The Blind CV Test…

EY announced a while ago that they are transforming how they judge applicants – fundamentally eliminating the requirement of a degree and judging candidates by other standards. After the policy was introduced last year, the initial results of that experiment are in.

The idea was to create a more diverse workforce and the results suggest success; the number of recruits from state schools jumped by 10 percentage points (49% for graduates and to 59% for school leavers), and the number of recruits who were the first in their family to go to university rose by 7%.

However, while ‘a blind CV policy to remove an unconscious bias’ sounds great – the reality was 37,000 student applications for 1,600 jobs (a big increase). The huge growth in applicant numbers over the last 10-20 years drove the big consultancies to be ever-more focused on degree grade and university as a measuring and sifting tool.  Most observers agree that this policy became too restrictive.  Change was needed, but EY certainly did not see every one of those 37,000 for tests and interviews so should we assume that judging CVs by university, grade and subject has simply been replaced by a different – but perhaps equally prejudicial – judging criteria?

EY should be applauded for trying something new and leading the way for the other multinationals in that respect – but I suspect this approach will need more than one year to truly reveal how effective it is to diversity of workforce, to EY business itself and whether this spreads as a market-wide idea.




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