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No names on CV

Discussion in 'Personal' started by delmamerchant, May 30, 2017.

  1. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    The concept of having no names on CVs so that is reduces bias for me is another example of not having an understanding of our diverse communities of the UK.

    For me, it assumes that the majority of people who do not originate from Britain have an unusual name. Well if we reflect on the spread of colonisation and Christianity, who ever proposed this should note that many names originate from the Christian bible if you are from the Caribbean or Black Africa, so bias has always occurred face to face.

    It also suggest that if you are white and British then you will have a typical British name (not sure what that is as the class system has a strong influence here also) that somehow identifies you as English or whatever the indigenous country is..

    Is the intention here to show that anyone, no matter what their race, is at a disadvantage these days?

    The intention is also to reduce sexual bias.

    The way I see it, is that if an employer is going to be put off by your name, they are definitely going to be put off when they meet you either by your gender, race or accent.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I don't think that names are removed to hide the ethnicity or gender of a candidate - I think it's to prevent bias if the candidate is known to the people who are viewing the CVs.

    I have a foreign surname and I don't think it's done me any harm.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    That is the reason where it occurs. Removal of name , gender and school are used in some large organizations to remove early bias.
  4. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    An odd action - bias isn't removed from people - only descriptors from CVs?

    Any large organisation who thinks its recruiters are biased in a bad way is using the wrong people; possibly a reason not to work for them?
  5. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    It gets people past the first cut to get a face to face that may not have happened. The bias being addressed is in the hirers rather than the recruiters.
  6. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Wouldn't it be better to just remove the bias
    lilachardy likes this.
  7. Nanook_rubs_it

    Nanook_rubs_it Star commenter

    That's not my experience; nameless CV's are offered by recruitment agencies to us so there's no issues with poaching ie seeing a good candidate with one agency and requesting through another. We always get names when down selected for interview.
    Apparently there's no honour among head hunters.
  8. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    At some major orchestras, it's been standard practice for years that auditions are carried out in such a way that those judging can not see those auditioning, so that the musicians are hired purely on a their musical talent alone.

    I don't see a problem with it. And I don't agree it shows lack of understanding of diverse communities. It is just a tool to help focus the mind on professional attributes without attaching any irrelevant information.
    InkyP likes this.
  9. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    That's a different reason. In-house graduate recruitment, in particular, uses anonymity. Taking school out is also regarded as significant.
  10. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    if bias exists and is circumvented at the CV stage it will reappear at the interview stage.
    It doesn't matter what particular bias we talk about either.
    Laphroig likes this.
  11. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    Possibly but the candidate has a chance to get over it and the hirer has a limited pool to choose from. It is a better system.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    My Dad always maintained that a Headteacher of his acquaintance used to bin any job applications that didn't arrive in an A4 envelope. Heaven only knows what he was like with the ones that he opened.

    Not long ago I had an unsolicited sales phone call from what was obviously a call centre in India. The caller introduced himself as Angus, in a very obvious Indian accent.
  13. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Not really

    It's akin to the idea that removing your age and all dates from your CV will give you a better chance at interview.
    Something that clearly doesn't work if you are, um.... rich in years and they want to employ someone younger. You cannot hid your age at interviews
    Yes we all know that ageism is frowned upon but it still (understandably) happens.
  14. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    I read a story not long ago about a woman who was accidentally emailed a private conversation about a job interview she'd been invited to - the people at the employers were laughing at the 'weirdo' who had been home schooled and that it would be a laugh to interview her as she was clearly such a freak.
    Get rid of names, dates, school etc but there's always going to be some level of bias. The thing to eradicate is the bias in the first place. Surely we should live in a society where people are given an equal chance regardless of name, sex, sexuality, schooling...
  15. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Simply telling people to ignore/be aware of subconscious biases is not necessarily successful either. Psychological experiments on this revealed the rebound effect, which basically means that actively trying to overcome instinctive stereotypes or biases might actually reaffirm them in our minds by making them seem more relevant to the situation than is actually the case. (I'll look up the research if anyone's interested).

    Removing names and other irrelevant information from cvs could therefore actually be seen as a kind of first stage towards removing biases more effectively, as it would mean the mental picture of a person that an individual naturally builds up from looking at someone's work history, skills etc may then be challenged when the person who arrives for interview is not at all like people expected them to be.

    We saw that often in our lectures when it was just presumed that the authors research papers were men because they're listed simply by surname and first initial. Lots turned out to be women, and I'll admit I was surprised and a little ashamed at how often I was surprised at being wrong.

    Of course other biases would still be in place at interview, and aren't limited to race, ethnicity, gender or age but have been shown to include dress, makeup, accent, etc and some are probably completely individual and based on positive or negative personal experiences. So there's probably no way of escaping that entirely. But making people challenge the big, general biases and presumptions about people that they might have, could then lead them to challenge the more idiosyncratic ones.

    Edited to change the name of the effect which I got wrong the first time!!
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  16. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    It may be akin but serves a different purpose.
  17. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    Good point. Once people have a face to face concerning capabilities or give a presentation, selection becomes more objective.
  18. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Oddly I've just been reading up on some of that.
    However I'm not as convinced as you are of the benefits in real-life situations so I'll guess we'll have to differ.

    You don't say.... :rolleyes:
    predicative Of similar character."
  19. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    My friend is doing his research project on this very topic at the moment, particularly in relation to hiring and firing decisions in large companies. It's a really interesting topic but seems to be one of those where the more you delve into it, the more questions it raises. So my view is far from set definitively in one direction, but I see the benefits of trying a different system than is currently in place. At the very least, I see it as doing little harm and being relatively easy to implement.
  20. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    I thought it was just me ... I admit that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but each document I read led me into reading others and being less and less confident of reaching a definitive answer.

    I cannot see that it is particularly harmful but cannot, as yet, see many advantages except possibly at the higher levels of professional recruitment.

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