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Grant Thornton broadens trainee selection beyond academic success

Financial advice and business consultancy firm Grant Thornton UK has broadened the selection process for its trainee programmes so that candidates are no longer automatically excluded on the basis of their exam results.

Each year the firm looks for over 400 candidates to join one of its four trainee programmes – graduate, school leaver, summer internship or 12-month placement.

It receives around 10,000 applications for these places and strict academic criteria were used to filter applications down to manageable levels.

Although academic results are still important under the new approach, Grant Thornton now takes into account personal achievements, work experience and whether candidates share the firm’s values.

Early indications are that around 10 per cent of trainees that have been found through the new approach would have been previously excluded on the basis of their academic results.

Grant Thornton trainee brand and campus manager Richard Waite says a more holistic view of candidates better reflects the firm’s own values of being inclusive and down to earth.

“Around 18 months ago we realised we were ignoring a huge pool of talent.

“Our ultimate aim is to hire really good people and well-rounded business advisers may not necessarily have straight As or a first-class degree.

“We are interested in the individual rather than just their studies,” he says.

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