Name blind recruitment is an attempt to make the job application process fairer and less discriminatory. Many of the UK’s largest corporations, including the BBC and banking group HSBC, have introduced this selection procedure so that candidates’ skills will be the area of focus rather than the ethnicity of their family or first name.
All too often the very best and the brightest find their job search even harder as a result of their ethnicity. Name blind recruitment means that prospective employers will look at anonymous CVs and make their decisions solely based on that CV. This means if looking for local jobs a candidate from a multicultural background will have the same opportunity as one whose family has lived in the same area for centuries. After all, gaining employment should be about skills and not parentage.
Big business is on board
A recent article in The Daily Mail highlighted the need for name blind recruitment when it focussed on a speech by the Prime Minister (PM) at the Conservative Party conference where he spoke out against discrimination. The newspaper reported that the PM made reference to a black graduate who ‘only got interviews after changing her name to Elizabeth.’ The PM called this practice ‘disgraceful.’
It’s not only the BBC and HSBC that have introduced name blind recruitment. The Conservative Party, Virgin Money and consulting group, KPMG, have also introduced the practice. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development will be asked to incorporate this procedure in its training courses.
This practice will also be introduced in all positions advertised by the NHS and the civil service. It’s not just ethnicity that’s under the discrimination spotlight. All too often those applying for jobs will have their education questioned regardless of the strength of the degree or examination grades. Some companies want to introduce ‘school-university blind’ interviews in a bid to totally eradicate any subconscious bias.
All too often the best jobs go to those who went to a select groups of schools and universities. Speaking about this issue, the CEO of Deloitte, David Sproul said: “We want to show that everyone can thrive, develop and succeed in our firm, based on their talent, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other dimension that can be used to differentiate people.”
The evidence is revealed
According to the BBC, a study carried out among Russell Group universities discovered only 36% of applicants from an ethnic minority had received places from these prestigious institutions compared to 55% white applicants. As a result of these findings, the UK’s universities admissions service (Ucas) has revised its applications process and from 2017 all university admissions will be carried out name blind.
One company that’s successfully integrated the policy is lawyers Clifford Chance.
The firm has removed all reference to universities from its application forms and only asks for degrees and experience.
Name and education blind applications are new but they are a major step in ensuring that people will not be discriminated against as a result of their cultural background or their schools and university.
This post is in association with Benjamin Campbell