The concept of blind CVs – where some personal details are removed from applications – have gathered momentum amongst employers who believe their introduction will help to eliminate potential bias from the CV screening process.

International law firm Macfarlanes has recently announced that it will be adopting a ‘CV-blind’ policy for places on its vacation schemes, where partners will conduct blind interviews with candidates without having identifying details such as a candidate’s name and educational background. Invitations to open days, however, will still be based on candidates’ CVs.

Commenting on the reasoning behind the new policy the firm’s head of recruitment Sean Lavin, said:

“The lack of diversity in the profession is well known. We keep our recruitment procedures under constant review and blind interviewing seemed to us to be reasonably simple to introduce. If this small step helps to eliminate any bias in favour for or against candidates from particular backgrounds then we regard that as a good thing.”

A recent survey of its readers carried out by the Voice Online revealed that many shared this view, with more than 80% of those questioned arguing that blind applications could help to tackle the issue of discrimination in the workplace.

83% of those taking part in the poll also agreed with the idea that nameless CVs and job applications could be valuable for ethnic minority groups.

Blind CVs: is it all positive?

Despite some employers and members of the public seeing clear merits to the adoption of blind CVs, a recent article in The Telegraph saw recruitment experts divided on the issue.

Corinne Mills, author of Your Hired: How to Write the Perfect CV, pointed out some fundamental flaws in the Blind CV process.

“CVs show so much more than just the data – personality shines through from the subtext and how people write about their achievements,” she said.

“However, in the world of LinkedIn it’s almost pointless. Putting anyone new in an organisation is a risk and who would take the chance as it’s so easy to check people out online?”

On the other hand, Jeremy I’Anson, a professional careers coach and Telegraph Jobs columnist, saw both positives and potential drawbacks to the blind CV process. He said: “A lot of people have concerns about age discrimination and I think initially it’s positive.

“However, as soon as you get the name you can look them up online on LinkedIn so it obviously has problems.”

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