Hogan Lovells mulls joining the blind CV rush

Hogan Lovells is considering taking up a blind curriculum vitae (CV) policy in a bid to counter bias towards trainee applicants who received an Oxbridge degree or were educated privately.

If the move goes ahead the firm will join Clifford Chance, Mayer Brown and Macfarlanes in the CV-blind recruitment technique, which is gaining traction in the legal industry.

The magic circle firm was the first to introduce the policy (11 November 2013) with Mayer Brown (5 March 2014) and Macfarlanes (1 April 2014) following suit some months later. 

The policy has been pushed forward by Hogan Lovells graduate recruitment partner Ben Higson, who was voted onto the firm’s management board last month (17 April 2014). He said it was one of many assessment procedures being considered by the firm, which currently has 129 trainees.

The firm has turned to several external consultants for advice on its trainee recruitment policy. One of those businesses is graduate recruitment expert Rare, the same company that prompted Clifford Chance’s re-evaluation of its graduate recruitment processes. 

A CV-blind policy would mean that once a candidate was selected for partner interview by the firm’s graduate recruitment team, the interviewer would not see information about where the interviewee was educated. The aim is to allow candidates to present their own narrative and forces them to sell themselves, rather than rely on background experiences to bond with interviewers.

Higson said: “We keep our assessment procedures under constant review and regularly discuss our approach with experts in this area.  We are very interested in the contextualised approach and are actively exploring a number of different ways for effecting this. 

”Furthermore, all of our people involved in recruitment are trained in selection and assessment methods and all of our interviewers receive unconscious bias training.”

There is no set date for a decision.