Have you ever applied for a job and thought ‘I have all the right experiences and qualifications but haven’t been offered an interview?’

It might have never crossed your mind before, but it could be down to your name! The BBC recently aired a programme with two men called Mohamed and Adam, I hear what you’re thinking… so what.

Well the difference between Mohamed and Adam was just their names and their religions. Both of the individuals in the programme had set up fake CV’s containing the same experiences and qualifications then applied for the same vacancies.

The candidates were applying for business management roles within the sales advertising sector based in London. Over a two-month period the individuals made 100 applications, Adam was offered three times as many interviews as Mohamed. On top of this, they created profiles on four different job boards. Adam was contacted by more recruiters, in this case he was contacted by four, whereas Mohamed was contacted by just two.

In 2011 the Evening Standard wrote a piece on how many nationalities were living in London. At the time of writing, the paper quoted 270 different nationalities and 300 different languages, this equated to around 2.5 million people. London is a multi-national city; so why wouldn’t both candidates be treated the same?

In 2011 the last census was published and it showed that Muslims make up just over 1 million of the capital’s 8.2 million inhabitants. But more than half of Muslim households are in poverty, higher than any other social group, according to the Muslim Council of Britain.

According to research by the Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol, Muslim men are 76% less likely to be employed than their white Christian counterparts.

What can you do as a recruiter to change this attitude towards discrimination through the recruitment process?

Firstly, you could use an external provider like Blue Octopus, when an application is submitted our dedicated service team will be on hand to look through each individual application and CV to make sure that the candidate is suited for the position – and not judged by their name.

You could utilise technology to Elimination discrimination, we have a brilliant feature within our recruitment technology platform Octo – which can help with this.

Octo Premium and Octo FirstClass support blind candidate scoring; hiding candidate details from hiring managers to help lower potential bias. Octo also supports panel scoring, to gain input from a wider selection of people than just the individual hiring manager. This panel scoring support comes in two forms:

Question Driven Panel Scoring: Each panel member scores each individual question on each application.

Criteria Driving Panel Scoring: Each panel member scores each application against a set of pre-defined criteria, e.g. the person specification.

Both forms of panel scoring allow the panel lead to view the scores from the other panel members and make a final decision on how to take each application forwards. Ensuring that candidates are only judged on their application, suitability for the role and skills.

Want to find out more about Octo recruitment technology? Get in touch

Image credit: BBC

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