"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group

Our Pilot episode - Our BAME Recruitment experience - what we've learnt

August 13, 2020 Diversifying Season 1 Episode 1
"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group
Our Pilot episode - Our BAME Recruitment experience - what we've learnt
Show Notes Transcript

Andrew and Miguel from the BAME Recruitment talent team join host Naomi in this very first episode of You Can’t Say Anything Anymore! 

We hear some of their personal and professional history, and their motivations for working at BAME Recruitment. The team talk with refreshing honesty about the gaps in their understanding of D&I and how they have strived to be better allies. Get an insight into the dedicated working culture at BAME Recruitment, and Andrew and Miguel’s firsthand experience will be sure to inspire you! Turns out there's plenty you can still say, and many enriching, diverse discussions to be had.

Intro
BAME Recruitment presents, "You can't say anything anymore." The podcast where we bring you the latest diversity news and in-depth meaningful conversations about how we can make the future better for all.

Naomi
OK, so now we're live, and so this is the first time around of the podcast, I'm here with you and introduce yourselves.

Andrew
Yeah, I'm Andrew.

Miguel
And I'm Miguel.

Naomi
Fantastic. What are you guys do at BAME Recruitment?

Andrew
So I'm head of talent.

Miguel
And I work in Andrew's team as a talent acquisition

Naomi
and obviously I'm Naomi and I'm doing marketing.I'll probably be doing a lot of these. So here we're going to be talking today about why you guys came to work at BAME and your story behind that and about D&I and the sort of things that are really important to you guys individually? So could you guys just give me a little bit of a rundown about your background career wise and also culture wise?

Andrew
Yeah, certainly. So I've got 20 plus years experience in the HR recruitment world. And before joining BAME, I was an independent consultant and decided that, no, I wanted to get back into being part of a team and helping to build something. And I had some conversations with those recruiters and BAME put an advert, I saw on Indeed. And I thought, wow, that looked good. And I like the idea, particularly around helping develop and build a level platform for everybody. To build inclusive and diverse workforce.

Miguel
Wow, awesome. Yeah, I think that's great. And for me, the message certainly resonated. I come from a background in the charity sector and with BAME, I suppose the key aspect of it was during the recruitment process. I got to meet quite a lot of people, hear a lot of voices and insights into what they did. And there was also an encouragement to do research and really get to the baseline of the social, economic and I suppose moral case for diversity and inclusion.

Naomi
That's one thing I'm curious to know about you guys, is about, you know, obviously this is about your personal journeys and how you've come here. But is there anything that with D&I that you felt that you learned about yourself from working in this field and working with BAME?

Andrew
OK, yeah. I obviously was aware of diversity and inclusion, the whole space and what it means, but I had no real understanding of the depth of what it means. It was very much top line. And what I've learned about myself is actually how much I enjoy it and how much I'm passionate about it in terms of breaking down barriers. And I have two daughters who just started their careers. And it's really important to me to try and help in one way I can to make sure they and everybody else has equal opportunities.

Miguel
Yeah, I certainly had an awareness of it, perhaps tending to go towards the side of quotas and ticking boxes with numbers, which I didn't always agree with and thought was actually quite disrespectful to people from those communities. So it's quite refreshing to see an approach like BAME, where the organisation from a consultancy perspective becomes a right arm of the organisation they're working with and actually looking to, rather than just fill numbers of BAME candidates or something like that, they might try to shape the kind of ethos of the organisation, the approach on a much more incremental level, which that's how real change comes about. I think it's also refreshing to see that diversity goes beyond colour of skin or gender. It goes to ideas, to industries, backgrounds, all these kind of things that are very beneficial. So. So, yeah

Andrew
Very much so, yeah, it's particularly that bit about what you're saying about it's the way people work is well that people work in different ways and think in different ways. And that really again, as you're saying, I didn't appreciate that was part of diversity, as you say, goes beyond so much more than the headline of D&I.

Miguel
Absolutely.

Naomi
Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree more about going beyond the just how people look or what their gender is and things, because like you said, it's about diversity of thought, and, you know, this is what I learned is that about more about diversity within ourselves as well. Yeah, that makes sense. It's very much about everyone has different thought patterns, everyone has different ideas and things. And it's about sort of bringing all those together. Yes. I guess the the marriage of all of those things and appreciating.

Andrew
So we're very lucky and we find recruitment because we sit in a room with nine of us, nine of us. We're all very different.

Miguel
Yeah.

Naomi
Yeah.


We all think look at things slightly differently. We have different ideas. Bring it all together. This is great.

Miguel
And surprisingly, we mostly get along.

Naomi
I don't know about you, Miguel. You know.

