We're delighted to be working in partnership with Maudsley Charity on their biggest and most important recruitment drive to date. We'll be working exclusively to support the charity’s ambitious growth plans for 2022/2023 as it continues to raise its profile and increase the diversity of its team.
We're also delighted to welcome back guest writer Nicola Greenbrook who explores this exciting collaboration further, finding out what it means for the charity, its people and the communities it proudly serves.
Maudsley Charity is a mental health charity based in South London. It funds and promotes innovative, collaborative projects and ideas that make a tangible difference to the lives of those who experience severe mental illness.
Working alongside South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, the charity brings together researchers, frontline clinicians, service users and their families, and a wide range of voluntary and community organisations to prevent mental illness, improve care, and support recovery.
They work primarily within South London but believe that all the work they fund has the potential for wider impact at both national and international levels.
Ambitious plans for change
Maudsley Charity is undergoing a significant period of growth and change — and exciting times are ahead.
The charity has been building a solid foundation since becoming an independent entity in 2018 and is now entering a period of expansion. It has bold ambitions about maximising impact, addressing issues of discrimination and exclusion in what it works on and how it works, and generating funds to extend its work and build support communities.
The charity plans to grow its headcount to approximately 18-20 staff by March 2023. Key appointments in the past 12 months include a new Director of Fundraising & Communications, Communications Officer and Grantmaking Systems Lead. Growth continues with a new Programme Manager, Senior Impact and Learning Manager and NHS Trust Engagement and Fundraising Manager amongst other important new hires.
However, it’s not simply about increasing headcount.
The wider context
In May 2020, George Floyd, a black man, was murdered in the US City of Minneapolis by a white police officer. His murder led to widespread protests about police brutality, police racism and the lack of police accountability and sparked a global movement, as countries across the globe held some of the largest Black Lives Matter protests in their history.
In the UK, George Floyd’s death both devastated and galvanised the nation, sparking mass activism. According to The Guardian, within days of his death, thousands of people across 260 towns and cities in the UK defied the COVID-19 enforced lockdown to join large anti-racism rallies which resulted in a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The landscape has irreversibly shifted since the murder of George Floyd, and Maudsley Charity knew that they had to step up and do more. The charity funds many projects that are helping to address the health inequalities that minoritised communities face within the mental health system (particularly Black people with African and Caribbean heritage and South Asian communities), but realised that more focus needed to go on inclusive recruitment and employment practice.
They demonstrated a clear willingness and openness to change in order to become a more inclusive employer. One of the first steps was to recognise that its workforce was not as diverse as the communities it serves.
Reflecting diverse communities
The charity is based in South London, in an area with some of the highest levels of mental ill health in the UK driven by deprivation and discrimination.
It has made an active commitment to ensuring sustained diversity within its team in terms of ethnicity, class and lived experience of mental ill health and, crucially, one which reflects the communities it serves — including Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and beyond.
In addition, it recognised that as part of their attraction strategy, the charity needed to work towards changing the external perception of the charity and become well-known and trusted in South London and beyond.
Maudsley Charity is underpinned by principles that actively value and encourage respectful and positive attitudes to differences. Their values include:
We value diversity of experience, expertise, and perspective. We will build into our organisation, and every aspect of our work, a range of voices, including those of people who experience mental illness.
We care about maintaining high standards and improvement. We will be open about where we could do better, learn from our successes and failures and expect those we work with to do the same.
Recruitment practices: doing things differently
With this new recruitment drive, Maudsley Charity committed to trialling different methods to address any unintentional blockers and biases in their hiring practices.
It reviewed its processes and, working in partnership with Harris Hill, ensured that the channels they are using to recruit new talent are clearly aligned with its objectives.
Some of these practices include:
• Writing helpful, friendly and engaging adverts; avoiding gender-driven language and using a tone of voice that speaks to candidates the charity may not necessarily have spoken to before. For example, stating that, ‘as a team we value and acknowledge diverse experiences, voices and perspectives, particularly those who come from minoritised communities and/or have direct experience of living with mental illness or being a carer for someone living with mental illness’ and ‘we welcome your application if you are from a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic background, have a disability, are LGBTQ+, have any other protected characteristic, or have lived experience of mental illness’.
• Using images in recruitment packs that aim to be more reflective of the communities that it serves.
• Engaging candidates on social media platforms such as Twitter by telling them that they are interested in their potential as much as their existing skills and experience.
• Using ‘blind’ recruitment processes (removing a candidate’s name and other identifying factors, such as age, location, and school or university names from their application) to make it easier for hiring managers to make objective decisions about the candidate’s skills, experience and suitability for a role — and lessen the risk of conscious or unconscious bias.
• Offering candidates the opportunity to see interview questions in advance to aid preparation.
• Ensuring interview panels are diverse and comprised of people from different teams, and asking values-based interview questions, not just competency-based, to attract people who are motivated by the charity’s values but may not have the relevant qualifications at this stage.
