Deloitte will now hold “school and university-blind interviews” to avoid judging people based on where they studied.
The aim is to find students with “potential” and to prevent the recruitment process producing an intake from a narrow range of universities and social backgrounds. As such, the recruitment round for 2016 – which is to consist of 1,500 graduates and school leavers – will largely be based on an algorithm. It will consider “contextual” information alongside academic results.
This will allow the recruiters to see information on someone’s financial background and personal circumstances as well as academic scores, to better judge the context the their academic achievements have been made in.
For example, Deloitte claimed an applicant getting three B grades at A-level could be seen as “exceptional” if the average for their school was three D grades.
“Improving social mobility is one of the UK’s biggest challenges,” said David Sproul, senior partner and CEO of Deloitte UK.
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He claimed there was a “business imperative”, as firms needed “to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives”.
Sproul said: “We are working hard to ensure that our talent pool is diverse and reflects the make-up of today’s society. We want to show that everyone can thrive, develop and succeed in our firm based on their talent, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other dimension that can be used to differentiate people from one another.
“This includes an individual’s social or economic background, which we know continues to be used to hold some people back.”
The move by Deloitte is the latest in a wave of changes by graduate recruiters wanting to look beyond academic results, and comes after Ernst & Young stopped specifying what degree classification applicants must have.