Two leading firms have dropped A-level requirements for graduate recruits, saying ‘academic performance is not an accurate predictor of performance in a role’.
Ashurst and DWF will no longer require students to have achieved certain grades in sixth form in order to be considered for a training contract.
From September, Ashurst will no longer use A-level results at all as part of its criteria for recruitment. It will instead rely on online game-based assessments – which were introduced last year – to test cognitive ability, problem solving and emotional intelligence.
Graduate recruitment partner Nick Wong said: ‘We know that academic performance is not an accurate predictor of performance in a role and using these tests also reduces the risk of unconscious bias and social capital playing a part in recruitment. This approach will also allow us to increase the diversity of candidates who progress to interview and are offered positions at Ashurst.'
Students who took A-levels this year 'can therefore be reassured that their grades will not disadvantage them when applying for a training contract at Ashurst,’ Wong said.
Meanwhile international firm DWF said it will no longer ask for specific A-level/Scottish Highers grades, in a bid to boost social mobility. Instead, it will simply require candidates' results to be ‘good’.
James Szerdy, graduate recruitment partner at DWF, said: ‘Since implementing the Rare Contextual Recruitment system in 2017, we have been able to look at an applicant's achievements in the context that they were gained which has enriched our recruitment process and has given us a clearer idea of candidate potential. We want to take the next step towards a more contextual assessment, ensuring that we are attracting and recruiting talented individuals from all backgrounds.’