Soundbites November 2019

The TUC has called for a ban on class discrimination – what’s the best way of achieving this goal when recruiting?

Nathan Ott

Director, eg.1

“There is a real need to shift thinking and start basing decisions on the impact candidates can make, rather than where they have come from. We help clients to base their recruitment decisions on impact. Organisations may need to actively look for these individuals if they don’t sit within their traditional talent pool. We also advise our clients to create a diverse interview panel to give candidates confidence in their commitment to diversity. We need to shift thinking and encourage organisations to hire people based upon the impact they want to make, to value people based on the impact they do make and to develop people based upon the impact they have potential to make.”


Sarah Merry

Director, Rockpool Recruitment

“If we are really going to look at judging people on their ability and experience rather than their upbringing, then perhaps a blind application form at the first stage of applying instead of a CV may help. A form with three or four competency-based questions delving into the candidates’ experience for the most important requirements for the job could potentially help to screen that first stage objectively.”


Paul Farrer

Chairman, Aspire

“I have a lot of sympathy with the TUC stance on class discrimination. Just one example is an element of the annual graduate recruitment milkround that only targets Russell Group of Universities. Who might make a better candidate? The privately educated Oxford University student with a 2:1 in Computer Science or a comprehensive educated student from Swansea with a 1st in the same subject? The latter doesn’t get a chance because Swansea isn’t a Russell Group establishment. It’s not so much about discrimination, it’s more about equal opportunity. For recruiters, it’s easy: understand our clients’ needs, consult on the possibilities and provide what is required. Overcoming bias and introducing real diversity will help solve the class issue, not more regulation.”

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