They are part of a worldwide group of companies with over 163,000 employees around the world, designing and providing water, waste, and energy management solutions, whilst helping to ensure the sustainable development of communities and industries.

Comensura have an ongoing relationship with them, having worked with them for the last 6 years, managing their contingent workforce with an MSP.

The Challenge

The client wanted to build upon their successful ED&I hiring within their permanent headcount, by expanding to focus on contingent ED&I hiring across underrepresented groups. They were looking to continue to attract quality applicants, but with a higher number of women (as a typically under-represented group in the Waste Sector), over 55’s, and to help play a part in finding meaningful employment for Ukrainian refugees, whilst also offering opportunities to potential candidates from underrepresented groups in need of additional support, primarily focusing on ex-offenders leaving prison and in need of employment.

Their key goals were to increase both their female and over 55’s contingent workforce by 10%, to find work for 50 Ukrainian Refugees, as well as looking for other ways to reach niche and minority groups.

The Solution

The client worked with Comensura on a number of new initiatives targeting a range of underrepresented groups, in order to attract a more diverse workforce and ensure that all contingent vacancies were filled.

Jobs for Ukraine: The client wanted to play a significant part in supporting Ukrainian refugees who have been relocated to the UK following the recent war. They joined Impellam’s Jobs for Ukraine scheme in 2023, helping refugees find suitable and meaningful work to support their life here. They worked with a dedicated Comensura recruiter focused on finding them the right candidates, whilst making the necessary operational changes to accommodate these new workers, such as revising their English fluency policy, adjusting role criteria, identifying five types of roles which do not require English fluency, and translating key documentation such as Health and Safety to Ukrainian as standard.

Ex-offenders' initiative: Leveraging the Impellam Group’s network of contacts at prisons, Comensura have begun working with a number of prisons to provide more employment opportunities and identify more ways for ex-offenders to be in the best possible position to re-enter the workforce, to help reduce re-offending rates Comensura helped the client reduce entry barriers for ex-offenders finding work with the client and formed key partnerships with groups and prisons to drive the initiative. We have been holding a number of ‘Work Events,’ where we promote the benefits of working with the client in order to secure meaningful employment. We then offer the prisoners a face-to-face interview to understand their skill set and availability. By setting out clear guidelines and working closely with the prisons we are able to tap into a huge workforce to secure talent from within this underrepresented group.

Attracting and retaining over 55’s: Comensura worked with the client to ensure that it was clearly communicated where job vacancies would lend themselves well to providing meaningful employment with relevant benefits to over 55’s. This included flexibility, convenience, and opportunities for progression.

Women in waste: The waste sector has historically been hugely male orientated with women highly under-represented. There is a perception that as a very physical job, it would be unsuitable for a female employee. However, Sarnj - a Business Partner at Comensura - volunteered to do a day working with the client to experience hands-on what it is like to work as a woman in a role that is heavily male dominated, to prove that women can do the job just as well. She was also then better equipped to talk to female candidates about what the nature of the role truly is like as a woman and break any misconceptions about working in the waste sector.

The Benefits

Within the Jobs for Ukraine initiative and working with Comensura, the client has already identified 30 suitable candidates with 23 already working in the business, putting them on track to support their goal of 50 by the end of 2023. The ex-offender's initiative is still ongoing with targets now set for the end of 2023.

Significant partnerships have been put in place with prisons including HMP Drake Hall where the Reducing Re-Offending Team (RRT) works closely with offender management as well as partner agencies playing lead roles in education, training, and employment.

Research was carried out on the contingent workforce in place and over a third of the respondents were over 50. Within this group, shift flexibility played a big part in wanting to work for the client in a temporary role as well as the desire to supplement pensions or as a time filler. 80% of this demographic would like to make this a permanent role, should the opportunity arise.

20% of respondents were female which, while significantly lower than male respondents, still shows a growing presence and their feedback will be invaluable in future marketing campaigns to further enhance the number of employees in this under-represented group. 92% of female respondents felt that the client offers a safe, inclusive, and equal platform for females to thrive within the workplace. Shift flexibility, pay and company reputation were the leading attributes that originally attracted them to the role.