Silicon Valley Bank may take names off resumes to reduce bias
- Silicon Valley Bank thinks it might end unconscious bias against job candidates by removing names from resumes, Business Insider reports. The bank had recognized such biases among its recruiters during training sessions and thought that eliminating names on resumes might be one way to prevent it.
- The bank, which services businesses in technology and life sciences, has conducted unconscious anti-bias training globally. The method involves breaking staff into groups to assess the qualifications of four job candidates. The qualifications were the same, but names and genders varied. The bank found that the credentials of candidates with female names were more likely to be questioned.
- Tracy Isacke, the bank’s corporate relationships management team manager, told Business Insider that artificial intelligence may be another way to end bias and get more candidates’ names at the top of recruiters’ list of possible hires.
Silicon Valley Bank is right to seek the elimination of bias against job candidates. Recruiters, like anyone else, bring their personal preferences, preconceived notions and expectations into the recruiting and hiring process. They might not be deliberately discriminating against a job candidate, but their experiences and comfort level might be inadvertently shutting perfectly qualified applicants out of the running.
Recruiting bias doesn't just target women. Studies show that people with ethnic-sounding names on resumes also are ruled out as job candidates, even when their qualifications are the same as other applicants. Those who are overweight may also be impacted.
Recruiters might need more direct training in keeping their biases out of the recruiting and hiring process. This includes first-time face-to-face meetings with job candidates, who might be of a different race, ethnic group, religion or sexual orientation or have a disability. Software companies like SAP are developing machine learning technology with the hope of using "big data" to combat bias.