Andrew
It's a very. Yeah, yeah, you're right.

Naomi
You know, just about. I don't know about that Miguel guy over there.Yeah. I think I think that's the beauty of it, though. I think whenever we talk to the people about our organisation, I think that we always say, oh, you all of us are really different. But I think all of us find that like a really good part a refreshing part about it.

Andrew
Absolutely.

Miguel
Yeah.

Andrew
Yeah, yeah. And and being the elder statesman, I say that it's also having a diversity of age, which, again, that's diversity of thought and diversity of thinking, which I think is really powerful.

Naomi
Yeah.As we just said earlier about the I made a joke about J.K. Rowling with J.K. standing for "just kidding".

Andrew
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I was on that.

Miguel
So we're all about learning every day, J.K..

Naomi
Yeah, absolutely. I didn't know what the Millennium Dome was. My life was not complete until that moment. But, yeah, I think I think you make a very good point about that, because age is something to really think about, we don't really think about it at the time. But you can add so much richness to a team.

Andrew
Oh yeah.

Miguel
Yeah.

Naomi
So yeah. Anyway, so if we want to talk a bit more about, um, what is something that, uh, is there anything that surprised you? We talked about things we learned, but I think that we've we've come across that surprises us whilst we've been on this journey with BAME as how we've how we've kind of dealt with that, how we've kind of, moved forward.

Andrew
Yeah. About D&I you know, the bit I wasn't aware of because of my limited knowledge was, how certain sections, whether it's a somebody's sexuality. And I explain this correctly, I didn't realise that there were certain parts of the LGBTQ community who didn't get on. Mhm. I just assumed that every person from that community would get on with every person of that community. I didn't quite realise that was something completely new to me and it's just helped. I understand why now because it's been explained ,what the situation is. And then if you look at that at all, white male, 56 year olds and all of them are going to get on. So I was I've learned that that I shouldn't group everybody together in one section.

Miguel
Mm. That resonates massively.

Naomi
Yeah?

Miguel
Absolutely. This is the biggest pitfall is the kind of treating people as groups rather than individuals. And there are so many nuanced characteristics that, you know, we try so hard to protect and inevitably they'll come into contact and perhaps clash with each other.But I think one of the great things about BAME is the encouragement of dialogue, because that's the way within which we find the solutions and get along and be quite open and be willing to be challenged. And I've been to two events so far with BAME, I know they've put more on ,um but that piece of social outreach going beyond just the recruitment consultancy with the purpose drive and advocacy and community grassroots outreach and giving a space for the more marginalised perhaps you can say is refreshing as as, as a model for a company in the private sector.

Andrew
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Miguel
And of the scale.

Naomi
Yeah very interesting

Andrew
Those events are really good aren't they. Yeah. I learned so much and you know, you read all you talk about the theory of D&I and then you see a panel with a with a broad, diverse group of people there, they talk about their journeys and their stories and their barriers. And you hear it in truth in real life. Yeah. And it's so more rich. Yeah. Isn't it? Yeah. So it's just phenomenal especially.

Naomi
Yeah. Especially the one we had last week with the Better Allies event, and I learned so much as well. I was it's just, you know, it just, it just brings it so much more to the forefront of your mind when you could see the lived experience of a person right in front of you. Yeah. And it's nice when you just hear different opinions, because every single one of the people in that panel had a different idea about what an ally meant to them.Yeah. And you know how there's not one way to go about being the best ally, being the best, you know, D&I practitioner.

Andrew
Absolutely.

Naomi
So it was a different kind of ways, to go about these things, yeah, so it's very interesting

Andrew
Yeah, really, really helpful.

Naomi
Yeah, I think as well as the sort of, I guess we have the the lucky job that we we not only get to help other people, but we get to see it directly in front of us and see the direct product of that. Sometimes, you know, if you work in another industry, you don't get to see where the product goes or how your impact helps other people. But we get to see it directly and we get to see those stories with those people. And then we get to, I don't know, I guess, interact with it, which I think is really cool. It's very humanising. Yeah.

Miguel
Stories is a big part of that because that's so fundamental about what we do from the piece around working with organisations and kind of getting a hold of their story and giving it to people in our network and then receiving the story of the people that go and apply. Then we go with their story back to the organisation. And it just it's a different playing field. There's way more investment. There's one more personability. There's a lot of learning. I know sometimes I mean, Me and Andrew, we leave interviews thinking what a boring life we've led, when we hear these colourful individuals and their experiences. And it's fantastic.

