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Hiring new employees

Removing Applicants’ Personal Information before Screening and Short listing

Identify the pros and cons of removing personal information, such as age, gender, ethnic origin, and
family or marital circumstances, prior to the screening and shortlisting of applicants for employment. Take
a position for either removing or retaining such information.

In the process of hiring new employees, there are always debates before short listing of
the prospective candidates. One of such debates is based on whether to remove personal
information of the candidates or to retain it before short listing the candidates. The debate is
usually fanned by the realization that; there are merits and demerits associated with retaining and
even removing that personal information. Such personal information includes age, gender, ethnic
origin, family and marital status. Such personal information influences perception of the
selecting team towards the applicants, and that’s why there is usually the debate on whether to
remove it or to retain it before screening and short listing of candidates.


O’Halloran (2014) asserts that; there are merits or pros associated with removing personal
information before screening of applicants for employments. Proponents of the idea that such
personal information should be removed before screening tent to cite the pros associated with
such moves. When personal information of employment applicants is removed before screening
and short listing, there is higher possibility of avoiding subjective consideration of the applicants.
As such, it becomes possible to come up with the best candidate for the employment without
being negatively influenced by such personal information. Biasness is avoided and the selecting
team becomes more objective as they undergo the screening and short listing exercise.
For instance, removal of age as personal information helps the screening and short listing
team to avoid judging applicants by their age. If such personal information is not removed, it
becomes easier for the team to short list applicants of a particular age as deemed viable for the
organization. For instance, if the post is somehow senior, there are high chances of the team to
short list the most aged people by observing their age. Such direction is not viable since age
alone is not the qualifying factor.
Dietz, Joshi, Esses et al (2015) note that; personal information such as ethnic origin, if
not removed before screening and short listing may lead to biased short listing. For instance, the
short listing team could be biased or prejudiced against a certain ethnic group. Such inclinations
may lead to biased shortlist whereby, some applicants from certain ethnic origins are favoured
while others are discriminated against. Also, depending with the majority gender and their
inclination in the short listing team, it is highly likely that retaining gender, as part of personal
information, may lead to discrimination of applicants of a particular gender. This mainly happens
to women especially if the posts are deemed of higher calibre. Inceyenilmez (2015) observes


that; some people may feel that women are not equal to the task and therefore, by just the factor
of gender, there could be tendency to fail to shortlist women.
There could also be unfair judgments to the applicants based on family and marital status,
if such personal information is not removed before screening and short listing. For instance, there
could be unfair judgment that a bachelor may not be able to fit a certain position, yet, he could be
the most qualified of the applicants. Mothers with several children could fail to be shortlisted in a
certain position just by the virtue of having more family responsibility, yet they could be the best
candidates for the applied position.
As it is always said, anything that has merits has demerits also. Baert, Cockx, Gheyle &
Vandamme ( 2015) clarify that; the proponents of the view that personal information of
applicants should be retained before screening and short listing cite the cons associated with
removing such personal information. Personal information is very crucial when it comes to
selection of candidates for a particular post. It is therefore crucial that such personal information
is retained throughout screening and short listing exercise. Retaining of such personal
information helps to reduce the number of shortlisted candidates by removing those that other
aspects, apart from qualifications, disqualify them from being suitable candidates of holding such
posts. For instance, if a certain position is set for a particular age set, then by look of age, as
personal detail, help to shortlist those applicants that have the required age.
If a particular position is deemed to be too demanding, then it is only logical to do away
with the applicants that seem to have family commitments such as mothers with young children.
It is also crucial to note that; some job positions may require people of a particular ethnic origin
due to the specific nature of the position. According to Taylor (2015) it is important to consider


personal details and choose the candidates that are of the preferred ethnic origin for short listing.
Generally, retaining of personal information help to save time by short listing only those
candidates that seems to fit the applied position.
However, in the era of advocating for equal rights for everyone, it becomes respectable
and highly ethical for short listing team to remove personal information of applicants before
screening and short listing. When such personal information is removed before screening and
short listing, it offers the applicants fair judgment. It becomes possible for the team to
objectively look at qualifications of the applications without being influenced by irrelevant
elements that may not be of influence to ones performance.

References List

Baert, S, Cockx, B, Gheyle, N, & Vandamme, C 2015, ‘Is There Less Discrimination in
Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?’, Industrial & Labour Relations Review, 68,
3, pp. 467-500, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 3 September 2015.
Dietz, J, Joshi, C, Esses, V, Hamilton, L, & Gabarrot, F 2015, ‘The skill paradox: explaining and
reducing employment discrimination against skilled immigrants’, International Journal


Of Human Resource Management, 26, 10, pp. 1318-1334, Business Source Complete,
EBSCOhost, viewed 3 September 2015.
Of Economics & Administrative Sciences / Hacettepe Üniversitesi Iktisadi Ve Idari
Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 26, 1, pp. 131-147, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,
viewed 3 September 2015.
O’Halloran, M 2014, ‘The Employer’s Guide to Supported Employment’, Journal Of Vocational
Rehabilitation, 41, 1, pp. 67-70, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 3
September 2015.
Taylor, G 2015, ‘Shortlisting for jobs? Pay attention to the detail.’ Third Sector, 808, p. 52,
Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 3 September 2015.

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