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UK companies remove names from job applicant CVs

David Cameron recently announced that various UK companies and British governments are now using a "name-blind recruitment" strategy. It involves removing entry-level jobseeker names from application forms. This is mainly because of recent research that highlighted that name can affect application success rates. The organisers of the movement hope that this will remove initial jobseeker discrimination. It helps people to travel without quitting job positions and not be afraid that they are going to increase the possibility of landing a job whenever the necessity arises.
According to Cameron, the principle is that the candidates that have skills, grades and the necessary determination will be guaranteed to succeed.

An official press release that was issued by the office of the prime minister showcased that various firms like BBC, Deloitte, HSBC and the UK National Health Service, together with the British Civil Service, will participate in this recruitment plan. The start of the program is scheduled for the month of April, 2016.

Everything started with the fact that it was seen as a disgraceful thing that people that had white-sounding names ended up with a much higher possibility to get shortlisted for a job when compared with those that did not.

Besides the gender that is associated with the name, studies highlighted that gender is also playing a huge role in the rating of the applicants when looking at hiring processes. That is especially the case when referring to the STEM jobs. Stanford University did a study that asked the scientists to evaluate a number of identical resum├ęs. The only difference was the name of the applicants. The students that were named John received a higher competency rating than the students that had the name Jennifer.

There are many reports that appeared in the past years about problems associated with the names of the candidates. One seeker that was named Jose was denied for a job and then reapplied by using the name Joe. He was contacted by the same company that initially denied him.

What is interesting is that there are many countries that did implement strategies like the one the UK is focused on at the moment. Results have been mixed till now. It was highlighted that in countries like Sweden and Germany the minority candidates did have the same call-backs as those that were not from a minority. However, in France it did not happen as call-backs for the minority-sounding names were much lower.

The April strategy will not remove other background indicators that have been seen as bringing in social indicators for the recruiters. For instance, schools and addresses are still going to be added. It was shown that there were companies that did interview candidates even if they did not know what university or school they attended.

At the end of the day, the new strategy will most likely not change much but there may be some improvements that can be taken into account in the fight against discriminations based on racial reasons.

7 Dec 2015 13:16


About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as,,, Boris is the founder of and

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Posted on 8 Dec 2015 20:52