The Rise of Blind Hiring: Reducing Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

Reducing Unconscious BiasIn the hiring process, we collect as much information and data as possible from candidates to come up with a conclusion on whether they are the right fit for the role or not. As much as we would like to think that our hiring decisions are objective, that is not necessarily the case. These biases, whether conscious or unconscious, may lead us to not pick the right person for the job. It would be extremely difficult to remove all biases, but blind hiring is a great way to minimise potential bias significantly.

What is “blind hiring”

The aim of blind hiring is to judge potential employees for their skills only. This means that personal information such as age, gender and previous companies worked for is disregarded. The person will be hired based on their skills and work experience. There are a variety of blind hiring techniques which can be used. One of these techniques includes blind candidate screening whereby at the beginning of the screening process, all personal information is removed from CVs including names, photos, graduation year and addresses. Another technique is blind interviewing. This could involve either anonymously written questions and answers or an anonymous interview, perhaps over the phone.

Pros and cons of blind hiring

There are many advantages to blind hiring, with the biggest pro being that it removes unconscious bias as we are judging individuals purely on their skills and experience. With blind hiring, you’re also unveiling the ‘real talent’. This is due to not being able to see factors which may cause a diversion including their name, age, and gender. Another huge pro to blind hiring is that someone hired through this technique is more likely to stay in the company longer. The candidate is more likely to be the best person for the role as they were judged purely on their skills and abilities. Blind hiring also encourages and promotes diversity which is quite clearly very important from a workplace inclusion perspective. This method ensures that the most talented individuals get hired, despite their ethnicity, age, gender etc.

However, there are a few cons with blind hiring. First of all, potential employees cannot show off their personality traits as their character does not play a part in the process. This means it’s very difficult to assess against whether a candidate is going to be  good cultural fit for the business. Also, blind hiring does not totally get rid of unconscious bias and it is possible that the right person for the job may get rejected in the final interview. Furthermore, assumptions could be made on a person’s ethnicity by the language skills they have written in their CV and assumptions on gender could also be made, for example, staff could assume that a candidate is a woman due to the gaps in employment history for maternity leave.

Over recent years, there has been a huge rise in blind hiring due to the clear benefits of reducing unconscious bias in the hiring process. So if you’re considering blind hiring, focus solely on skills and abilities when determining the profile of the type of individual you are looking to recruit.

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