Why should employers use contextual recruitment?

A-level grades can only be considered to be a robust measure of potential if they are considered alongside the context in which they are achieved.

— Chris Millward, Director of Fair Access and Participation

What is it?

REALrating is a research-backed algorithm, created by upReach in Spring 2017, based on 14 indicators of socio-economic disadvantage that enables employers to more accurately assess candidates’ academic performance.

How it works


Current Users


JMAN Group use upReach’s REAL tool to provide contextualised A-Level grades for our graduate applicants, giving us a fairer indication of their academic potential than using actual A-Level grades. It allows us to identify students who have achieved against the odds.

— Anush Newman, Managing Partner, JMAN Group

REALrating Partners


Available Packages




The Times: Jobs algorithm lets poor leapfrog the privileged

City firms are to be offered a free new recruitment tool that raises the A-level grades of job applicants who attended weak state schools by up to three grades, putting them ahead of many privately educated candidates.

It means an applicant who achieved three Bs at A level would be treated in the recruitment process as though they achieved three As if they qualified for several categories of disadvantage.

There are already computerised models used by employers to identify candidates from poor backgrounds but these do so by “flagging” applicants who out-performed their peer groups in challenging circumstances, rather than inflating their exam grades.

To read the full article click here

Institute of Student Employers

REAL (Relative Education Attainment Level) is a free research and evidence-based contextual recruitment tool that adjusts students’ grades by taking into account fourteen indicators of disadvantage such as school performance decile, free school meal eligibility and postcode data. This means that A-level grades of applicants who attended weak state schools are raised by up to three grades, putting them ahead of many privately educated candidates. Designed to have maximum impact on social mobility, the tool makes contextualised grades available to all employers, regardless of their size and budget.

Recruiters are using the tool so they can identify a candidate’s actual A-level results and their contextualised grades as well as indicators of disadvantage that have been flagged by an applicant. It is helping them to find talent that would previously have been hidden.

To read the full article click here