NO BIAS: Victorian job recruiters won’t know the name, age or gender of job applicants.
NO BIAS: Victorian job recruiters won’t know the name, age or gender of job applicants. Wavebreakmedia Ltd

No bias blind auditions for Vic jobseekers

WE’RE often quick to malign Victorians for being, well, Victorian, but that doesn’t mean they can’t occasionally be of some use.

They’ve got it right with a public holiday for Melbourne Cup (let’s be honest, even those of us who couldn’t care less about racing still use that November Tuesday as an easy excuse for a slack day at work), and the Victorian Government thinks it has backed another winner with its Recruit Smarter campaign.

Simply put, Recruit Smarter aims to remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process, by removing personal information from job applications.

The thinking is that if a recruiter doesn’t know your name, age or gender, they are more likely to assess your application on its merits, without their opinion being clouded by inconsequential.

It’s not just a backside- protecting exercise to avoid potential visits to the anti-discrimination tribunal, it also makes really good business sense – research from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company shows that the more racially and ethnically diverse a company’s staff, the more likely that company is to be turning a profit larger than their industry average.

Our southern neighbours aren’t the first to take such an approach – the Australian Bureau of Statistics made a similar change when it became apparent women were under represented in senior roles. Only 21% of senior executive were female. The ABS went on to advertise 19 senior roles, conceal the boring bits of the applications, and ultimately hired 15 women, effectively doubling the number of senior female staff.

Again, that’s great for the business. Diversity is incredibly important in developing a balanced workplace.

But it’s also fantastic for job applicants.

Applications are treated entirely on their merits. While any recruiter will tell you they harbour no bias, that’s the whole point of blind recruiting – it removes unconscious bias.

Your name or ethnicity or gender shouldn’t be a limiting factor in your job search. It shouldn’t matter. The important part – the only truly important part – is how well you can do the job.

The fact that you’re a 47-year-old Chinese bloke named Sue should never come into it.