What’s in a name? Name-blind recruitment comes to the Government of Canada
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening diversity and inclusion in the public service by attracting, hiring and retaining the full range of talented people needed to deliver the best possible results for Canadians.

To meet the needs and expectations of Canadians in the years ahead, we need to be a workplace of choice for the best and brightest of this generation, and the next one.

Today, the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Scott Brison, and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, welcomed an important initiative by the Public Service Commission of Canada to test the sustainability and effectiveness of applying name-blind recruitment techniques in the federal public service.

“I was very pleased to learn that the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Public Service Commission are acting on an idea delivered in a statement that I made to Parliament last year. Name-blind recruitment could help ensure the public service reflects the people it serves by helping to reduce any unconscious bias in the hiring process. I want to thank the Honorable Scott Brison for his leadership as we move forward with this initiative.” 

- The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Supported by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the project will compare outcomes associated with traditional screening of applicants with screening in which managers are blinded to applicants’ names. Six departments are taking part.

The name-blind technique is already practised in a number of European organizations, including the British Civil Service, with the aim of reducing any unconscious bias in the hiring process. 

The pilot project will test the technique in selected hiring processes with the following departments: National Defence, Global Affairs Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Public Services and Procurement Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.