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Blind Hiring – Is your company unconsciously biased when hiring?

June 09, 2016

Research has identified that organisations are unconsciously discriminating against gender types in the initial stages of hiring employees. In traditional corporate management roles, men are more likely to be hired than women. Whereas in nursing, men are less likely to be considered for the role over women as the role is considered feminine.

Although discrimination is not intended by organisations, it is still a common practice and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is urging companies to introduce ‘blind recruitment’ practices. These practices include analysing applicants’ resumes based purely on their qualifications, skills and experience. The hiring practice should be blind to the applicant’s identity, gender, age and any other factors that could be unconsciously biased against. These practices are not intended to solve biased recruitment or create perfect anonymity, however, it will drive significant changes to the gender gap and gender equality for both men and women.

The ABS have already implemented ‘blind recruitment’ practices when filling jobs last year by withholding names and identifying details from the selection panels. By the end of the hiring drive in 2015, the number of female senior executives improved from 21 to 42 percent. Companies can also emphasise family friendly aspects of roles, inclusive of senior executives, by offering flexible arrangements. 

To implement ‘blind recruitment’ practices it is recommended to address the need to train panels and management in how to eliminate barriers of bias and how to appropriately hire applicants based on merits not identity.

For further information on how your business can adopt unbiased hiring practices, call and speak with one of the National Retail Association’s Workplace Advisors on 1800 RETAIL (738 245).

Dominique Lamb, Director of Legal Services and Principal of NRA Legal

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