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Are anonymous resumes the answer to discrimination?

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HC Online | 15 Jan 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Could you be pre-judging candidates by their name or other identifying factors? Take steps to reduce unconscious bias.
  • A | 15 Jan 2013, 03:12 PM Agree 0
    Call me a cynic, but maybe you should have got a quote from someone without a name such as Tim Baker to give the opinion he gave a bit more credit.

    As someone with a very ethnic sounding surname from one of the "undesirable continents", I have been specifically told to anglicise my name by friends that worked in recruitment. I have also been told to call up once I have applied for jobs so they know that I don't have a foreign accent. Not that it all matters anyway, as I have also been told that hiring managers have made specific requests to not be given resumes of people from certain ethnic backgrounds. Personally, I like Sarah Gordon's approach, but would go one step further and look at the make-up of the management team (if possible) to see if there is real diversity rather than just words on a website. It’s either that or every person from a different ethnic background to the one that is dominant must be really rubbish at their job for the whole management team to be from the same ethnicity/race…nonetheless, at the end of the day, if someone wants to exclude you due to your ethnic background/race, they will do it at interview regardless of what protocols have been put into place or what you decide to call yourself.
  • Heike | 16 Jan 2013, 09:40 AM Agree 0
    As the HR Business Partner of an International Organisation and an employee with a completely foreign name. I have experience on both sides of the recruitment process.
    Communication is the key. A potential candidate that can communicate effectively both written and verbally and meets the criteria of the position will get an interview regardless of gender, ethnicity, name, etc
  • Alan Harrison | 16 Jan 2013, 06:33 PM Agree 0
    If its just a name issue, this reflects very poorly upon recruiters' skills. There are dozens of other cues that indicate the origins of applicants. There is another issue however, and that is culture. There is aquite a literature addressing the adapting of western employees for wortk in other cultures - but we see almost nothing about the need for people from non western backgrounds to adapt to western organisational culture. There is an unfortunate assumption on the part of too many non western candidates, that the business has to adapt to them - a hangover from the aformentioned literature and the way the Australian government interprets the meaning of multi culturalism. This is most naive and presumptuous and is a sure way to send contra cues to prospective employers. Those operating in the competitive, real economy just cant afford to deviate from selection of the best possible candidate for the job - not that we always achieve this! It's not damning for recruiters to try to achieve this.
  • Robin Pollock | 17 Jan 2013, 05:06 PM Agree 0
    In 'recruiting' mode, it's the education and experience that counts for me. Let's face it, there are thousands of bone fide Aussies (2nd or 3rd generational) out there with foreign sounding names. It matters not. The education & experience are what's important to ensure that qualifications are Aussie focused. EG one is not likely to hire an Accountant/Financial Controller who does not have the Australian CPA; and engineers, well it depends on which country they are from (to ensure compatibility of their degree with our own).
    Further, even in HR, lack of experience in Australia will always take second fiddle to one who has it.
    Then, to be honest, there is the issue of English. This will be taken care of at interview and may be more important in some jobs than others.
    Perhaps in Australia we are a little more grown up than Britain in our multi cultural dealings.
    But to the point of the article, a CV with no name/missing information, would get the bin from me. I'd think they had something to hide.
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