How Maersk Tankers built a more inclusive recruitment process with Develop Diverse
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About Maersk Tankers
Maersk Tankers is a company with a long legacy in the shipping industry. Founded in 1928, the company commercially manages over 200 tankers in its fleet today, which make almost 3,000 voyages each year.
Back in 2017, Maersk Tankers separated from A. P. Moller – Maersk A/S— and the company went from being part of a conglomerate of around 80,000 employees to being an independent company with a much smaller workforce.
“Inclusion is vital to us at Maersk Tankers — and our work on our recruitment process has trickled into other areas of our business. Develop Diverse encourages our managers to actively reflect what they’re putting in their job advert, and why it’s important.”
People Business Partner
Why Maersk Tankers came to Develop Diverse
The tanker industry was facing new and complex challenges, such as the need to become more sustainable and digital. Maersk Tankers knew they needed a company and employer branding overhaul to complement the transition.
However, when they analysed their recruitment data, they realised that they had a few challenges they needed to focus on first — and that’s when they found Develop Diverse.
“Our job adverts were a long list of lots of different responsibilities, instead of a few, more focused, competencies.”
Non inclusive employer branding
“When we audited our recruitment website, we realised that our experience was not inclusive enough. There were a lot of photos of tankers and men in overalls”
Lack of female applicants
“When it came to gender, our data showed that we were falling short. There was a huge gap between the applications from male candidates and those from females.”
What Mærsk Tankers solved with Develop Diverse
“At the start of this project, we set ambitious goals to improve our gender balance,” Kathrine says. “But as we learned more, we shifted our focus to fostering inclusion across our whole company. As a result, we completely redesigned our recruitment process.“
Implementing Develop Diverse helped Kathrine and her team make more conscious language choices in their job adverts, and meant that hiring managers at Maersk Tankers felt more equipped to write more inclusive job adverts.
“Our hiring managers now lead our screening interviews and start that initial conversation with our candidates instead of HR. They’re voice-only calls, meaning there’s no room for beauty bias — and managers can more accurately assess skills, and if it feels like a good dialogue.”
“We have also standardised our interview questions so that each candidate is consistently assessed on the same criteria. When we run assessments, we don’t provide hiring managers with the results until they get into the interview room so that it doesn’t skew their opinions of a candidate’s level of skill or knowledge.”
“Our candidates love the process, because they feel like they’re able to make a connection with our managers — and our managers do too, because it gives them clearer and fairer criteria on how to assess competencies.”
Over time, this larger cultural transformation has yielded some impressive results. Maersk Tankers saw a significant increase in female applicants, which led to increased female hires. In 2021, over half of the company’s new hires were women.
“We know that change takes time - and now we’re a smaller company, we’re able to spend more time embedding those cultural changes so that our organisation is an inclusive space where people can express themselves and be themselves.”
People Business Partner