October 01 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Deloitte to revamp recruitment process to end unconscious class bias

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The selection process used by Big 4 firm Deloitte has been revamped to try and stop recruiters from knowing which school or university candidates attended.

The idea is to eliminate any 'unconscious bias' that might influence decisions. A new algorithm that considers contextual information along with academic results is also being introduced.

Social mobility

The government's Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission recently revealed that those from a working class background are being "systematically" excluded by the UK's top accounting firms when it comes to recruiting for the best jobs.

The Chairman of the Commission, Alan Milburn, said that there was a "poshness test" that effectively excluded applicants with working class backgrounds.

Senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK, David Sproul commented on the changes his firm is introducing in response.

"Improving social mobility is one of the UK's biggest challenges. For us, there is also a clear business imperative to get this right. In order to provide the best possible service and make an impact with our clients, we need to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives and experience into the firm. We truly value this difference," said Sproul.

Contextualisation

Sproul further explained how important qualifications are to students: "Our response to this challenge reflects the value we place in the UK's education system and the hard work that young people and teachers put in to achieve good exam results. Contextualisation allows us to recognise these important qualifications for young people, whilst also ensuring that for example, 3Bs at A Level in a school where the average student achieves 3Ds, is identified as exceptional performance." 

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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