Why businesses should look at education history differently

The job market is extremely cutthroat, regardless of the strength of the economy. Hiring managers are responsible for recruiting the next generation of workers to bring in more revenue to the business, so they rely on a variety of metrics to decide who is worth looking into.

The formula has not changed too much, even with the use of the internet. Applicants are still encouraged to write a cover letter and resume, highlighting their professional backgrounds. But now, many industries are experiencing significant change and these details may provide less information than they used to.

HR software solutions are intended to provide information on the “best” job seekers, but these filters pose a bias of their own. Whether it is used to sift out applicants who did not graduate from specific colleges or, the applicant talked about a competitor’s software, holding too much or little regard for these details may lead to the loss a great prospective candidate.

Clifford Chance, one of the leading law firms in the United Kingdom, was able to increase diversity among its trainees by 30 percent just by reading CVs blindly — omitting a candidate’s education history altogether, the Independent reported.

“The overall object is to make sure we never lose out on talent, wherever it comes from,” Clifford Chase graduate recruiter Laura Yeates told the source. “We need to make sure we have the very best people spread out across the whole of the UK in terms of institutions.”

Although Clifford Chase’s hiring department cannot avoid the possibility of a candidate name-dropping its schools during a face-to-face interview, the law firm decided to expand the blind CV process for their spring and summer internship programs as well.

Going with this approach increases the opportunity for students “who may not have the background and connections to have amassed the sort of ‘CV points’ corporate firms usually like to tick off,” to actually build their case like everyone else, Dr. Tessa Stone added.

Those who are able to make it to the final round will be assessed on their work experience, which may consist of part-time gigs to pay for tuition or law-related placement. Even this approach is different from the classic work experience checklist hiring managers have.

HR software solutions are often used to weed out the weakest candidates, but it can also benefit from finding the “diamonds in the rough” — giving everyone truly an equal chance at an organization.

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