Can you choose between Simon and Susan?

When it comes to recruitment, a CV and cover letter are key insights into the attributes, skills and viability of a candidate for a role. However, is this all taken into consideration or is there a clear gender bias in play?

To test this theory, Hays and Insync Surveys gave 1,029 hiring managers a CV to review and analyse. However, half the respondents viewed a CV labelled as 'Simon' and the other half with 'Susan'. All the skills, experience and attributes were the same except for the name on the front.

Hiring managers who interview regularly selected 'Simon' 65 per cent of the time, and 'Susan' 51 per cent. In addition, across infrequent managers this discrepancy in this percentage dropped to just 3 per cent. 

Gender picking gender

It seems a candidate's recruitment chances rest on the gender of the individual reading their CV. Female hiring mangers thought 'Susan' matched 14 of the 20 attributes for the role, and 'Simon' just six. 

However, when the roles were reversed, men said 'Simon' had 14 and 'Susan' had six.

When it came to offering an interview from this process, the hiring managers indicated that 'Simon' was significantly more likely to receive an invitation.

Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, Nick Deligiannis said that many people wouldn't admit to a recruiting bias, but it does exist.

"We also found that there is bias towards women in the public and not-for-profit sector and men in the private sector. This reinforces stereotypes of women being better at 'taking care' and men at 'doing business' and 'being decisive'," he said.

For a transparent system that can separate skills, experiences and references, businesses can benefit from investing in recruitment software. This will ensure you hire the best talent regardless of gender moving forward.

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