Blind hiring is any technique that anonymizes demographic-related information about a candidate from the recruiter or the hiring manager that can lead to bias.
The practise includes removing identifiable information from an individual’s CV’s such as:
Their name, age, gender, education, address and sometimes hobbies that might indicate a specific demographic.
The practise aims to overcome bias and making it fair for every candidate applying for a job by allowing you to make a more informed opinion on a candidate solely based on their experience and skills.
The hope is that this will support a more diverse workforce.
However it’s not all about diversity. Ultimately the point of recruitment is to hire the best talent for your company without being blurred by bias. Therefore it is important to know the argument for and against before making any changes.
The argument for:
Blind hiring is the most impartial and fairest way to hire new candidates. It ensures that no form of discrimination can take place at all during the hiring process. By doing this we are improving our workplace diversity.
After removing any identifiable information you are only left with the candidates skills set. By doing so you ensure that candidates are judged by only these skills. No other information can cloud judgement as their simply isn’t any.
Typical recruiting focuses on a candidate’s personality, their experience and even at time their activities. This at times can over shadow their skill set. At times one candidate may get the job over another candidate because the hiring manager has the same interests or does the same activities or even because they have a more out-going or quiet personality.
The argument against:
Case by Case Situation
Every client, every candidate and every job is different. Sometimes it is essential that you hire a candidate with a specific personality for a work environment. Also there are times when experience in a certain role trumps a great set of skills. Therefore we need to see more information on the candidate, which means ‘blind hiring’ just simply wouldn’t work.
Time & Costly
By hiring ‘blind’ it can sometimes take twice as long to find the perfect candidate. If we hide all demographic-related information and job experience then it is possible to spend more money and more time meeting with candidates that aren’t suitable for the working environment. It is hard to find the right candidate based on their skills alone.
Eventually you will come face to face with the candidate, so isn’t blind hiring just a way of postponing the inevitable? Additionally when it comes down to it and two candidates have the exact set of skills you will need more information to distinguish between the two and make a final decision.
If you feel like blind hiring might benefit your workplace, then have a look at our how to guide below.
Blind Candidate Screening
This is the first step in blind hiring. It is the process of removing any personal information from a candidates CV or their profile. This information includes their name, age, gender, education, address, hobbies that may indicate a specific demographic. At times you may even have to remove a candidates years of experience. There is software out there that can anonymise CV’s that will do it for you and save you time.
Blind pre-hire Test
This is a test that will only assess a candidates specific skills. For example, an Administrator will receive and excel test. A Graphic Designer will receive a design test and a Software Technician will receive a coding test. If you want more assorted information you may want to take the test to the next step by giving your candidates a personality test. Something along the lines of, ‘How would you react in this situation’ test.
This is one of the most difficult steps because it can be extremely hard to interview a candidate over the phone or via video calls while keeping them blind. A solution to this is to conduct these interviews over chat or email.
The question still remains is, ‘Blind Recruiting’ constructive for the recruiting process and will it be the future. I guess only time will tell….