Tackling unconscious bias in recruitment

With unemployment at its lowest since 2006 according to the Office for National Statistics, and the recruitment industry booming, it is important that employers searching for their next recruit know how to get the best candidate and avoid falling into any discrimination trap. 

And yet, only this month, a Manchester restaurant, the Laundrette, was in trouble for a job advert hailed as sexist on social media. Lisa Camille Robinson, a former recruitment consultant in Australia, alleged that when she worked there, her ex-employer had filtered out candidates with “Asian sounding” names.

During the Conservatives’ Autumn conference last year, David Cameron cited research showing that candidates with “white sounding” names were almost twice as likely to get a call-back than those with “ethnic sounding” names. Shortly afterwards he announced that the Government aimed to tackle unconscious bias and announced that the civil service and a number of large employers, including HSBC and the BBC, will now use “name-blind CVs” and application forms during their recruitment processes.

So, what should employers do to avoid unconscious bias and could blind CVs be the answer?

Read the full article on our website dedicated to employment law »

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


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Tim Scott

Partner - Head of Employment (Liverpool)

I specialise in employment law and have wide experience of giving practical advice to employers in the private and public sectors on both contentious and non-contentious issues.