An Employer’s Insight into Working with Apt

Historic Environment Scotland were one of the employers to recently work with us. Read about why they got involved, their experiences, and how they intend to integrate learning into future plans.
What interested Historic Environment Scotland to work with Apt? 

We are interested in Apt  as we realised we want to continue our work to include talent from all abilities within our organisation. Our 2021-25 HES Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes report (click here for an Easy Read version) identified we wanted to focus on improving disabled employment, amongst other areas of under-representation.

We realised working with Apt PSP could help us ameliorate the disabled employment gap and position us as an employment destination of choice for disabled people in Scotland.

What aspects of working with Apt did you find most useful?

Having the direct feedback from disabled persons with lived experience on our Digital Recruitment Review. Feedback on our digital recruitment platforms has been vital as this is our ‘shop front’ by which future employees enter our organisation. Through this feedback we could identify the challenges or pain points applicants might face and we have been working to reduce these and to improve the recruitment journey for all.



These courses really helped us improve our working practices and raise awareness across our organisation.

The contact with other organisations in the Apt PSP has also been very helpful. Values into Action Scotland provided some excellent training for us on disability awareness (learning disabilities, hearing loss, sight loss and autism) and accessible communications.

We would like to thank all the people who took the time to provide us with feedback, training and expert knowledge from the PSP.

What changes have you implemented following the Digital Recruitment Review? 

Since the Digital Recruitment Review we have looked at amendments to our careers page and we are working to implement these on the website shortly.

We have also worked with our Trade Unions and employee forums to produce a draft recruitment toolkit which focus on inclusive recruitment practices and universal design. Essentially this aims to making the recruitment process straightforward and inclusive, creating better experiences for all applicants during our recruitment process.

We are working to ensure hiring managers provide interview questions, in advance of interviews, for all candidates, so we are more transparent and allow candidates time to prepare. This has been shown to improve the interview experience for all, particularly disabled and neurodiverse persons. We have also implemented training through-out our organisation for hiring managers on inclusive recruitment practices, and we continue to roll this out each quarter.

We are looking to include some Easy Read documents where we can, to support our recruitment and new starter process, including an Easy Read guide on getting access to recruitment training and asking for workplace adjustments.

Finally, we have updated our recruitment process to show we accept both application forms and statements of competency – essentially a covering letter, that can be a bit more straightforward for some applicants to complete. This was on reflection of the feedback we got from Apt PSP about the application form.

What are your plans for the future?

We have a lot of work still to do, but one opportunity for us is looking to further improve our recruitment software platform through feedback from our Digital Recruitment Review with Apt. We could also implement further Easy Read documents and are looking at accessible communications throughout the organisation.

We have plans to look at our recruitment and resourcing policy, and will be working on this to ensure we are including others fully in our recruitment process. We have skills development jobs planned and are working with apprenticeship and training providers to place diverse talent in our organisation. We hope this will give further pathways to develop under-represented talent.

We want to hear feedback from disabled persons and will always welcome feedback, elevating disabled voices throughout our organisation.

We aim to show we are an employer of choice, particularly disabled persons or anyone who is under-represented in employment.

We want you to work at your best and where everyone feels fully included at Historic Environment Scotland – so please do get in touch about working with us!