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Blind CVs only address symptoms of unconscious bias, says The Clear Company

Blind CVs only address the symptoms of unconscious bias in the recruitment process, not the root cause, according to The Clear Company.


In light of recent research from Dr Louise Ashley of Royal Holloway, London, the diversity consultancy has urged businesses to seriously think about what the deeper problems are in their hiring processes. According to Dr Ashley’s research, interviewers sought out other indicators of social status on name-blind CVs with no education institution details in order to make a hiring decision.


The Clear Company has claimed that disability and inclusion policies such as blind CVs are often failing when put into practice as they are rarely supported by an understanding of true inclusion problems. The issue for employers is that failure to achieve lasting change means these well-intended policies become ineffective, they are viewed as tokenistic gestures and are seldom supported by the workforce for long, the company has said.


Kate Headley, development director at The Clear Company, commented, “It’s common to see solutions such as the introduction of blind CVs developed to address the symptoms, but not the causes, of bias in the hiring process. CV based shortlisting is one of the most common places where bias can have an adverse impact on inclusive assessment, so removing personal data from CVs is a positive step, but it’s like using a plaster to cover a wound. After twelve years auditing recruitment processes for some of the UKs largest employers, we know that what lies beneath the surface of policy, process and behaviour is the real issue.


“This is often exacerbated by the simple fact that recruitment is an assumed competency for hiring managers, but few are actually trained in best practice, including how to be inclusive and what adjustments to make to accommodate those with protected characteristics. If an environment of real inclusion and diversity is to be created, businesses need to really invest in assessing their own recruitment processes and identifying what the true barriers are. Only then can they get the entire company to embrace change and ultimately shift mind-sets to support new processes.”

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