Scheme aims to end discrimination in the recruitment process… A new government initiative aimed at promoting social mobility by asking businesses to agree to accept CV’s without names or school details is gaining popularity among UK businesses.
Major UK firms like Tesco and Barclays have already signed up to the Government’s Business Compact which asks them to use application forms that don’t take issues like school and ethnicity into consideration. The idea is based on the perception that candidates sometimes are discriminated against during the recruitment process due to their name or the school they attended.
Other features of the new scheme include providing more funding to interns and targeting people of different backgrounds for work experience placements.
The Business Compact is a key component of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s social mobility strategy which is trying to revolutionise the recruitment culture in Britain by attempting to do away with any pre-existing biases and prejudices in the system.
Clegg said: “Working with the coalition, the biggest hitters in British business are helping lead the way to a fairer, more open society.
“By opening their doors to young people from all walks of life, this marks the start of a culture shift among major employers, driven by the belief that ability and drive should trump connections and privilege.”
Although more than 100 UK businesses have already signed up to the Business Compact the Government remains eager to increase the reach of the scheme and Clegg intends to write to 50 of the largest UK companies who have not yet signed up asking them to do so.
Jeya Thiruchelvam, employment law editor at XpertHR supported the scheme but warned there were greater obstacles to overcome: “Removing an applicant’s name will, in some cases, prevent employers from making shortlisting decisions based on a person’s national/ethnic origins. While in other cases, an applicant’s national/ethnic origins will be evident from their educational and work history so the measure will have limited effect.
“The real challenge remains dealing effectively with conscious and unconscious discrimination that the applicant may face once they are before the interviewer.”