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Recruitment on ‘name blind’ basis to address discrimination pledged by top employers and announced by PM at Downing Street

This includes the Civil Service, Teach First, HSBC, Deloitte, Virgin Money, KPMG, BBC, NHS, learndirect and local government

Organisations from across the public and private sector, together responsible for employing 1.8 million people in the UK, signed up to the pledge to operate recruitment on ‘name blind’ basis to address discrimination, the Prime Minister announced at a Downing Street roundtable yesterday.

  • Under new agreement, names will not be visible on graduate recruitment applications, reducing potential discrimination
  • Leading graduate employers from across the public and private sector commit to new scheme
  • This will include applicants to the Civil Service, Teach First, HSBC, Deloitte, Virgin Money, KPMG, BBC, NHS, learndirect and local government

The roundtable included:

  • Managing Director of Deloitte, David Barnes
  • Head of Human Resources at HSBC Tanuj Kapilashrami
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Service, John Manzoni
  • Chief Executive Officer of NHS England, Simon Stevens
  • Partner and Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, Marianne Fallon
  • BBC’s Director of Strategy and Digital, James Purnell

The Prime Minister said:

I said in my conference speech that I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country today. Today we are delivering on that commitment and extending opportunity to all.

If you’ve got the grades, the skills and the determination this government will ensure that you can succeed.”

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, where he cited research showing that people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get job call-backs than people with ethnic-sounding names.

Azmat Mohammed, The Institute of Recruiters (IOR) Director General, told the BBC in an interview:

“But the reality is that people carrying out interviews, at the next stage on from applications, are humans. The thing is for them to be able to analyse their own biases. Everybody has them and businesses are working to address this issue.”

The Civil Service is today committing to introducing name-blind recruitment for all roles below Senior Civil Service (SCS) level. Other top graduate recruiters like KPMG, HSBC, Deloitte, Virgin Money, BBC, NHS, learndirect and local government are joining organisations like Teach First by committing to deliver name-blind applications for all graduate and apprenticeship level roles.

The Institute of Recruiters (IOR) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will be promoting the benefits of name-blind recruitment and will be working towards embedding this as standard in training and development courses. This means the approach is likely to spread more widely throughout the private sector.

Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Service, John Manzoni:

“I’m delighted to expand the Civil Service’s use of name-blind applications – not just for all graduate and apprenticeship level roles, but for many other external applications too.

“It’s vital that the Civil Service takes a lead on this, and I’m confident that this important step will help us build an organisation that is even more talented, diverse and effective than it is today.”

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte, said:

“At Deloitte, we are working hard to ensure that our talent pool is diverse and reflects the make-up of today’s society. 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.

“The introduction of name-blind recruitment processes and school and university-blind interviews will help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of potential – not ethnicity, gender or past personal circumstance.”

James Darley, Executive Director, Graduate Recruitment, Teach First said:

“Today’s pledge is a great day for graduates and employers across the country. I applaud the many leading organisations’ and the government’s efforts to ensure name-blind recruitment – something that Teach First has championed in its recruitment of new teachers for over 5 years.”

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