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Deloitte UK changes recruitment process

Deloitte UK has become the latest firm to announce change in its recruitment process in an effort to rip the economic benefits of a diverse workforce.

Deloitte UK will conduct "university-blind" interviews in an effort to remove "unconscious class-bias" and improve social mobility.
The announcement has made Deloitte the third Big Four accounting firm to introduce such a measure, with the UK arms of EY and PwC both removing the requirement for candidates to attain specific higher education grades.

Deloitte UK chief executive David Sproul said: "In order to provide the best possible service and make an impact with our clients, we need to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives and experience into the firm."

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) welcomed the move from Deloitte and expects firms of all sizes to follow suit.

"It is vitally important for the future health of the finance profession that it isn't just larger organisations such as Deloitte who benefit from a more open approach to recruitment," a spokesperson from ACCA said. "Businesses of all sizes should take their lead from the big four and ensure they actively recruit from a level playing field."

ACCA's spokesperson told this magazine that a diverse work force is a genuine business advantage and firms that do not reflect this in their recruiting process are at risk giving competitors a head start.

Coincidentally a report released by mid-tier network Grant Thornton revealed that companies with diverse executive boards outperform peers run by all-male boards. The study, which covers listed companies in India, UK and US, estimates the opportunity cost for companies with male-only executive boards (in terms of lower returns on assets) at US$655bn in 2014.

As a result it comes as no surprise that the drive to recruit a broader range of employees is a bigger concern for financial directors than the Greek crisis, UK devolution or the slowdown in Chinese growth, according to a survey from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and law firm DLA Piper.

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