Some big UK firms to use 'blind recruitment' to reduce bias
Britain's civil service and several major companies have agreed to recruit university graduates and apprentices without knowing the applicants' names in an effort to eliminate bias against people from ethnic minorities.
Prime Minister David Cameron said in a major speech last month it was "disgraceful" that people with "white-sounding" names were twice as likely as others to be shortlisted for jobs. He cited the case of a young woman who said she was advised to use her middle name, Elizabeth, in job applications because it sounded more English than her first name.
The goal of the new program is to make it easier for young graduates to get interviewed for their first jobs in an extremely competitive market.
Cameron's office said yesterday that firms including international bank HSBC, accountants Deloitte, broadcaster BBC and the state-run National Health Service had signed up to the "name blind" recruitment plan, in which employers do not know applicants' names when they are selecting them for interviews.