Public support for ‘university-blind’ work interviews

Milan DinicResearch Manager
September 30, 2015, 12:21 PM UTC

Most people approve of a new policy introduced by Deloitte that wipes school and university details from job applications to make the recruitment process more equal

One of the biggest global consultancy firms, Deloitte, has decided to change its graduate scheme recruitment policy by holding “school and university-blind interviews”. The idea is to avoid recruiters favouring certain universities when judging applicants.

The process has been named “contextualisation” and it is based on acknowledging the social context and upbringing of applicants by considering their personal finance and life circumstances as well as their academic scores. For example, an applicant getting three B grades at A-level could be seen as "exceptional" if the average for their school was three D grades.

A new First Verdict poll shows majority of the panel approve of such a step. One in five disagree with this policy.

On a separate but connected First Verdict question about what has the greatest positive effect on someone’s overall success in life – just under half of respondents say it is values instilled installed by parents. Interestingly, in the context of Deloitte’s decision, one in ten consider the quality of schooling or financial security of a household to have the greatest positive impact on life success.

Most people say their upbringing was a little above average

Those who disapprove of the new Deloitte policy voice concern about “the calibre” of future employees. “It just sounds like they want to justify somebody they want to employ who isn’t qualified”, says one of the commenters. Another opinion suggests this policy will enhance social mobility – “people working in Deloitte should help others with a leg up like this, or it will never change”.

Deloitte argues its step will provide access to a “more diverse pool of talent” and contribute to improving the life of those from poorer backgrounds. The move comes after a similar step by another player in the branch. Ernst & Young recently decided to scrap degree classification conditions for applicants saying there was ‘no evidence’ that high marks at university correlates with achievement in later life.

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