To try and end ‘disgraceful’ discrimination in recruitment processes, David Cameron has pledged government support to ‘name-blind CVs’. With‘ethnic sounding names’ being repeatedly overlooked, the scheme hopes to stop recruiters from rejecting CVs based purely on candidates’ names.
On Monday, the Prime Minister attended a meeting at Downing Street to discuss the issue. Cameron unveiled an agreement in which candidates’ names will not be visible throughout graduate recruitment processes:
“I said in my conference speech that I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country today. Today we are delivering on that commitment and extending opportunity to all.
“If you’ve got the grades, the skills and the determination this government will ensure that you can succeed.”
The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative party conference, in which he cited research showing that people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to hear back from recruiters than people with ethnic-sounding names.
A number of high-profile employers, collectively employing around 1.8million people, are expected to sign up to the scheme. These include the Civil Service, Teach First, HSBC, Deloitte, Virgin Money, KPMG, BBC, NHS, learndirect and local government departments.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will be promoting the benefits of name-blind recruitment and will be working towards embedding it as standard through its training and development courses. The Government said this means the approach is likely to spread more widely throughout the private sector.
Chief executive officer of the Civil Service, John Manzoni, said: “I’m delighted to expand the Civil Service’s use of name-blind applications – not just for all graduate and apprenticeship level roles, but for many other external applications too.
“It’s vital that the Civil Service takes a lead on this, and I’m confident that this important step will help us build an organisation that is even more talented, diverse and effective than it is today.”
David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte, added: “At Deloitte, we are working hard to ensure that our talent pool is diverse and reflects the make-up of today’s society. 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 from one another.
“The introduction of name-blind recruitment processes and school and university-blind interviews will help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of potential – not ethnicity, gender or past personal circumstance.”