EY’s graduate recruitment adapted to boost diversity

EY has made further adaptions to its recruitment process for graduates and school leavers to speed-up the process and help boost diversity among its new recruits by removing the conventional ‘one-to-one’ final interview

Instead, the process will how conclude with an assessment event, which the firm says provides a more rounded view of each candidate. EY also plans to shorten the process from application to job offer, from nine to typically five weeks.

Firstly, students will complete an online assessment that focuses on identifying their strengths and future potential. Students can access the online assessment digitally at any time and complete it at their own pace - for up to two weeks. It is then followed by a job simulation that gives applicants a feel for what the job is really like.

The final stage is an assessment day, where candidates take part in around eight activities, learn more about life at EY, and meet existing employees. The input of five appraisers at the assessment day will be used to make the final decision on whether to make a job offer, rather than the process concluding with a one-to-one final interview.

In a survey commissioned by EY of 2,002 16-22-year olds in the UK, students gave their opinion on their experience or perception of graduate and apprenticeship application processes at large organisations.

When asked what improvements they would like to see (students could select up to five statements out of nine), 42% said ‘quality of feedback’, 36% said ‘the ability to express their personal attributes and character’, and a third (34%) cited ‘the speed of responsiveness’ from the employer.

In addition, 28% said they were put off from applying to some schemes because they were too stressful, whilst 21% were deterred because they felt it was too time consuming. 32% perceived the processes were ‘too narrowly focused on grades rather than their broader skills and talents’.

Justine Campbell, EY’s managing partner for talent, UK & Ireland, said: ‘We know that students want a speedy, interactive process that helps them to get a sense of what life is like at EY, whilst we understand more about them.

‘Regardless of whether a student is successful or not, we want them to have a valuable experience. The recruitment process will provide personalised feedback and can help to clarify the right career path for them.’

EY receives around 34,000 applications for its graduate, apprenticeship and internship schemes every year, offering around 1200 student places annually.

The firm has already removed academic entry criteria - 300 UCAS points (equivalent to 3 B’s) and a 2:1 degree classification - from its student recruitment process, opening up the profession to a wider pool of talent and introduced a ‘blind CV’ policy to help reduce any unconscious bias.

Report by Pat Sweet

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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