Andrew
Yeah. Yeah, it's really and I agree with everything you say Miguel. And I also really enjoy the fact that what we do is going to help an organisation generally do good, because a lot of organisations we work with our social purpose organisations, charities or NHS trusts. And putting that all together and knowing that you're adding some extra dimension to that organisation, which is going to improve that organisation is which is just great.

Miguel
Yes, absolutely. Yeah.Good challenge.

Naomi
Yeah, it's good because it's like a it was a story about our own journeys. Yeah. And like you said, you know, you're coming out with your oh that's such an amazing story, but you know, you never know to that person. You guys might have led really interesting lives. You know, it's all kind of well,

Miguel
Well, we're not the ones being interviewed.

Naomi
A very good point. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You must get to see a lot of really interesting things.

Andrew
Yeah. But it's really, really, really, really enjoyable.

Naomi
Oh wow. Oh that's a good thing. That's probably we're all still working here. Yeah.

Intro
BAME Recruitment is a purpose led organisation, that is proud to promote opportunities for all. Check out our website for job opportunities and all inclusive careers platform diversifying.io. And don't forget to follow us on social media.

Naomi
So we are back after technical difficulties and after a room change, we are now in the office, so hopefully this should work with the sound anyway. So let's just have a conversation about the work culture here, the recruitment and what that kind of like, because it's definitely evolving. And I feel that, you know, you guys have been working here longer than me. You guys got something to say about it. So, yeah. What do you guys think about the work culture here?

Andrew
I would probably go with a start, is what it's not like for me. For me, it's really important. So being in recruitment, I've worked in organisations where you are, you're measured by activity in terms of how many calls you've made, how many candidates you've spoken to, how long you're on the phone for, you were five minutes late this morning. You've left five minutes early. That is so not what it is not like, which is wonderful. It's all around self-management in a way. I feel like we all have a work moral compass, which sort of feels pointing in the same way. That's a bit naff. Does that so is that does it make sense?

Naomi
Yeah, absolutely.


Feels like for like nine workers that just happened to be the same office. Yeah, that makes sense.

Miguel
It's sort of wildly different backgrounds I guess. I guess uh my experience a little bit different. I luckily or not luckily escaped that world and was never really part of it. But coming back, coming from the charity world where there was more emphasis on the kind of purpose ethos, it was flexible working, there was emphasis on wellbeing. And, you know, I found myself in a place that very much fosters and nurtures these values, but within the kind of private world, um, and also something that stems from recruitment, which is, you know, largely a quite specific culture and style. Would you agree with that?

Andrew
Yeah, um, very much so.

Miguel
And yet here we are. And I think it's a bit of a game changer.

Naomi
Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think we have like a very cool laid back attitude and it seems to be, haha it could all be pulled away. Now, um, I think that generally all ideas seem to be equally accepted here, fostered. And I think that we're in a good position that we are quite early on in the business. So we can we can influence it quite a lot, and we can also help it grow a lot. Yeah.

Andrew
And I think also I don't give away illusions that it's not soft here, is it? It's not an easy ride. It's because we're all self managing to do a really good job. Yeah, there are times when it's manic and it's very busy and you work late and you do a big stuff and big stuff, that's not very technical is it? You do really important stuff.Um, and it's hard at times. It's not a soft, easy ride, but the way, the way we do it is really good. It's really positive.

Miguel
One of the things that are the most difficult tend to be the most worthwhile and being challenged and within an environment that kind of creates safety but also challenges you at the same time. Uh, is is just the surefire way to learn, um, every day, really.

Naomi
Yeah. And we all work from home on Fridays as well. Do you think that that is a part of our productivity and why we're so, so good at what we do?

Miguel
Well, I think because we're good at what we do, we get to have that.

Andrew
And a Fridays to me are great, cause I try to leave the boring admin stuff for then. And it's great. You just get on with it and do it and you can get an awful lot done. Um, I can also take my dogs for a walk at lunchtime, so that's even better.

Naomi
Andrew does love his dogs.

Miguel
Still waiting for bring your pets to work, Andrew will be first.

Andrew
Absolutely.

Naomi
We would have to have the whole day for that , maybe a whole bring your pets to work week.

Andrew
Yeah. Yeah.

Naomi
Does anyone else have a pet actually in the office so?

Andrew
I don't think so. No, I don't think so.

Naomi
No. It's so sad, you're holding up for the whole team there.

Andrew
I am, I am

Miguel
Pet champion.

Andrew
Yeah. Diversity of pastimes.

Naomi
That's exactly it. Yeah. And just with your wine, your wine tasting, you see.

Andrew
Yes, I did. Yeah. And, um, I went out last night with my Godson. One of my Godsons that he's just turned 18 and the rite of passage, which he had to buy me a beer because he was allowed to buy a beer. So we went to a pub around the corner. He bought me a beer.

