How data experts help us ensure a diverse recruitment policy

Helen Kaye, partner and talent lead in Yorkshire for Deloitte.
Helen Kaye, partner and talent lead in Yorkshire for Deloitte.
  • Helen Kaye, partner and talent lead in Yorkshire, explains why Deloitte has become the largest British business to adopt contextualised recruitment.
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As a firm we are now using contextualised academic data to recruit more than 1,500 graduates and school-leavers, which means we have standardised data on candidates.

To do this we have entered into a partnership with Rare, a specialist in diversity recruitment and are the biggest British firm to do so.

The partnership will give our recruiters a range of standardised data on candidates’ economic background and personal circumstances, allowing them to make more informed choices about candidates by considering the context in which their academic achievements have been gained.

This change in our recruitment policy forms part of a comprehensive package of measures which we hope will help us access a more diverse pool of talent, whilst also contributing to the societal challenge of improving social mobility by increasing opportunity for and investing in the development and training of young people.

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.

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, three Bs at A Level in a school where the average student achieves three Ds, is identified as exceptional performance.

We are also introducing other measures such as:

The introduction of school and university-blind interviews to help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of present potential, not past personal circumstance.

The creation of an additional 100 jobs for school and college-leavers through our redesigned BrightStart Business Apprenticeship Scheme. This is in addition to the 100 positions that have been available through the scheme since its launch in 2011, taking the total number of A-Level entry vacancies to 200.

An increase in the number of places available on our Deloitte ASPIRE programme. The scheme, which this year provided work experience to 140 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be extended to include 200 students each year from 2016.

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.

We believe the variety of interventions will enable us to deliver on our social mobility objectives.

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