Ottawa recently announced a decision to launch a pilot project in which the federal civil services will "blind" the names of applicants for jobs to reduce unconscious bias. The Toronto Star asked Professor Jeffrey Reitz to comment. Professor Reitz is a Professor of Sociology at the St. George campus with research expertise on immigration and discrimination. The full article is available here. Below, we have re-posted an excerpt.
Ottawa pilots ‘name-blind’ recruitment to reduce ‘unconscious bias’ in hiring
By Nicholas Keung
Thu., April 20, 2017
Ottawa has launched a pilot project to reduce biases in the hiring of federal civil services through what is billed “name-blind” recruitment, a practice long urged by employment equity advocates...
U of T sociology professor Jeffrey Reitz said the initiative is an important step forward but cautioned officials they must consult independent experts in developing the process and reviewing the results to make sure it is done correctly.
To conduct name-blind screening, he said, recruiters must remove any information on a resumé that would reveal the ethnicity of the person, such as name, birth place and membership in an association before coding the candidates in the talent pool.
“If the government is serious about it, they need to make the process transparent and allow researchers to look at the new procedures and the results,” said Reitz, a co-author of the Canadian study on name discrimination against Asians...