Clifford Chance’s ‘blind’ recruitment is to be applauded

This might address the slant towards recruitment from Oxbridge

Editorial
Friday 10 January 2014 07:23
Comments

Clifford Chance’s decision to adopt a “CV blind” interviewing process for graduate recruits is a laudable statement that the top legal firm is anxious to recruit the best talent to the profession regardless of what their educational background might be.

It is, of course, disappointing that such a strategy is necessary. But it is undeniable that the professions continue to show a heavy slant towards recruitment from both Oxbridge and the country’s independent schools.

There are a number of possible explanations for the trend, and not all of them involve recruiters’ bias. After all, it could be that graduates from less selective universities are put off applying for jobs in the first place, perhaps out of fear that they will be overshadowed by competitors from Oxbridge. There are, however, several senior figures in the education world who believe there could be favouritism towards Oxbridge, or towards Russell Group universities more generally, on the part of interviewing panels.

Clifford Chance’s new policy will ensure that any such tendencies, conscious or not, are stamped out. Not only will “CV blind” interviews make up the final stage in the process of hiring new staff. The firm is also operating an “Intelligent Aid” system to help recruit students to its work-experience scheme whereby applicants can qualify through submitting a 250- to 500-word essay on an important legal topic and then expanding on their ideas in front of a selection panel. Once again, the panel is given no information as to where a student is studying.

Finally, there are also plans to use social media such as Facebook to reach potential candidates who are not with universities that have a strong traditional link with the firm and provide them with more information about the application process.

Both politicians and education experts talk a great deal about the need to encourage greater social mobility. Too often, though, the role of employers is not considered or addressed. Clifford Chance is moving in the right direction.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in