‘Name blind’ recruiting to undo unconscious bias in Victoria

The Victorian government is leading an effort to eliminate unconscious bias in recruiting with an 18-month pilot of “name blind” job applications across a range of private and public sector organisations.

The Recruit Smarter pilot will assess which personal details — including name, gender, age and location — should be de-identified during the application process.

Participating organisations will include the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Treasury and Finance, WorkSafe, Victoria Police, Australia Post, Westpac, the Transport Accident Commission and VicRoads (full list below).

Unconscious bias in recruiting remains a problem. A 2010 paper found that to attain as many interviews as an Anglo job applicant, an Italian person must submit 12% more job applications, an Indigenous person 35%, a Middle Eastern person 64%, and a Chinese person 68% more.

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