Professional services firm Deloitte has partnered with diversity recruitment specialist Rare to recruit 1,500 graduates and school leavers based on a combination of academic achievements and economic background/personal circumstances.

The data provided by Rare aims to give Deloitte a clearer picture of candidates achievements, to create a more diverse talent pool and find students with potential that may be from under-performing schools in deprived areas.Women-interview-400x400

A contextual algorithm will consider information alongside academic results in a bid to take the “unconscious biasness” out of the recruitment process.

Deloitte has also announced it will be removing university names from applications to conduct “university-blind” interviews.

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK, 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. We truly value this difference.”

“Our response to this challenge reflects the value we place in the UK’s education system and the hard work that young people and teachers put in to achieve good exam results. Contextualisation allows us to recognise these important qualifications for young people, whilst also ensuring that for example, 3Bs at A Level in a school where the average student achieves 3Ds, is identified as exceptional performance.”

Deloitte has also announced that is has created an additional 100 jobs for school and college leavers through its BrightStart Business Apprenticeship Scheme. This takes the total amount of places to 200. Deloitte has said that is will partner with a diverse selection of schools throughout the UK to hunt for potential candidates.

The firm has also increased the number of places on its ASPIRE programme, which currently provides work experience to 140 students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The number will rise to 200 students each year from 2016.

Sproul added: “At Deloitte, we are working hard to ensure that our talent pool is diverse and reflects the make-up of today’s society. We want to show that everyone can thrive, develop and succeed in our firm based on their talent, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other dimension that can be used to differentiate people from one another. This includes an individual’s social or economic background, which we know continues to be used to hold some people back.

“We believe the variety of interventions announced today will enable us to deliver on our social mobility objectives. They build on established programmes already in place to improve social mobility and employability throughout our profession and society as a whole, including our Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers initiative and the Deloitte Access programme.”

Deloitte follows in the footsteps of other graduate recruiters that are trying to consider other factors in the recruitment process other than academic results.

Ernst and Young previously required school leavers to have the equivalent of three B grades at A-level or graduates to have an upper second class degree. The firm now removes all academic and education details in the application process.

PricewaterhouseCoopers also announced this year that is has stopped using A-level grades as a requirement when selecting graduates.