Does HR have a 'university bias'?

Some employers are filtering out top candidates based on their school rankings

Does HR have a 'university bias'?

Is the quest for bright young talent simply a battle between the best universities?

One study from graduate recruiter Milkround suggests some firms have a propensity to hire talent from top educational institutions but have a bias against others.

Young workers fresh out of university were likely to land a job fast if they were a product of the top 24 schools in the UK, the Milkround survey revealed.

The difference, however, isn’t just in the quality of their education but in the hiring bias of recruitment teams.

READ MORE: The future looks bright for the Class of 2019

Some employers use education as a basis for filtering their candidate pools, the study found.

This is likely the reason four in five Russell Group graduates find full-time work in a matter of weeks compared with only two in three graduates from other schools.

As a result, companies sometimes end up turning a blind eye to great talent who fall outside of the elite circle of public research universities in the UK, according to Georgina Brazier, a graduate jobs expert at Milkround.

“While there's no doubt that many students dream of attending reputationally prestigious universities such as Oxford or Cambridge,” Brazier said, “most graduates are left with the same level of debt or student loans (and same tuition fees) regardless of what university they attended.”

“Some graduates feel the return on investment when entering the workplace should be fairer.”

Employers should thus do away with filtering out job applicants through “tick-box exercises” and employ fairer methods of candidate screening, she said.

Another Milkround study, for instance, showed students calling for recruiters to conduct ‘blind’ screening instead. The technique evaluates applicants on their competencies and purposefully avoids making judgments based on gender, religion and socio-economic status, the BBC reported.

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