The publisher Penguin Random House UK has announced that it will no longer require job candidates to have a university degree, according to The Telegraph. In explaining the decision, the company cited a desire for a more diverse set of applicants, as well as increasing evidence that there is no direct correlation between a degree and future job performance. Though some professional qualifications will still be required for certain positions, the degree requirement has been totally removed from their recruiting system and job ads.
Said the company’s HR director Neil Morrison: “We believe this is critical to our future: to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today’s society.” He also indicated that the change is meant to influence more than just their workplace, insisting that “this is the the starting point for our concerted action to make publishing far, far more inclusive than it has been to date.”
The announcement is also part of a trend. Accountancy firm Ernst & Young, one of the UK’s biggest recruiters, made a similar move last August when they decided to no longer require their applicants to have a university degree or A-level grades. In October, Deloitte UK announced that it would no longer look at where its potential employees had gone to school, and in May, PricewaterhouseCoopers dropped their A-level grades requirement for UK applicants as well. As with Penguin Random House, each of these companies adopted the changes in an attempt to bolster their workforce diversity, while Deloitte’s decision was also intended to guard against unconscious bias in their hiring process.