EY removes academic criteria from recruitment process

Business people
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

7 February 2017

In a drive to increase social mobility at the firm, EY has re-structured its entry criteria.

Until 2015, the Big Four firm’s criteria for suitable candidates was at least 300 UCAS points and a 2:1 degree.

But in an effort to ‘open up’ the doors of the profession to students from a more diverse background, EY removed these requirements from their student recruitment process in the UK.

Since the changes were made, EY reports that 18% of graduates who joined the firm in 2016 would have been unable to apply under the old rules.

The firm has also seen applications to its student programmes, which target school leavers, graduates and interns, increase by 75%.

Maggie Stilwell, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent, UK & Ireland, said that the firm decided to make the “bold move to achieve a bold result”.

She continued: “It was the right thing to do for EY, to broaden our talent pool and the diversity of our workforce, and at the same time create more opportunities for young people. We hope we have inspired others to do the same; driving social change.”

Tackling the workplace taboo

In March 2016, EY, KPMG, Deloitte and Grant Thornton were among employers which supported a government scheme to measure socio-economic diversity in the workplace.

The national standard, which was the first of its kind in the UK, was implemented to measure and manage social mobility in both the Civil Service and private sector.

The former Minister for Cabinet Office who launched the scheme, Matt Hancock, said at the time: "Our goal is simple: to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed and make the most of their talents, whatever the circumstances of their birth. It’s time to tackle the last workplace taboo – social mobility."

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