Miguel
Did he get IDed?

Andrew
He did.

Naomi
Did he? Probably sort of. You know, when you first time you get it, you're smiling, you're smiling. So here it is right here.

Andrew
He did, and I made a big thing of it as well. Oh, so hopefully it's the first of many

Miguel
Very good

Naomi
That's very sweet. You guys remember doing that? And you were turned 18.

Andrew
It was a bit different in my day. Um, you could perhaps buy alcohol before you were of a certain age. It was a bit different.

Naomi
Ah I see

Andrew
And so it wasn't quite such a big thing. Yeah.

Naomi
Yeah, of course. It's a passage , what about you Miguel?

Miguel
I had a goatee quite early on, 12 nah I'm joking. By about 16, 17 then I could I could kind of get away with it I think. Or maybe I was growing up in areas where people just didn't care. Yeah, probably more the latter.

Naomi
He looks alright, we'll give him a beer. Yeah. Yeah.

Miguel
He goes to college around the corner.

Naomi
It reminds me of that scene from Hot Fuzz. Yeah.You know where they go into the the the, pub and -

Miguel
"How old are you?" - " Get out!"

Naomi
Yeah. Yeah. And this character, what is his name, um what's the what's the main guy, Simon Pegg and

Miguel
Nicholas Angel.

Naomi
Yeah. Yeah. This is his character. He's just trying to get everyone out and then suddenly the pubs just empty.

Miguel
Yeah, yeah,

Naomi
yeah. It was always, it was all minors.

Miguel
Oh my goodness. Yeah.

Naomi
And then the barman just looks over, I hope you're happy. Yeah. Yeah. He's like yeh wooo peace and quiet. But um but yeah. I think that um what do you guys think about where we're going and in terms of the culture, with BAME?

Andrew
I think one of the challenges we're going to have is we're growing, we're going to grow, we're going to have to have to, we're never going to be huge, but we're going to grow. And it's maintaining that culture, which is so strong now. As you get bigger and broader and more people come in, it's trying to avoid it getting diluted. Um, that said, that could be a challenge, but then the reverse of that is you get more people coming in who could even add more flavor. Yeah. So it's that is that, not dilemma- making sure we get it right.

Naomi
Yeah, definitely.

Miguel
Yeah. I agree with that. Completely striking a balance between the two along the way some things may or may not be sacrificed, but I think fundamentally what I'm confident about is that whatever decision is made will be made in unison. Yeah, that's definitely the culture that's been created here.

Naomi
And as you know, we not mention any names, but we've had some people join us and not, not from technical inequality, but for technical reasons. But it didn't work mainly because of fit. And I think as long as we're brave enough to ensure we try and choose the right people to join us and if it doesn't work, then we have conversations with them. I think that's very important as well, not to let things fester.

Naomi
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. You got to cut it, Well, whilst it's loose, not in the sense of people here. I mean, like ideas. Yeah. Anyway, yes. Yeah

Miguel
We do think so.

Naomi
Yeah. Gosh. Getting myself into a hole here. Yeah. Uh yes. Yeah. I think I think it's definitely interesting one about where we go from here and things and how we we kind of continue this because especially as well with um, with new hires there's always just different personality mixes and things. I mean, is there anything that you would say that we have unifying really in the office that all of us, personality wise, uh, encompass?

Miguel
Probably open-mindedness. I'd say that's a key one.

Andrew
I think values as well. I think we all have common values. |We all come from very different places, but our values around decency and hard work and doing the right thing.

Naomi
Yeah, I'd that was true.

Andrew
That has to be my general thought, and, uh,

Naomi
Yeah, I'd say so. It's all wrapped up in very different packages of personality and experiences and things and -

Miguel
Positivity as well. This is very prominent

Andrew
Absolutely.

Naomi
Oh yeah. Yeah.

Miguel
The driving force.

Naomi
Yeah. I guess we're all very upbeat people.

Miguel
Everything is a learning experience. Everything we can drive forward and not back, it doesn't matter. Carry on. Yeah. Believe in the mission. Definitely.

Naomi
Yeah. I think that's the central tie about working so purpose led because I notice when I hear the break room, Miguel people like ask me "What company do you work for?" you know, making small talk.

Miguel
They do use that voice.


Yes haha

Miguel
Oh yeah It's very annoying, haha

Naomi
Yeah. Oh yes something like "What are you doing around here hrrmp?" And I know, as you say, you , you're just laughing at me now. Um, I know that you would say, um, we're a purpose and organisation and people just puzzled look on their faces about what that means. Yeah.

Miguel
Yeah. I should work on my elevator pitch.

