Ot­tawa to test name-blind hir­ing for civil ser­vice

Times Colonist - - Business -

TORONTO — The fed­eral gov­ern­ment will be test­ing whether hid­ing the names of job ap­pli­cants would im­prove its hir­ing prac­tices, in what it calls an ef­fort to strengthen di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion in the pub­lic ser­vice.

The Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion of Canada project, un­veiled Thurs­day at Toronto’s Ry­er­son Univer­sity, will com­pare the re­sults of tra­di­tional screen­ing meth­ods with name-blind re­cruit­ment.

The prac­tice con­sists of re­mov­ing names and other iden­ti­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion such as email ad­dresses and coun­try of ori­gin from job ap­pli­ca­tion forms in or­der to com­bat bias against peo­ple of di­verse eth­nic and cul­tural back­grounds. “We be­lieve that the pub­lic ser­vice should re­flect the idea that our di­ver­sity is our strength and should be a model of in­clu­sion for em­ploy­ers across Canada and around the world,” said Scott Bri­son, pres­i­dent of the Trea­sury Board.

The ex­per­i­ment will in­volve some ex­ter­nally ad­ver­tised jobs in six fed­eral de­part­ments, in­clud­ing Na­tional De­fence, Global Af­fairs and Im­mi­gra­tion, Refugees and Cit­i­zen­ship. A re­port on the find­ings is ex­pected in Oc­to­ber.

Bri­son said the pi­lot project is meant to iden­tify best prac­tices be­fore rolling out the tech­nique through­out the pub­lic ser­vice, which he said the gov­ern­ment aims to do be­fore the end of its man­date.

He said name-blind re­cruit­ment has been adopted in some univer­si­ties as well as sev­eral Euro­pean or­ga­ni­za­tions, such as the Bri­tish civil ser­vice.

Many or­ches­tras made the switch to blind au­di­tions, in which mu­si­cians play hid­den by a screen, in the 1970s and 1980s, which led to a dra­matic in­crease in the num­ber of women hired, stud­ies have shown.

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