In today’s day and age, employers and employees are no longer held back by geographical constraints. With the internet and modern technology, businesses can now operate on a global scale which has led to a more diverse workforce.
Additional diversity is fantastic news for business growth and creativity as well as a number of other factors.
However, even though there is an opportunity for increased diversity, there are still some challenges that are preventing firms from embracing diversity fully. One of the biggest challenges is making sure that hiring practices are fair and unbiased.
There are many ways to approach this issue, but one method that is gaining popularity is known as “blind hiring.”
In this article we will discuss blind hiring in further detail, some blind hiring top tips, and ways blind hiring can help you to build a more diverse team.
What Is Blind Hiring?
The term “blind hiring” is becoming more and more popular in today’s business world. But what exactly is blind hiring?
Simply put, blind hiring means making hiring decisions without taking into account any personal information about the candidate that could lead to bias. This includes factors such as age, gender, race, religion, and even name.
In a blind hiring process, employers would instead focus on the candidate’s skills, experience, and qualifications. By taking away any personal information that could lead to bias, blind hiring aims to create a level playing field for all candidates.
There are many different ways to implement blind hiring. Some companies choose to redact names and other personal information on resumes before they are sent to the hiring manager. Others may use an anonymous online application system where candidates are identified by a number or code instead of their name.
In terms of big corporations that currently use blind hiring, Goldman Sachs is one of the most well-known. The financial institution has been using blind hiring for their summer internships since 2013, and they have seen great results. Not only has it helped them to attract a more diverse group of interns, but it has also resulted in higher retention rates and increased performance from those interns.
Different Ways You Can Conduct Blind Hiring
We’ve covered this briefly above, but let’s go into a little more detail about actionable ways you can incorporate blind hiring into your hiring process.
1. Removing personal information from resumes
Redacting names and personal information from resumes before they are sent to the hiring manager is one way to introduce blind hiring easily.
This involves using a software or service to remove names (and other personal information) from resumes so that the only things remaining are job titles, companies worked for, dates of employment, and education.
2. Anonymize applications
Using a system where candidates are identified by a number or code instead of their name is another way to do blind hiring.
This could be something as simple as setting up an email address specifically for receiving anonymous applications (i.e. [email protected]) or using an online form builder that doesn’t require candidates to input their name.
3. Skills tests
You could also ask candidates to complete a skills test as part of the application process.
This is a great way to assess a candidate’s qualifications without knowing anything about them personally. You gain a purely objective view of a candidate’s abilities.
4. Video interviews
To avoid unconscious biases about candidates, consider conducting initial interviews via video call instead of in person.
This allows you to get to know the candidate without being influenced by their appearance, body language, or other factors that could lead to bias.
To be more inclusive, you can also make job descriptions as gender-neutral as possible. This means avoiding using pronouns such as “he/she” or “him/her” and instead opt for terms like “they”, “them”, “the candidate”, etc.
If you’re looking to get into blind hiring for your own firm, consider using one (or more) of the methods above.
Blind Hiring Top Tips
Here are some top tips so you can conduct blind hiring as effectively as possible:
1. Be clear about your organisation’s values
The first step to implementing blind hiring is to be clear about your organisation’s values. What are the things that are important to you as a business? What do you want to achieve?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can start to look at ways in which blind hiring might help you to achieve your goals.
2. Define the role
The next step is to define the role that you are looking to fill. What skills and experience are required? Once you have a clear understanding of the role, you can start to look at ways to make the selection process as fair and objective as possible.
3. Use an objective assessment process
When it comes to assessing candidates, it is important to use an objective process. This might include using standardized tests or structured interviews. The goal is to avoid any subjective decision-making that could lead to bias creeping into the selection process.
4. Communicate blind hiring throughout your organisation
Once you have implemented blind hiring, it is important to communicate this throughout your organisation.
Employees need to be aware of the changes that have been made and why they have been made. This will aid in ensuring everyone is on board with the new process and that there is buy-in from all levels of the organisation.
5. Don’t rush to implement it
Implementing blind hiring can be a big change for an organisation, so it is crucial to take your time and phase it in gradually.
Start with smaller roles and then work your way up to more senior positions. This will help to ensure that the transition is smooth and that everyone has time to adjust to the new way of doing things.
How Can Blind Hiring Make Your Team More Diverse?
There are many ways in which blind hiring can help to make your team more diverse.
1. Removes unconscious bias
It helps to get rid of any unconscious bias that may exist when reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates. Unconscious bias is a type of prejudice that we all have which can impact our decision-making without us even realising it.
For example, you may be more likely to hire a candidate who has a similar educational background to yourself or who shares your hobbies and interests. Or you may be more likely to promote a staff member who is the same gender as you, resulting in a further extension of the gender pay gap.
These types of unconscious biases can lead to an unrepresentative workforce which is not truly reflective of the diversity that exists in society.
By removing names, photos, and other personal details from resumes and application forms, employers can help to level the playing field and give everyone a fair chance.
2. Improve quality of new hires
This is because you are no longer basing your decisions on factors that may not be relevant to the job or that do not accurately predict job performance.
If you’re only basing your hiring decisions on factors like resume quality, interview answers, and GPA, you may not be hiring the best candidate for the job.
Blind hiring can help you to focus on other factors that are more predictive of success such as job-related skills and abilities.
3. A more positive employee experience
This tends to be the case since employees who feel they were hired based on their merits are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their roles.
So not only can blind hiring help you to build a more diverse team, but it can also lead to a more positive employee experience which can be beneficial for your business in the long-run.
Pros Of A Diverse Team
We’ve discussed how blind hiring can help you build a more diverse team, but we haven’t gone through what makes a more diverse team so effective in the first place.
So, let’s start with the advantages of having a more diverse workforce:
- A diverse workforce brings with it a greater range of skills, talents, and perspectives. This can lead to better problem solving and creativity within the workplace.
- A diverse workplace is often more reflective of the customer base which can help to improve customer service and satisfaction.
- A diversity of perspectives can help challenge assumptions and lead to better decision making.
- Having a mix of cultures and backgrounds can improve team morale and make the workplace more enjoyable for everyone.
- A more diverse workplace can also help to improve your company’s public image and reputation.
There are many advantages to blind hiring, but ultimately it is up to each individual employer to decide if this is the right approach for their business.
If you’re struggling with diversity in your workplace, then blind hiring could be worth considering as a way to help address the issue.
As long as you follow some of the top tips above and conduct the hiring process well, there’s a great chance blind hiring could do your firm a world of good. Best of luck!