Recruiter’s Zeitgeist – Lifelong Learning

Published by Millie Goadby on

Yesterday, kids throughout England and Wales received their A Level results.

What is already an incredibly stressful time for many has been made all the more fraught by the confusing new grading systems being used as students were unable to sit their exams due to, and there’s a solid chance you already know this one, the pandemic. Oh, the pandemic? Yeah, yeah mate the pandemic.

Things did not get off to a strong start.

Scotland decided to scrap the system that had been used in 124,000 cases to mark-down the teacher assessed grades after wide-spread outcry, particularly surrounding the fact that the model seemed to disproportionately impact children from disadvantaged communities. As the English exam regulator Ofqual was set to use the same system, some people were like, hey UK government, mabe don’t? They said no we are going to do it. But I guess they can use their mock results if they’re going to make a fuss about it IDC. Had they checked this with Universities, some people asked? No, they do what they like, no Gods no masters.

Anyway, in a shocking twist that no-one could have seen coming…

39% of teacher recommended grades in England were downgraded, disproportionately affecting pupils from a disadvantaged background. The proportion of A* and A grades awarded to independent schools rose by 4.7% compared to only 0.6% for state schools. While 49% of entries by students at independent schools received an A grade or above, just 22% were awarded to students at comprehensive schools. When calculated by socioeconomic status, pupils in the highest of three categories had their proportion of grades C or above lowered from 89% to 81%, a drop of eight percentage points. Pupils in the lowest category had their grades dropped more than 10 percentage points to 74.6%, receiving a C or above.

As a recruiter, you might be wondering how this affects you, seeing as you probably got your grades a while ago. Well, this is a disadvantage that doesn’t stop at exams, it’s something that people carry on into their professional careers. A whole year’s worth of graduates have just been given grades that may not reflect their capabilities, they may miss out on the uni spots they were meant to fill because of this. Recruiters are going to have to take this into account. Socioeconomic impact on grades and careers is already a massive problem in the UK. Last year, a study on elitism in Britain found that, while only 7% of British people are privately educated, this rises to 39% of people among top positions. 

The recruitment industry certainly needs to shift to try and defeat this gap. A large part of the hiring process relies on the codes of people’s behaviour and we make unconscious assumptions about someone’s competency-based on their class indicators. Recruitment firm Debut found that companies were missing out on a huge pool of talent due to this ‘professional exclusion’, it’s worth examining if you might be too.

TT’s top story 

London-based marketplace peer-to-peer lender Fund Ourselves have secured an impressive $96.5m in their latest funding round. 

Have you heard?

The business lunch is dead. Long live the business lunch.

Jay Rayner says good riddance to the concept of the business lunch, now thoroughly destroyed by the pandemic, calling it ‘lunch with the joy sucked out of it’. It is a corruption of both the essence of business and lunch. You don’t feel like you can focus on business when there is lunch and you don’t feel like you can have a proper relaxed lunch when you’re meant to be thinking about business.

When your home space is your workspace, it can be difficult to switch off.

You might start feeling a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog day. Just living the same experience over and over again with minimal change. If you’re fine with having your work life and personal life all blended up, then this won’t be a problem for you, you maniac. On the other hand, if you’d like to maintain a little bit of balance, Fast Company have some tips on how to leave the office behind when the office is your sofa.

App of the week

Coffee Meets Bagel: we’re (possibly, I’m not always sure) at a point where we can start to meet people in real life. If quarantine has revealed to you the depths of your deep, deep loneliness this might be the app for you. It’s a dating app for people who don’t really like dating apps. Instead of endlessly swiping, you receive one specially selected match a day (your bagel) and get 24 hours to decide if you like them. I don’t love the twee name but the concept is cool.

Word of the week



an extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque period or situation, typically an idealized or unsustainable one.

‘As they spent their fifth minute on hold, the recruiter dreamed of moving to some idyll life in the countryside. Maybe getting some chickens. Chickens don’t put you on hold.’

Dog of the week

This is Penny, she is a 1-year-old Springer who is excited that her garden is being renovated.

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