Research has found that 39 per cent of UK hiring managers have not received training in unconscious bias best-practice as part of the recruitment process in their current company.

This is despite the largest number of respondents (26 per cent) thinking that having regular training would be the most effective way to eliminate unconscious bias as part of the recruitment process, followed by 17 per cent who think that removing age from CVs would have the biggest impact.

 The research also revealed that two years since then prime minister, David Cameron, launched a pledge to tackle discrimination by recruiting on a ‘name blind’ basis, over half (65 per cent) of UK organisations are still not using blind CVs.

In fact, if forced to remove one piece of information from CVs, more than double would remove hobbies (23 per cent) rather than names (8 per cent) to tackle unconscious bias. What’s more, just 10 per cent of respondents think that removing pictures on CVs would help people to make unbiased decisions in the recruitment process.

Alex Fleming, President of General Staffing, The Adecco Group UK and Ireland, commented:

“Despite unconscious bias being as big an issue as ever, too many organisations are still not taking active steps to tackle the problem. Training hiring managers in unconscious bias practice and using blind CVs are relatively easy actions for organisations to take, so it’s concerning that their deployment remains relatively low.”

Surprisingly, considering the relatively low adoption of traditional methods, a fifth (20 per cent) of companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) or technology to help eliminate unconscious bias. A further 25 per cent are not currently using AI or technology but are looking to introduce it as part of the recruitment process.

Fleming continued:

“More encouraging is the fact that we are seeing businesses turn to AI and technology to help tackle unconscious bias as part of the recruitment process. With many people having questioned the effectiveness of other tactics, such as blind CVs, this might prove a more successful long-term solution. However, until this new technology becomes established, organisations must actively introduce other measures, including unconscious bias training, to ensure they are always hiring the best person for the job. Proactively addressing unconscious bias will not just bolster a company’s reputation and help them remain competitive, but the resulting increase in workplace diversity can also deliver improved business outcomes.”





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.