Naomi
No, no, no. I think what you're saying it's great. I think that's what it's great. I think yeah you're summarising very well. I think it's just that people can't really seem to grasp this concept that you do just, there is a kind of a message above your head about why you're doing this. You don't just come to work sort of this soulless existence and - well I don't know about you guys. But, uh, you know, hopefully we don't all come to work in this sort of drone factory.

Andrew
Yes, absolutely.

Naomi
No, the thing is, that's definitely the core of the organisation.


100% , well said, yeah. Yeah. So money's important. Very important. But it's not the driver, uh, which is lot's of organisations and a lot of people in organisations. It is. It's it's more about doing the right thing.

Naomi
This is a really good point, I think, because, remember remember, when I came for my interview Cynthia said yeah, we're not here to become millionaires.I mean, if we do, that's great. But, um, I said it's more about social change, I guess. I guess that's probably something you could say a little about common values. Is that everyone here, you know, maybe that maybe they could be out to be a millionaire? I don't know. But, um, they were here because they want to be here. They sort of. Yes. Going down the other path.

Andrew
Yeah, absolutely.

Miguel
There's a reciprocity in your work when you come to work.

Andrew
That's a very good word. Yeah, I like that word.

Miguel
But, um, you do get paid obviously, but you get a lot out of other things. Um, which is that kind of mission, the, um. Yeah, it's a feeling, yeah,

Andrew
Good way of describing it.

Naomi
So as I said, could you give anyone, you know, just a round of to give anyone kind of one takeaway about what it's like being here and and what your journey has been like? While you've been here?

Miguel
Uh, extremely gratifying. Um, gratifying experience and humbling. Um, yeah, very, very positive

Andrew
For me in the past, I've worked in organisations where you have to behave in a certain way to fit in. Here, I have the feeling that I just I am what I am, and you fit in, and that's really cool.

Miguel
I definitely caught that very, very early on. It's the place that is, the record place in terms of me being able to be my foolish self just as I am.

Andrew
Miguel is not kidding guys!


We know about that.

Miguel
Yeah. And it's just been accepted and it's like, wow,

Naomi
More movie quotes, please.

Andrew
You hear about it. You hear about diversity, inclusion and belonging and now I am getting to understand and understand what belonging means in the workplace.

Naomi
What did you think you meant beforehand?

Andrew
I didn't really come across my mind belonging perhaps, probably fitting in.In that in recruitment terms, you build good money and therefore you be fitted in. But here you can just be who you are.

Naomi
You know, this is a celebration of everyone's unique personalities and unique quirks. And everyone's kind of aware of it. And it's all positive. Yeah, it's yeah.

Andrew
It's, uh, you're not judged.

Miguel
A universal difference.

Naomi
Yeah. That's a really good way of describing it. I like that. Universal difference.

Andrew
Really good.

Naomi
Yeah. I'd say that's definitely a word that, the describes how we do things and a lot of humor as well. I think one of the things that everybody likes to laugh, nobody is here who takes that ethos about life is very serious. Life is worth sort of, you know, that painting, that really famous one with the guy's looking at the cliffs and the waves are rushing over and he's got this grey coat on and he's staring morosely out. I wouldn't say that anyone here kind of is emblematic of that painting.

Andrew
Agreement. Yeah, yeah. It's, um, it's just it's about being positive.

Miguel
You haven't seen me on weekends by the coast. So with my coat on.

Naomi
So what you do at the weekends Miguel? Is that weekend Miguel?

Miguel
No comment.

Naomi
Andrew just skips gaily in the forest with your dogs

Andrew
Skipping in the forest? No, haha , You know, I, I enjoy walking into the forest, rather than skipping just uh. Anyway, the old joke is my dogs and I go for a tramp in the woods most weekends. My dogs and I really enjoy it, but the tramp is getting a bit annoyed.

Naomi
badum-tsh

Miguel
Badum-tsh. He's not it's Friday tomorrow.

Naomi
Oh yeah. He's working from home tomorrow. You'll get him back by next week. I get him back next week. Uh yeah. I think humour was a big one but yeah I think that wraps up today's, uh, podcast session. Uh, thank you so much, you guys, for speaking and everything. Give me your time

Andrew
You're very welcome, thank you

Miguel
Thank you.

Naomi
See you guys in the future

Miguel
Till next time.

Naomi
Yes.

Andrew
Ta-ra.

Intro
Thanks for listening to you can't say anything anymore. A podcast by BAME Recruitment, if you like our show and want to know more. Check out our website and sign up for our newsletter at www.bamerecruitment.com Or please leave us a review on iTunes. Join us next time as we explore more diversity news.