Stories of our impact

Context is king

Our doors are open to anyone who works hard and has the desire and aptitude to do well. One of the ways we ensure we have a diverse and inclusive workforce is contextualised recruitment. Pioneered by the various universities we partner with, contextual screening helps employers to make more informed recruitment choices by considering the context in which students achieved their academic qualifications.

The goal is to afford those who come from a deprived background or underperforming school, or who’ve perhaps worked full-time during their studies, the same opportunities in their applications as those who may have had an easier path or more support. So let’s hear from Elizabeth Bone, a consultant in our risk advisory practice, and how she came to work at Deloitte.

Education, motivation
“I worked as a hairdresser’s assistant while studying for my A-Levels in maths, music, physics and drama. When studying accounting and music at Keele University, I took on several jobs, including at a supermarket and as a kitchen assistant, as well as cleaning jobs. It wasn’t all work though; I played a bit of netball and was part of the Keele rowing club. At university, I was in the minority by working throughout my degree. I wonder if I’d just focused solely on my studies I might have got higher scores, but that definitely wasn’t an option for me – my loan wouldn’t even cover my rent!

Searching for jobs was daunting as I wasn’t sure about my career path with so many options available. I worked with a finance team in London for a couple of weeks during the Christmas break of my final year at university. Deloitte happened to be doing some work for them at the time so I had a chat with the team and they were really friendly, explaining what a job at Deloitte entailed. It encouraged me to look into job openings at the firm – and here I am!

Deloitte made me feel at ease during the whole recruitment process. The interviewer was encouraging and seemed keen to unlock my full potential – it was refreshing to be part of an interview that wasn’t solely focused on past achievements.

You’re hired
“I’m part of the technology, risk and controls team in the Cambridge office, and spend most of my time performing IT audits. I really enjoy the diversity in the clients that I work on, from electricity and gas providers to wine retailers. I also keep busy with extracurricular activities such as the Women in Technology group, charity work for Action for Children and setting up the Cambridge office netball team.

Looking back, I think I just had some unfortunate circumstances that may have made it a little harder than usual to get to university and come out with a highly rated degree. But I don’t think my personal situation detracts from the hard work that every Deloitte applicant puts in – no one has been given a free ride.”

Deloitte offers around 1,800 student positions each year, and our new contextual approach to recruitment ensures candidates with impressive achievements and potential – like Elizabeth – are not missed, regardless of their backgrounds. We serve a very broad range of clients, so the more diverse our people, the better we’re able to advise them. Last year, we offered posts to over 100 bright young university students who could otherwise have fallen under the radar.