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Atos puts diversity at the heart of recruitment efforts

By Cia Kouparitsas 
Published: December 16, 2022
READ TIME: 4 minutes
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation. With over 112,000 employees, providing tailored end-to-end solutions to organisations in 70 countries around the world. Atos has a bold mission: to design the future of the digital space - and to do that they need highly skilled people and innovation at the core of their thinking. To create that capability, they look for diversity of skill, thought and experience.

The beauty of WithYouWithMe’s solution is that diversity is built in from the start. A lot of recruitment partners provide skilled people first and then consider diversity afterwards. WithYouWithMe gives us skilled people who happen to come from under-represented groups.

Julie Adamson
Social Value Solutions Lead, Atos

"Diversity is core to everything we do," said Julie Adamson, Social Value Solutions Lead at Atos, UK & Ireland. “A significant amount of our business in the UK is in the public sector, therefore, by reflecting the diversity of the citizens we serve, we can deliver services that meet the needs of all of our end-customers.”

Atos’ recruitment structure is reflective of them as a large, matrix organisation with a high-volume of technically skilled roles. Atos work with many specialist recruitment agencies, however, due to barriers in acquiring technical/digital skills for many minority/underrepresented groups, there is often a lack of diversity in the technically skilled candidate pools and proactive measures are required to meet their ambitions. Therefore, the team wanted to expand their DEI approach in recruitment to lower barriers to entry, increase the diversity of the technically skilled talent pool and expand their definition of diversity.

They discovered WithYouWithMe (WYWM), a social impact company that offers data-led SaaS workforce solutions. WYWM allows organisations to build and train teams for in-demand tech roles by identifying and upskilling talent for free, and focusing on overlooked sections of society such as Armed Forces veterans and their spouses, refugees and neurodivergent individuals. WYWM leverages a data-driven approach to employment, that involves a series of scientifically-based aptitude tests that identify a person’s true potential to excel in a tech-based role – regardless of whether they have had the opportunity to attend university or secure previous employment in that field.

“We love that WYWM’s solution has diversity built in from the start. It’s not a bolt-on. It’s not an afterthought. It’s the whole purpose of the program. That’s what made them stand out to us,” said Julie.

A “disruptive” approach to recruitment

“WYWM’s model is completely different from what we’re used to,” Julie pointed out. “Normally, we’d go to a recruitment partner with a list of skills we need and they bring us candidates - most of which come with long and robust CVs. So to be presented with a company that’s saying ‘someone might have no technology experience but they have the aptitude and potential to be fantastic in this role’ is a new and disruptive approach.”

Once the team saw user cases and proof points, the true value of WYWM’s programme was evident.

Pilot sets the stage for a new approach to talent acquisition

One of Atos’ first placements was Alice Aumonier. After being a military dependent for 10 years, Alice found herself stagnating in her career as a nurse and unable to move professions due to lack of experience. But after going through the WYWM program, she’s now training as a Full Stack Developer and will soon be joining the Atos team.

“Alice is the perfect example of how, with the right training and support in place, someone with no digital experience can thrive in a technical role,” Julie pointed out. “She’s shown our business that WYWM’s model can absolutely work.”

Alice is one of eight people who are joining Atos through WYWM’s “squad” model, a temp-to-perm arrangement that enables organisations to hire people on a 12-month basis, before transitioning them to permanent staff. The new recruits all come from under-represented parts of society, and have been carefully selected using WYWM’s screening tool, Potential. As an AI-powered solution, the platform uses scientifically-based psychometric testing to identify candidates with the aptitude to thrive in tech-based roles, and provides them with certified training to make them rapidly proficient and job-ready.

Alice Aumonier
Alice Aumonier – one of the individuals placed into a new tech career with Atos – spoke at the 15,000 Future event, an initiative aimed at driving more veterans and military families into rewarding new careers.

Creating long-term value beyond recruitment

With the first pilot well underway, Julie and her team are looking to expand the WYWM program to other areas of the business. As well as working with different practices to fill in-demand roles, Atos is also considering how they could work with WYWM to support internal reskilling opportunities.

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