2/3 of UK Staff experiencing Nepotism at Work

Almost two-thirds of UK workers claim to have experienced nepotism in the workplace, with 27.9% witnessing underqualified candidates being hired for jobs because they were favoured. This is according to a new study from the UK’s leading independent job site, CV-Library, which suggests nepotism could be preventing UK businesses from hiring the best talent.


The survey of over 2,300 UK workers aimed to uncover how prevalent nepotism is in the UK workforce, and whether it affects recruitment decisions. The research found that 61.3% of employees have first-hand experience of nepotism in the workplace. In order to uncover the root of this, respondents shared their most common experiences:

  1. Seeing favoured colleagues receive preferential treatment – 37.4%
  2. Witnessing a candidate get a job they are not qualified for – 27.9%
  3. Knowing colleagues get away with things that others would be disciplined for – 22.4%
  4. Being personally offered a job through favouritism – 5.3%
  5. Offering someone a job through favouritism – 2.2%

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments:

The fact that nepotism is trickling through the UK’s workplaces and into the recruitment process is worrying.

“Eliminating it entirely is unrealistic, but it can be managed. Businesses are built of people who have feelings and personalities that (intentionally or not) can cloud judgement. However, having a skilled workforce is an essential key to productivity and growth, so whilst hiring people that ‘fit’ into the culture of the company is important, employers should pay particular attention in ensuring they are bringing in the very best talent.”

To eradicate nepotism, some have suggested that interviews could be stopped all together, a trend which is currently taking off in India, where they have banned job interviews in favour of assessment tests. When asked about the possibility of banning job interviews in the UK, 43% of employees believed it would be a good solution. When asked why, over half (50.4%) felt that assessment tests are more effective than interviews at revealing a candidate’s qualifications.

However, Biggins doesn’t agree: “Removing interviews from the recruitment process isn’t the solution – they are an essential part of recruiting and give employers a good insight into a candidate’s skills and capabilities. Ultimately, it’s the people that make the company and bringing in the right staff is critical to a business’s success – depending solely on an assessment would be a huge mistake.”

Biggins concludes: “Recruitment can be a tough world and it’s understandable that employers want to hire someone that they like. Implementing a multi-stage interview process can provide managers with an extra opportunity to establish whether a candidate has the right skills to do the job well and ultimately drive the business forward. If the answer’s no, then it’s best to wait for the right person – finding the ideal hire is much more cost effective in the long run than having to manage the wrong candidate.”

For a trial of CV-Library, visit: http://www.cv-library.co.uk/link/POZP

Author: Editorial Team

Share This Post On