Welcoming new perspectives into your workforce

A practical positive action recruitment resource from the British Museum

Increasing workforce diversity in the cultural sector is key to ensuring a vibrant and resilient future. It is important for multiple reasons, not least that of being more representative of the communities that organisations serve and bringing much needed different skills and perspectives into the creative space. In this blog I share a new resource: The Learning Museum positive action recruitment Roadmap, that The Audience Agency have developed with the British Museum.

Background to developing the Roadmap

Between 2014 and 2017 we evaluated the Learning Museum, an HLF funded Skills for the Future programme led by British Museum. The Museum worked with 19 partner museums across the UK to recruit young people from a wide range of backgrounds to complete year-long paid traineeships in key sector skills.

The approach to recruitment during this project was completely different from more traditional application forms and interviews. The open days, taster activities, group assessment days and activity-based interviews proved to be powerful forms of engagement in themselves.

Many of the museum partners developed stronger community partners, new audiences and of course successfully recruited staff that were different from their existing workforce. Some partner museums stated they would be using these new recruitment approaches for future recruitment.

Sharing the learning

British Museum saw the potential to make a difference in the wider sector by sharing experiences and learnings from these recruitment approaches. They commissioned us to create a Roadmap and animated films to share their positive action recruitment process. We worked with Lindsay Noble Design to bring this recruitment approach to life.

What differs about this kind of recruitment?

You can read more in the Roadmap but some key points include:

  • Focusing on potential and passion above qualifications and experience.

  • Valuing personal qualities including creativity, collaboration and curiosity.

  • Recognising that the recruitment process is time intensive; staff get to know potential candidates well through multiple meetings and different kinds of activity – but this is a key form of engagement and has many other positive outcomes.

Download the Roadmap here.

Watch the animations

The trainee experience

Overview of the approach

Approach in action

Read more about the Learning Museum project here.


Written by Lucie Fitton, Head of Learning and Participation
Featured in December's edition of The Learning Diaries. To receive The Learning Diaries, visit the sign up page.