Research: Diversity in positive action in recruitment for West Lothian Council


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Research Background

Recruitment process is the most important human resource process in the organization that helps in appointing the best candidates at the workplace (Whitney and Trosten-Bloom, 2010). The practical benefits are seen for organization of having diverse workforce to perform different roles. Positive action in recruitment process is evident to a new concept that allows business entity to attract the people from diverse background and to appoint the best talent at the workplace. Positive action is seen as way of trying to historic disadvantage through providing chance to under-represented groups for getting employments. Equality in recruitment process is a traditional concept that allows companies to provide equal opportunities to the individuals for gaining competitive advantages at the workplace (The Equality Act 2010. 2011). The positive actions are somewhat related to the ethical aspects that allow company to identify how an ethical and effective recruitment process can be carried out.  In this regard, it can be said that the positive action cannot be said as new concept as various act have previously implemented at the workplace that promotes the roles of individuals (Fuchs and et. al., 2007). To a contrary note, new recruitment and promotion provisions are going to allow employers to take the optimal decision of choosing the best candidate among two equally qualified candidates (Ertelt and et. al., 2007).

In recruitment, the implications of equality law allows employer to take out the positive action in the stages of recruitment and before it. In the prior stage the candidates and groups are encouraged for applying the vacant post. It will be also helpful for people who are having protected characteristics to show their capabilities by performing well so that position can be given to the desired candidates. This  is to be bring into notice that employer have to decide to choose that positive actions  are brought out in a recruitment process where to choose the best one among various capable candidates. To the aspect of positive actions in recruitment process it is required to make up local population for this encouragement of individuals who share particular under-represented secure characteristics to apply for available jobs is the most required manner.

From a past decade, number of positive actions have been seen around Scotland including Police Scotland, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services.

The West Lothian Council is one of 32 local authorities within Scotland which has 32 elected members. The different services of this council includes education, development and maintenance of highways, street lighting, social work, housing as well as cleansing. In addition to that the council is responsible for co-ordinating and planning public services within West Lothian, Scotland (West Lothian Council. 2015). To fulfil such tasks the organizational requires people who can fulfil such task in a positive manner. The local council require to create a positive climate where employees feel confident and able to discuss equality matters with superior authorities. West Lothian council is  identifying where positive action is most needed, and target action in those areas. The proposal herewith is going to assess the diversity in positive action in recruitment for West Lothian Council.

Aim and Objectives


The aim of present report is to critically identify the role of positive action in recruitment for a public sector entity namely West Lothian Council. Furthermore, this proposal is prepared to recommend how West Lothian Council can use positive action in their recruitment process.


 The objectives framed for the present investigation are as follows

  • To critically review a literature on the concept of positive actions in recruitment and exploring the benefits and challenges of using positive actions in recruitment process of public sector organizations.
  • To explore the diversity in positive action in recruitment and the use of social media in recruitment process of public sector units.
  • To recommend the various use of positive action in their recruitment process of West Lothian Council, Scotland


What is positive action?

The positive actions can be defined as the elements that can be done so far in the recruitment process of a company so as to ensure selection of the best candidate at the workplace. As per the words Kalev, Dobbin and Kelly (2006) positive action is a way of trying to historic disadvantage through providing chance to under-represented groups for getting employments. The mentioned information in Verloo (2006) represented that in 2011 new positive action provisions on recruitment and promotion came into existence in which employers were free to come up with the law relating to positive action and there come some guideline in respect with the provisions. The investigation conducted by Jarrett (2011) stated that Positive action are known as laws and policies that attempts to promote equal opportunity through focusing on providing equal opportunity to  gender, race, disability or other equality strands so as to positively improve outcomes  and promote diversity in public sector organization.

 Positive actions put various impacts to the companies such as it motivate people and also encourage them to give their best at work. Nebbioso and et. al. (2005) evaluated that some of the common people which have protected characteristics involves age, marriage and civil partnership, race, sex and any kind of sexual orientation. The meaning of positive action in any sense does not allow ‘positive discrimination' because it is strictly not allowed by equality law (Fuchs and et. al., 2007). It has also been witnessed that the positive action are voluntary as employer can decide on whether use it in recruitment process or not.

 According to authorities, there have been implemented number of positive actions interventions such as careers fairs, recruitment days, days or evening sessions. In such sessions, the potential applicants were able to get overview of the selection and training process as well as they can ask questions related to job (Positive action, 2011).  Positive actions are applicable to all the above stated protected characteristics. One of the main impact of such action is that it promotes equality at workplace and make it is free from any kind of biasses (Nebbioso and et. al., 2005). Positive action also helps an employer to have a well-qualified and diverse range of workforce. It further supports in increasing the degree of customer satisfaction and sales. Positive actions are required to incorporate as a part of employer diversity policy and it is required to compliment other diversity policies.  

Benefits of positive actions 

 The applicability of positive actions at the workplace has presented number of benefits to public as well as private organizations. Public as well as private organization can help people in more effective manner with the help of positive action. It can also been seen that positive action would only serve to strengthen the workforce. As per the views of many authors including, Nebbioso and et. al. (2005) the benefits of positive action can be seen in the manner as it makes organizations more responsible for the people of their region.

The people will have a sense of comfort about the fact that public companies are able to do the things they said instead of broking their promises (The Benefits of Positive Action. 2015). The positive implications of using positive actions at the workplace is seen in the form of getting better mix of people of both genders, all faiths, languages, race and ability (Lomborg, 2015). The best candidates for the positions can be appointed at the workplace. In other words there must be a balance of all cultures and abilities in the work place that is being possible after using positive action in recruitment. With the passage of time, most of them became aware about the role and significance of positive action in businesses and how they can benefit the employer. However Verloo (2006) argued that most of the businesses entity were aware about the benefits of talking positive actions for their protected characteristic. The major benefit is that it will support the employer in addressing people with any kind of disability in an effective manner. Other than this, positive actions will also support in attracting the people which are in minority group which will further help in attracting more effective and skilled workers (Verloo, 2006). The benefits of positive actions are seen in the form trust of people towards the organizations both public and private. 

Barriers to positive actions in recruitment

In order to implement positive actions in recruitment process there may be some significant barrier faced by the company.that a council has to bear some monetary cost for the same. When a corporate entity includes positive actions in recruitment process it has to put financial resources for the same (The Benefits of Positive Action, 2015). The public organizations have to face the issues regard information available to incorporate the positive actions in business. The company requires the information for incorporating positive actions in recruitment and unavailability of proper information may lead to barriers to positive actions in recruitment (Whitney and Trosten-Bloom, 2010). However, it has been seen that the company may face some issues regarding Organisational attitudes, in which it becomes difficult to incorporate the policies regarding to positive actions. The research study conducted Positive action (2011) have been witnessed that major barrier is of managing change incorporated after implementing positive actions. Nonetheless, council is going to face issues with convening board to implement positive action in the recruitment process. There were some researches have been conducted years ago in which authors have suggested that negative perception of community towards practices of public companies which has been seen as a barrier to such organizations (Rhodes, 2014). However, some of authors have suggested the ways to overcome such barrier that are faced to implement positive action. It has been suggested that free of cost advertising will be a significant way to overcome the barrier.  However,that implementation of positive actions in recruitment is a costly process which requires a lot of time and efforts therefore, it should be carried out in the best possible and effective manner (Ertelt and et. a

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