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Research shows that unusual names are less likely to be successful in job interviews

Unusual names are less likely to be successful in job interviews, research has found

A recent study used the process of randomly submitting 4000 fictional applications for entry level jobs using names from five broad ethnicities.

The study was conducted by the Australian National University published in the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.  Jobseekers with Anglo-Saxon, easy to pronounce and common names are the most likely to get to the interview stage compared to candidates with unfamiliar names, according to their research.

A Chinese person must submit 68 per cent more applications than a presumably Anglo-Saxon employee, the research showed.

Additionally, jobseekers with Middle Eastern names must submit 64 per cent more CVs. An indigenous submits 35 per cent more and an Italian person must send 12 per cent more applications, according to the study.

Name-bias is also directed toward women.

According to a US study by Clemson University, women with masculine or gender neutral such as Jamie or Max were more successful in legal careers.  In the UK, the concept of “blind-hiring”, where a company sets a task or meets a candidate rather than looking at their CV is proving popular.

In October 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the British government and some top UK firms agreed to start a “name-blind recruitment” strategy so as to remove the names of candidates from their applications forms.

The central body for university applications, UCAS, will also use the name-blind application process from 2017.

Several major organisations including the BBC, HSBC and KPMG have already pledged to recruit on a name-blind basis.

Senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK, David Sproul, says it is a “business imperative” to hire people who think differently. While not a definite remedy, the company believes it is a solid first step for equal hiring.

“We want to show that everyone can thrive, develop and succeed in our firm based on their talent, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other dimension that can be used to differentiate people from one another,” Mr Sproul said.

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