EY removes one-to-one final interview from student recruitment process in UK

11 October 2018

  • Share
  • EY is speeding up its student application process - from nine to typically five weeks

London, 11th October 2018: EY, one of the UK’s largest student recruiters, has further adapted its recruitment process for graduates and school leavers to speed-up the process and help boost diversity among its new recruits.

As part of the changes, EY in the UK will remove the conventional ‘one-to-one’ final interview, typically held at the end of the recruitment process. Instead, the process will conclude with an assessment event, providing a more rounded view of each candidate.

From application to job offer, the process will also be much quicker for students - shortened from nine to typically five weeks. Firstly, students will complete an online assessment that focuses on identifying their strengths and future potential. Students can access the online assessment digitally at any time and complete it at their own pace – for up to two weeks. It is then followed by a job simulation that gives applicants a feel for what the job is really like.

The final stage is an assessment day, where candidates take part in around eight activities, learn more about life at EY, and meet existing employees. The input of five appraisers at the assessment day will be used to make the final decision on whether to make a job offer, rather than the process concluding with a one-to-one final interview.

In a survey commissioned by EY of 2,002 16-22 year olds in the UK, students gave their opinion on their experience or perception of graduate and apprenticeship application processes at large organisations. When asked what improvements they would like to see (students could select up to five statements out of nine), 42% said ‘quality of feedback’, 36% said ‘the ability to express their personal attributes and character’, and a third (34%) cited ‘the speed of responsiveness’ from the employer.

In addition, 28% said they were put off from applying to some schemes because they were too stressful, whilst 21% were deterred because they felt it was too time consuming. 32% perceived the processes were ‘too narrowly focused on grades rather than their broader skills and talents’.

Justine Campbell, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent, UK & Ireland, commented: “To keep pace with the changing world of work and also the demands of the next generation of employees, we have further enhanced our student recruitment process.

“We know that students want a speedy, interactive process that helps them to get a sense of what life is like at EY, whilst we understand more about them.

“Regardless of whether a student is successful or not, we want them to have a valuable experience. The recruitment process will provide personalised feedback and can help to clarify the right career path for them.”

EY receives around 34,000 applications for its graduate, apprenticeship and internship schemes every year, offering around 1200 student places annually.

Removing academic entry criteria
In 2015, EY made the bold move to remove academic entry criteria - 300 UCAS points (equivalent to 3 B’s) and a 2:1 degree classification - from its student recruitment process, opening up the profession to a wider pool of talent. It also introduced a ‘blind CV’ policy to help reduce any unconscious bias.

The changes made meant that 18% of EY’s 2016 graduate and school leaver intake in the UK would have previously been ineligible to apply. The firm also saw a boost in new joiners from state schools and those who are first in their family to go to university.

Justine adds: “The latest changes to our student recruitment process will help us to build a workforce that is more diverse, and with the skills needed to help grow our business in the future.”