What's in a name? Canada civil service tests name-blind hiring

By AFP
Published: April 21, 2017
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'Blind hiring' is one of the strategies Canada's civil service is utilising  to become more diverse and inclusive. PHOTO: REUTERS

'Blind hiring' is one of the strategies Canada's civil service is utilising to become more diverse and inclusive. PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA: Canada announced a pilot test Thursday that would see names removed from applications to work in its civil service, hoping this will eliminate any biases in the hiring process.

The aim would be to have a more diverse and inclusive civil service, the government said in a statement.

The so-called name-blind technique — in which managers are not told applicants’ names — is already practiced by a number of European organizations including the British civil service.

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In Canada, the departments of defense, foreign affairs, immigration, procurement, the environment, and the treasury board will participate in the test.

Screening will see recruiters remove any information on a resume that could be used to identify a person’s gender or ethnicity, including name, birthplace, or association memberships.

The practice has long been urged by employment-equity advocates. Ottawa’s decision followed the release of a University of Toronto study that found job candidates with Asian names were less likely to be called for interviews than others with Anglo-Canadian names, regardless of qualifications.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Akram
    Apr 21, 2017 - 6:02PM

    This is a game changer initiative by Canada. You’ll see the country rise above US in near future. Recommend

  • Ruby
    Apr 22, 2017 - 5:21AM

    This is already there in India. For most college entrance and civil service examinations, the candidates name is attached to a roll number. In many cases after the roll number is mapped to the examination answer paper id in the examination hall, it is almost impossible to know for the evaluator to discriminate based on the identity of the examiner. This news story is trying to portray the Canadian move as a ground-breaking innovation ignoring the existing system in India which for example ensured fair conduct of IAS, Medicine, IIT entrance for more than a decade.Recommend

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