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26th January 2012

Anonymous CVs – The Way Forward?

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has recently revealed plans which may result in anonymous CVs becoming widely accepted by employers.  The proposal is part of a social mobility strategy, which aims to remove the old “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” culture.

More than 100 UK businesses, including firms such as Tesco, Barclays and Coca-Cola, have agreed to the Government’s Business Compact, which requires them to recruit “fairly and without discrimination” by asking for CVs or application forms without the name or the school details of candidates in order to remove the risk of discrimination during the recruitment process.

The agreement adds that this could be done through “name-blank” and “school-blank” applications, as both of these fields could result in the candidate facing discrimination during the hiring process.

Clegg commented: “Working with the coalition, the biggest hitters in British business are helping lead the way to a fairer, more open society.

“By opening their doors to young people from all walks of life, this marks the start of a culture shift among major employers, driven by the belief that ability and drive should trump connections and privilege.”

While more than 100 UK businesses have agreed to be part of the Business Compact, it is believed that Clegg will be writing to 50 more of the biggest UK companies asking them to sign up.

Businesses and organisations that sign up to the Business Compact must agree to:

  • support communities and schools to raise aspirations through, for example, reading and mentoring schemes or encouraging their staff to go out to schools and inspire pupils about their careers;
  • open opportunities up to all young people by advertising their work experience places through schools, online and in other public forums, rather than just giving places to informal contacts;
  • make access to internships open and transparent, with financial support such as providing expenses or accommodation, or by treating the internship as a job that can be paid under national minimum wage law; and,
  • recruit fairly and without discrimination, using application forms that don’t allow candidates to be screened out because they went to the wrong school or come from a different ethnic group (including through using “name-blank” and “school-blank” applications where appropriate).

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