Do You Know the Power in Your Name?


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare


Juliet is not allowed to associate with Romeo because he is a Montague. If he had any other name it would be fine. She complains that his name is meaningless.... Have you considered how your name will help or hinder your job prospects? A client firm is working to improve their hiring practices and is researching their options to help increase the diversity in employees at all levels of the organization. One of the options they are exploring is implementing a blind application and interview process. As an experiment, we used my own resume to help them test the concept on their management. Here is how I prospered in a blind selection and interview process and the reasons why a Blind hiring process secured an invitation to an in-person interview.


 My resume displays my name as M Concepción Prado. My name is difficult to pronounce, is not white sounding and is gender neutral.


Blind Selection happens when the employer selects candidates from a pool of resumes that do not display a name. A blind application may help reduce gender bias and racial bias that may occur when employers see a name at the top of a resume. Research by Harvard and Princeton shows that If your name is easy to pronounce, people will favor you more. If your name is common, you are more likely to be hired. The same study found that résumés with white-sounding names have a 50% greater chance of receiving a call back when compared to those with African American names.


          On a blind selection, my resume was selected when only my profile and professional skills were considered. I passed to the next level.


Blind Interview happens when the employer steps up the interview process with tests or pre-interview questions to learn more about a candidate’s social or technical skills before deciding to invite them for an in-person interview. Blind interviews are structured sets of questions presented to candidates- same questions, in the same order.  Research shows that blind interviews increased the likelihood that a woman would be hired by between 25% and 46%. The same study noted that 58.9% of reviews contained critical feedback for men, compared with 87.9% of the reviews received for women.


On a blind interview, my profile was selected when the responses to a set of questions was delivered for anonymous. I passed to the next level, an invite to an in-person interview.


 A fun stat, if you are a woman with a gender-neutral name, you may be more likely to succeed in certain fields. And this is the power in my name! Racial and gender biases are only a couple a prejudices management must be aware of when setting up hiring practices. Blind hiring is being explored as an attempt to create a more diverse workforce. Companies that have formal training and processes for hiring employees and track all their applicant communications, are 40% more likely to be 'best to work for'


 Questions: Does your company have a unique hiring practice that works well to identity the best candidates? What hiring practice do you believe could lead to more diversity in the workplace? You can leave a comment below




 Author: M Concepción Prado

 Sources: (New York Times, Business Insider, Book: Work Rules! by Lazlo Bock)



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