What Is Blind Hiring?

The current hiring process doesn’t lead to diversity in the workplace. Blind hiring might be able to change that.

By: Brian Gaysunas

Workplace diversity is vital to the success of a business. Although it might sound easy, everyone has unconscious biases which contribute to a lack of diversity. Even our subsequent responses to ‘overcome’ these biases can backfire, leading to turning away qualified workers or better-fit candidates for ‘the sake of diversity’. Our unconscious biases can’t be conquered – so how do we make a less biased recruitment process? Blind hiring could be the solution that we’re looking for.

 

How the hiring process can become blind

Bias can slip in at any point in the hiring process. Considering how long and drawn-out the hiring process is, this can make diversity especially difficult to achieve. There are plenty of levels of the hiring process that can become blind, but some are more feasible than others. The earliest stages of the hiring process are the ones that can most easily become blind.

 

Candidate screening is the earliest part of the hiring process. Traditionally, screening is where resumes are reviewed, probing phone calls are conducted, and candidates are selected to move forward. Blind candidate screening anonymizes applicants to avoid racial and gender bias. This anonymization can happen by removing details like school attended and the candidate’s name, and instead highlights an applicant’s skills and experience.

 

Although more difficult to pull off, blind interviewing is also being tested. This can come in the form of a written short-answer survey, which sounds promising for those who are capable of work but struggle in face-to-face interviews. However, interviews are not a good indicator of how well a candidate would perform in an open position. Interviews often do more harm than good and extend the hiring process significantly. More companies are considering removing the interview phase altogether.

 

How blind hiring improves diversity

We’re relying too much on humans for recruitment. Everyone tends to fancy themselves as a psychoanalyst once they sort through resumes and conduct interviews, but in reality we’re making wild stabs informed by unconscious bias. Knowing whether a candidate is the right match for the job can’t be derived from an interview or a resume, because we might unintentionally focus on the wrong information. Anonymizing resumes is a step in the right direction for diversity, because the focus returns to skills and experience.

 

Blind hiring not only improves socioeconomic, ethnic, and gender diversity, it results in greater diversity of experience and background. Only the people with the skills most fitting of the position are hired. This can lead to new approaches to work and overall improvements to creativity and effectiveness.

 

Blind hiring is a step in the right direction for improving workplace diversity and could even shorten the recruitment process. However, it’s certainly not the only way to avoid bias in the hiring process. Removing human analysis wherever possible is the one way to eliminate bias altogether.

 

 


 

 

tilr is an app that matches workers to available jobs through an algorithm based on skills. tilr’s algorithm is based on skills, therefore embracing qualified candidates that may have otherwise been overlooked. We’ve ditched the resume and interview process because these processes are inherently steeped in bias.