Mainly Tech projects on Python and Electronic Design Automation.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A better candidate selection process

I just read an article that had a good go at explaining why Silicon Valley firms are filled with white middle class males that managed to actually do what it set out to do when it explained why it wanted to take a more reasoned approach. They boil it down to everyone having an in-built bias - not necessarily a good or bad thing, it is just how humans operate. The article then comes up with a very useful experiment:

When selecting from resumes for interview, have the names, age, sex, and origin of the candidates blanked out.

The author found that his resulting selections for interview were a lot different to what he had before.

He goes on to discuss how orchestras changed from being all male affairs to the current mix of genders by them adopting a selection process where candidates played unseen, behind a screen, and where selected based on how well they played.

This got me wondering about the current controversy about Oxbridge admissions. Maybe the universities should adopt similar schemes, candidates should be lead to a separate room, unseen, where voice changers would mask ethnicity and accent, The interview would be audio only and taped, with the selection panel in a separate room. After the interview, the candidate should be given a copy of the tape, and another copy kept for independent review. The idea would be to make the process a better meritocracy rather than the obvious selection of "people like me" that goes on at the moment.

Oh, here's the link to the original article.


  1. Interesting idea!
    But haven't we moved on from tapes?

  2. Umm, taped in the generic sense of making a sound recording for later playback :-)

  3. I am over age 45 and will NEVER work again... make that
    age 55 or age 25. Who cares what age I am, I ask only
    to be judged on merit!

    Amazing how many REJECTIONS one can get after age 55.
    Age discrimination and stereotypes?

    Isn't it ODD that the SUPERCOMPUTER 500 list shows
    the trend AGAINST the U.S. of A?
    Does it have something to do with conformity,
    groupthink, white Stanford look-alikes?
    USA is a debtor nation and slowly, some say
    quickly SINKING. Even IBM conferences I go to I never
    hear 'OPEN SOURCE', Python or EDA.

    Please evaluate these 'arguments' as I am now
    age 25.

  4. Hi workgold, I read your comment but find your questions hard to understand.



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