Ernst & Young (known as EY) has announced plans to remove academic qualifications from its application process for the 2016 programmes.
Accountancy firm EY is one of the most globally integrated professional services organisations, employing approximately 11,000 in the UK from 20 office locations. After an 18-month analysis of their student selection process, EY have implemented a new strategy to assess potential applicants. It will consist of online numerical tests.
Applicants will no longer be required to have a minimum of 300 UCAS points (equivalent to 3 B’s) or an upper second class degree classification. Maggie Stilwell, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent, commented “Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and remain an important consideration when assessing candidates, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door. Transforming our recruitment policy is intended to create a more even and fair playing field, giving every applicant the opportunity to prove their abilities.”
The changes were considered when the company’s own research results demonstrated that there was no correlation between success in higher education and success in the professional working world. Yet a correlation was evident between certain strengths and future qualifications. EY intends to create a more inclusive culture at the firm and expects that the new assessment process will better demonstrate future potential.
Louise Woodward is a Senior Recruitment Consultant at Bond Williams who heads our Accounting & Finance Division. She says “It is obvious that EY want to attract the brightest and most talented individuals and they believe that the changes made to their recruitment process will help to access a wider talent pool. This is interesting for all professional services firms to note and, locally, many smaller accountancy firms have taken a view for a long time that recruiting school leavers and training them to your standards and cultural ideals has a better long term effect in building the best team of employees.”