• Reviewing the recruitment process at each stage to ensure it is as inclusive as possible; removing any potential barriers, identifying new ways to remove any unconscious bias and ensuring that candidates are not being set up to fail.
Why work for Maudsley Charity?
Lisa Williams joined Maudsley Charity in 2018 as Business Support Manager. Her main responsibilities include HR, contract management and governance. She is also the Secretariat to the Board of Trustees.
After the pandemic, the charity knew it needed to get to grips with its people policies and procedures and establish its HR function — and this is where Lisa’s role comes in! She is working towards an HR qualification and somehow finds the time to volunteer too — so she can truly feel the impact of how other charities make a difference to their service users.
Lisa believes the charity offers its people the chance to grow and develop in their roles and focus on their continuous professional development. She has particularly enjoyed working with Lisa Kiew, Director of Finance and Operations, whose “drive and vision to make changes has been the making of us and our improvements, and how far we have come.”
She recognises that the charity is in a fast-paced place of change — and that change has been challenging but is being embraced. She said, “I have never been an employee of a charity before where people really want to get it right and make a difference in this way.” Lisa believes the charity, its senior leaders and people demonstrate an openness to try different things and to reflect on its learnings; what went well and what could be improved, but also to celebrate what has been achieved.
During the process, the charity learnt that not only do they need to be clearer in how roles are described, but also how important it is that candidates get a feel for the charity’s developing journey. This has given them a great opportunity to reflect on other HR processes and practices. She believes that the charity is very good at collaborating and coming together as a high-performing team; they share and respect ideas, work towards achieving common objectives and really live the charity’s values.
Lisa and the team are looking forward to the changes ahead and are keen to see improvements, motivating and supporting each other along the way.
Harris Hill are delighted to be working with Maudsley Charity and helping them to find new talent to join their excellent teams. The new partnership will inform the way that the charity works moving forwards and represents an exciting time in its history with a sharper focus on impact in all they do.
Nicola Greenbrook, London based freelance writer, podcaster and HR Specialist
Opportunity for all
Find out how we’re working to deliver more diverse, equitable and inclusive recruitment…
Recruiting a charity CEO?
Our executive recruitment specialists have an exceptional record of successful CEO, chair, trustee and…
Charity sector salaries
Check out the market rate for your charity role in the latest Harris Hill Salary Survey.
We're delighted to share the news that Harris Hill is now B Corp Certified! It makes us part of a global community of businesses meeting high standards of social and environmental impact, accountability and transparency, and leading the transformation of the global economic system. That's a big ambition, but at the simplest level, being certified is recognition that we're here for the right rea...Read more
As part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, the Harris Hill website now features the award-winning Recite Me assistive toolbar, providing a wide range of accessibility and language support tools for a more inclusive online experience. Here’s an overview of the benefits and how to use it.There’s a lot to look out for when you’re searching for a new job online. In most cases, you'll actual...Read more
Landing just ahead of the big day and 20th anniversary celebrations, meet the teams playing for glory in the 2023 Charity Softball League!Like any other year, 2003 gave the world some things we’d rather it hadn’t - war in Iraq, the SARS outbreak, the Black Eyed Peas – but over the course of that long hot summer, it also gave us (courtesy of founding father Leo Visconti) something we’re very gl...Read more
They’re certainly earning their keep in these financially-challenging times, but are charity finance professionals securing higher salaries and what’s happening in the market? Here’s what our finance experts have to say on the subject, updated from our 2023 Salary Survey, which you can view or download below for all the figures.Finance market trendsTo the world of charity finance now, whe...Read more
Candidate scarcity and high inflation have made securing new staff more challenging (and expensive) than ever, but there ARE ways to improve your hiring prospects that needn't cost a thing...(updated and extended from the 2023 Harris Hill Salary Survey)Beyond the world of marketing, where they grow on carefully-branded trees, our 2023 Salary Survey finds candidates in short supply and high dema...Read more
Hiring temps is a flexible and cost-effective way to fill gaps and bring in extra resource or skills, but if you haven't before, where should you start and what are the benefits? Freelance writer and HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook talks us through everything you need to know.What is a temp?A temporary agency worker or ‘temp’ differs from a permanent member of staff as, rather than being direc...Read more
For this week's insights from our 2023 Salary Survey it's the turn of business services, our catch-all term for the operational and support roles that keep organisations running and make things happen.You'll find the latest figures for jobs in operations, admin and support, data management, projects & programmes and HR in the survey itself, available to view or download below.Meanwhile here'...Read more
From the people who brought you the 2022 Harris Hill Salary Survey... yes, it's the 2023 Harris Hill Salary Survey which is out now, and this year we're taking a closer look at the market in several key areas.You can view or download the survey here to check out the figures:One striking feature this year is that market conditions vary substantially between charity departments – there's a wid...Read more