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Why Virgin Group Will No Longer Ask For Your Exam Results When Hiring

Sir Richard Branson said the Virgin Group will no longer ask for peoples’ exam results when hiring


The Virgin Group will no longer ask job candidates about their exam results, Sir Richard Branson has announced.

“The Virgin Group will not ask anyone for their exam results ever again”, Branson told the Made By Dyslexia Global Summit on Monday.

Branson started the charity, Made By Dyslexia, to campaign for a greater awareness of the neurological disorder. Dyslexia affects around one in 10 people’s ability to learn and process information, and therefore negatively affects their exam results.

However, Branson credits dyslexia with giving him the imagination to become an entrepreneur and start the Virgin Group, which now employs over 70,000 in businesses ranging from gyms to space tourism.

“My dyslexia has shaped Virgin right from the very beginning and imagination has been the key to many of our successes”, he recently wrote on his blog.

Virgin Galactic, part of the Virgin Group, will take tourists into space.

Getty Images

However, there is evidence that other companies will soon follow the Virgin Group. A report by Ernst and Young (EY) on Monday said that increased automation in the workplace will open up more roles for people with dyslexia. “New jobs will be created that match closely to the skills of dyslexic thinking”, the ‘Value Of Dyslexia’ report noted.

One of the skills of “dyslexic thinking” is entrepreneurism. Branson is far from alone in this. Charles Schwab, Ted Turner, Sir James Dyson and the late Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad are among the other dyslexic billionaire entrepreneurs.

Thousands of others have started businesses after being turned down by employers due to poor exam results.

Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House, is one. He says he does not write emails and refuses to read anything unless it can be printed on one page. “The biggest thing dyslexia gives to me is I have to simplify everything”, he told the Made By Dyslexia Global Summit.

Nick Jones (center), the founder of Soho House


While useful to those going it alone, entrepreneurism is a skill that workplaces need as well. Laura Powell, global head of human resources for Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC cites “skills around problem solving” that are useful in financial services. Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, says dyslexia can be useful in some of the analytical work performed by the intelligence and security organisation.

Meanwhile, the EY report notes that automation in the workplace is causing a “declining demand for competencies such as reading skills, memory abilities and coordination and time management”, skills that are associated with typical dyslexic challenges.

Exams, designed to test many of these skills, might therefore become irrelevant regardless. It is not just employers that will be forced to change, but schools too, says Branson: “If everybody didn’t ask for exam results I think schools would be different places”.


via Forbes – Entrepreneurs

October 15, 2019 at 10:11AM

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