updated on 10 October 2018
International firm Ropes & Gray has launched a new contextual, CV-blind trainee recruitment process aimed at reducing unconscious bias to ensure that all applicants are assessed on their merits, not their backgrounds.
The new-look recruitment programme incorporates a contextual recruitment tool developed by the diversity organisation Rare, which places candidates’ academic achievements in context with their socioeconomic background.
Unconscious bias will be reduced through the adoption of CV-blind assessments. Under this system, one group of recruiters and partners reviews candidates’ initial applications at the first stage, with successful candidates progressing onto an assessment centre. A different group of partners then oversee the assessment centre – these partners will only know the candidates’ names and will not have seen their CVs, so candidates’ backgrounds are not factored into the assessment.
Ruchit Patel, the firm’s London recruitment partner, said: “Diversity is part of the fabric of Ropes & Gray. By way of example, we’re proud that 35% of our partners and 37% of our counsel in London are women. We are equally committed to fostering an inclusive community of professionals of all races, religions, sexual orientations and family structures. Our aim in implementing this new trainee recruitment process is to ensure we attract and select the very best talent regardless of background. We believe our fresh approach is a major improvement on the more traditional recruitment methods used by many other firms in the City.”