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June 2015
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BBC News – Elite firms ‘exclude bright working class’

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Today’s BBC News article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33109052 – simply serves to confirm what we have known at Capp and been working to address for a long time – that many recruitment processes are unfairly discriminating against candidates from diverse social backgrounds, simply by virtue of how these recruitment processes are designed.

 

My presentation to the Association of Graduate Recruiters Student Recruitment Trade Show in January this year showed exactly how. In reality, it’s pretty simple to introduce systematic bias into your recruitment process, even when you don’t mean to – just by using arbitrary screening criteria.

 

These arbitrary screening criteria include things like requiring a certain number of UCAS points (e.g., 300 UCAS points), a certain degree class (e.g., 2.1 or above), or attendance at a certain university (e.g., a Russell Group university).

 

In some recruitment processes, if you fall down on any of these criteria, you’re automatically screened out. This is how talent is wasted and opportunities are missed.

 

Capp are proud signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact, set up by the previous coalition government to promote social mobility in organisations. For years we have been working to address precisely these issues. The way we do this is pretty simple: Data and analytics.

 

Traditional recruitment processes introduced arbitrary screening criteria as a way of managing recruitment volumes. That is entirely understandable, if not entirely defensible in the modern day. With what we know now about assessment, and with insights from assessment data and analytics, there is no need for organisations to rely on arbitrary screening to manage candidate volumes any more.

 

Instead, organisations should embrace social mobility and discover hidden talent through assessing what really matters in the people they recruit, rather than depending on arbitrary information about the person’s background to date. As Capp defines it, social mobility is where your background doesn’t define your future opportunities. You do.

 

Working with Nestlé and using our platform Jobmi, the job matching place, we were able to remove the traditional screening criteria and use a comprehensive assessment suite that measured candidates’ fit with Nestlé as an organisation, their match with the role, their potential and future capability. The results? Of their 2015 hiring intake, Nestlé found that 21% of their candidates would not even have passed their previous screening criteria.

 

That’s right, 1 in 5 people of those who were actually hired would have been missed under the previous recruitment process. This is the peril of depending on arbitrary selection criteria, but also the opportunity of moving to embrace assessment by data and analytics insights.

 

Further, Nestlé gave every single applicant to them a second opportunity if they were unsuccessful, by signing up to Decline to Jobmi – http://www.capp.co/decline-to-jobmi . Decline to Jobmi invites every candidate who isn’t a match for your organisation to join Jobmi, the job matching place, where they have new opportunities to be matched to their perfect job.

 

Nestlé candidates loved this, and thought it spoke volumes about Nestlé’s commitment to social mobility and corporate social responsibility.

 

Congratulations to BBC News for highlighting a longstanding and insidious challenge to the opportunities of talented people from all walks of life. The good news is that innovative and forward-thinking organisations are already doing things differently to solve this problem and find hidden talent.

 

 

 

 

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