Name Blind Recruitment

It could be a fad of the latest government or it could be the next big buzz-word in recruitment, but one way or another, it’s this season’s “thing” and it’s probably going to be handy to know a bit more about it one way or the other:


In case you didn’t know name Blind Recruitment is exactly what it sounds like. It is the practice of encouraging Candidates to apply for vacancies and withholding their name. Whether this is done by the Applicant, the Recruiter or the online platform, the outcome is that the end Employer does not get to find out the name of the person put forward for a vacancy prior to meeting them. This initiative is supposed to level the playing field for all applicants and prevent Racist, Classist or Sexist barriers to employment.


Announced officially last week at Downing Street, this is a big deal to our current Government with the Prime Minister himself saying:

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.”

Many major companies are already getting behind the initiative including The BBC, Deloitte, KPMG, Virgin Money and NHS England


At the moment this is a UK initiative. UCAS has already stated that they intend for all university applications to be name blind by 2017 and several major organisations are following suit. Other countries have already established equal opportunities initiatives such as Spain’s Diversity Charter, The US with Affirmative Action and Canada with their Employment Equity


Some organisations are doing this already. It is by no means mandatory or an expectation of equal opportunity employers. 


Put simply; this is about discrimination and the allegation that across the UK a certain degree of bias is still present in the HR and Recruitment process that hinders those with “ethnic” sounding names from progressing in the recruitment process.

Several stories have emerged of individuals changing their name to progress where previously they have been unsuccessful (Jorden Berkeley, Tariq Ahmed) and have gained considerable media attention.

Famously, Barrack Obama went by Barry during his formative years and a current high profile US case is that of José Zamora.

Prime Minister Cameron said in his Conservative Party Conference speech, that having a “white-sounding” name made you nearly twice as likely to get a call back from an application than someone with a non-white-sounding name who was equally qualified.

And our opinion? Well, the consensus at My Job Hub Towers is that its okay…ish.

Though we aren’t particularly enamoured by the idea, it is always a good thing that positive action is being taken to level the playing field but overall the issue lies with education and picking the right people within organisations that manage talent. A company should perhaps take a long hard look at itself if its senior managers have to impose such an initiative because they believe that without it, their HR team might just edge on the periphery of racial bias. Perhaps the answer lies in recruiting a mixed HR team. Perhaps the answer lies in hiring educated and qualified Recruiters. Perhaps it’s about implementing an effective equal opportunities policy and engendering an attitude of equality and opportunity within an organisation. Though there is no definitive answer on this one, utilising an candidate sourcing tool that is multi-channel, multi-disciplined and has a wide coverage (such as My Job Hub for example) cannot be a bad thing at all. 

75 thoughts on “Name Blind Recruitment

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