Previously we shared an article about how Britain and Finland are taking steps to reduce discrimination in recruiting practices. In that article, the Runnymede Trust suggested that British companies use anonymous applications.
Two more articles have appeared since in which the Maytree Foundation’s President Radna Omidvar argues in favour of anonymous applications and also recommends the adoption of this practice in Canada.
It seems as though the call to action for anonymous applications, as a means of fighting discrimination in the hiring process, is getting louder, with Canada’s voice now being heard in the debate. Should companies implement anonymous applications in their recruiting processes so that all applicants share equal job opportunity? The answer as far as the Maytree Foundation is concerned is a resounding YES, according to their blog post in August 2013. Considering that Canada has welcomed 250,000 immigrants each year since 2006 and that 1.5 million Canadians, for example, are able to trace their heritage back to China, there would appear to be a lot of potential for discrimination to occur. Whether it is overt or unintentional, discrimination targets not only those of certain ages and gender, but on the sound, spelling and origin of a name. Maytree’s President puts forward convincing suggestions as to how companies can implement and benefit from incorporating anonymity into their hiring processes. The second article to be mentioned here comes from the SHRM and further amplifies Ms Omidvar’s message to Canadian employers.
Since 2010, when JANZZ.jobs was founded, the anonymity of our users has been a core value and of paramount importance to our belief system and serves two purposes. Firstly, anonymity protects all job seekers from unintentional bias during the initial selection stage of an application. And secondly it forces the recruiter to objectively focus solely on what really matters – skills and experience, the ability of the applicant, whoever that person is, to do the job.
But not only that, when a company is anonymous the focus is placed on the specific requirements and attractiveness of that job and not on the desirability of working for a particular brand or size of company. It could be argued, for example, that if the HR staff of a highly sought-after or iconic company are inundated by applications, then the first means of reducing the pile could be to remove those of a certain age, gender etc.
However, with JANZZ’s unique intelligent matching, there are no piles, there are simply accurate matches that bring together a shortlist of quality candidates and a suitable job. Once a match is made then anonymity can be gradually dropped and personal information disclosed. Afterall, the shortlisted candidates still have to be interviewed and exposed to their potential employers, so anonymity is purely a tool for the first step in the process but should really contribute to reducing the tendency of so many companies from failing to recruit the right candidate 50% of the time.