Publish date

17 February 2017

Can you achieve fairness and cut out name bias in recruiting?

Senior associate, Ben Stepney from our employment team speaks with Growth Business and explains how to tackle name bias in recruiting to boost diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Ben says, “Workplace discrimination on the basis of race (which includes nationality) or religion is illegal. The Equality Act 2010 forbids employers discriminating against job applicants and employees because of such characteristics. Despite this legal protection though, job applicants rarely claim against employers who fail to offer them a job or interview. It is difficult to prove, without undertaking to send applications with different names, that because of their race or religion, an offer was not forthcoming.”

“Many managers filtering job applications will be familiar with their employer’s equal opportunities policy and discrimination law.  Many will swear blind that no prejudice exists in their recruitment process.”

“The likely cause of this disadvantage, rather than overt discrimination (although of course this does exist), is unconscious discrimination. This is an institutionalised issue that must be combatted by innovation.  One technique, which is being implemented on a growing scale, is nameless applications. This involves the employer not knowing the name of the applicant until they are offered an interview. It removes the possibility of those reading applications applying prejudices based on names alone.”

The full article is available to read online, first published by Growth Business on 17 February 2017: Can you achieve fairness and cut out name bias in recruiting?

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