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Removing Personally Identifiable Information From Job Applications Leads to 33% Increase in Diverse Hiring

Removing Personally Identifiable Information From Job Applications Leads to 33% Increase in Diverse Hiring

New research is highlighting the impact that personally identifiable information can have on the success of diverse applicants.

While diverse candidates are well-represented in government, new data from reveals that qualified Black women are 58% less likely to be hired for a government job than their White male counterparts. This data is based on an analysis of over 17 million applications over a two-year time period. The 2021 Diversity in Public Sector Hiring Report also reveals that Black candidates must apply at a significantly higher rate than any other racial group to maintain that representation. Despite constituting 28% of applications, only 18% of public sector hires are Black.

The most significant drop-off is prior to the interview stage. Black women who are qualified for positions (referred to as “eligible” in the report) were 39% less likely to be offered an interview than their White male counterparts.

Hiding an applicant’s personally identifiable information, however, reduces these disparities.

The report revealed that Black women were 26% more likely to be interviewed when the hiring party did not have access to the candidate’s personally identifiable information (PII). Removing these details prevented employers from judging them by their name, the neighborhood they lived in, or the college they attended. The increase in interviews led to a 33% increase in hiring.

Hiding personally identifiable information on applications during the early screening process and using a scoring rubric in interviews have proven to reduce the possibility of conscious or unconscious bias due to race, ethnicity, and gender.

Other Findings From the Report

  • Most racial and ethnic groups are represented at their applicant rate. However, White candidates under-index in applicants and Black candidates over-index in applications. Black candidates apply at 28%, more than twice the rate of their census percentage of 13%.
  • With the exception of Black applicants, all other minorities are hired at approximately the rate at which they apply. Black candidates are hired below their application rate and White candidates are hired above their application rate.
  • Approximately 25% of respondents reported they felt government was more fair and equitable in hiring than the private sector. Additionally, 30% of respondents felt they were more likely to experience discrimination in private sector hiring than public sector.

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