What’s in a name? | Recruitment discrimination

recruitment discrimination

Recruitment discrimination

A couple of weeks ago a close client of mine got in touch to say that as of immediate effect they would be changing their shortlisting process when selecting candidates for interview. They now request that I remove all personal details including name, gender, address and DOB; basically any details that could be used to discriminate the candidate at first review.

The client mentioned the change of process is driven by their commitment to ensure that their recruitment processes are open, fair and non-discriminatory. Therefore ensuring the hiring managers are selecting candidates for interview based on skill and experience alone.

As I am sure many of you are aware, it is common practice for recruiters to remove any standard contact details such as email, phone numbers, address and even DOB, but to remove a candidate’s name really surprised me.

The client I refer to is a SME organisation. They have a reasonably sized marketing and communications department, and often recruit, so why the drastic change in their process?

There has always been issues in regards to recruitment discrimination around age, race and gender in the recruitment world, and I personally think there always will be. But this small step forward from one client did open my eyes…

Are recruitment processes becoming outdated?

Age is not such an issue, you can generally work out an applicant’s age from the dates stated on their CVs, but to discriminate based on gender and race is just not acceptable; surely as a hiring manger you want what is best for your company based on skill set and experience.

In late 2015 David Cameron pledged support for ‘name-blind’ CVs not only for employment but also for the processing body UCAS for university students. According to a press release from Cameron’s office The British Civil Service along with firms including HSBC, Deloitte, BBC, and the UK’s National Health Service, which together are responsible for employing around 1.8 million people in the UK, will participate in the ‘name-blind’ recruitment plan.

In my view going name-blind when shortlisting candidates may be a sensible start, but it is likely to be just a small step towards ending hiring bias and recruitment discrimination. Ultimately a hiring manager will hire based on their opinion regardless of process and regulation, and we should be able to trust their judgement. Luckily it has never been an issue when I recruit for my clients but I am sure there are many out there that either have been or will be effected by something so simple, their ‘name’.

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