October 06 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Big Four firms drop traditional entry requirements for jobseekers

Big Four firms

Big 4 rivals Deloitte, E&Y and PwC have all taken similar steps in dropping traditional academic requirements for those wishing to take the first steps on a career path in the industry.

Graduates and school leavers alike are benefiting from the change in approach as the accountancy sector giants join other major companies by using their own pre-employment tests to filter applicants.

New research

Finding the right candidates has always been high on the agenda of the Big 4, and today competition for entry-level places is particularly tough.

Recent research by the Prince’s Trust and HSBC found that 73% businesses in the UK think that finding skilled staff will become a serious problem over the next three years. Of the companies that took part in the survey, 32% reported entry-level skill shortages.

Unconscious bias

Deloitte, which has more than 14,000 employees in the UK, has recently introduced a measure aimed at reducing "unconscious bias" from its selectors and routinely hides the names of schools or colleges that candidates have attended.

Other new initiatives include an algorithm that puts grades into context, such as by taking into account attendance at an under-performing school.

Future trends

Whilst the goal for any firm will always be to find the best person for the job and the role, using the fairest methods to search from the widest possible candidate pool is becoming an essential ingredient of the search.

The difficulties of taking different backgrounds and experiences of each individual into account mean that the process is one that will continue to be developed.

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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