While many businesses have been focusing on increasing transparency, one area that has seen an opposing trend is hiring. Blind applications and interviewing are fairly recent developments that attempt to remove the impact of bias, conscious or unconscious, from the hiring process by eliminating information that can be used to identify certain job seeker characteristics1. All personally identifiable information is pulled or redacted before the application reaches the hiring manager, making it harder to determine a candidate’s gender, race, age and more. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are the Benefits?

The intention of blind interviewing and application initiatives is to promote diversity by preventing any bias from entering the recruitment process. Often, this can help create a workforce that is more representative of your customer base or the community in which you operate. Additionally, it increases the likelihood that your teams will have a range of talents, skills and experiences from which to pull and could increase the level of innovation from the group2. It can even improve overall employee performance as the environment feels more inclusive, creating happier employees.

Since blind applications don’t feature the candidate’s name, physical address and similar information, it’s less likely an applicant will be discarded because they belong to a particular demographic. Even though EEOC laws make discrimination in the workplace illegal3, some hiring managers may have unconscious biases that affect their decisions. Blind hiring keeps this from happening.

How to Tell If This Approach is Right for Your Company

Blind applications are fairly straightforward when it comes to analysis and are potentially suitable for any business. This method ensures the candidates with the best qualifications are selected for further screening, such as testing and interviews.

In some cases, skills testing can also be conducted blind, though this requires further planning. For example, the hiring manager might not be able to be involved in scheduling the applicants for tests and could not be present as they checked in or completed the work. Then, the test results would need to be matched to the blind application for the hiring managers review after the fact. While this can take extra time, it does ensure that unconscious bias does not play a role in any of the decisions.

Alternatively, skills assessments could be designed where candidates could participate online, allowing their results to be connected directly to their file without anyone making a physical appearance onsite.4 Again, this lets the hiring manager determine which applicants have the strongest skill set without any personally identifiable information being presented.

Blind interviewing is typically trickier as any form of spoken conversation often reveals certain details about the candidate. In many cases, a person’s gender can be assessed based on their voice, so in-person or phone-based interviews can’t be kept entirely blind. Text-based interviewing over instant messengers may be a suitable alternative, especially for computer-oriented positions where the candidates are likely to be comfortable with technology.

However, someone other than the hiring manager would have to schedule the interviews, as the person’s name would have to be revealed during that portion of the process. Further, screen names for the candidates would have to remain neutral to ensure no personal information is exchanged.

If blind interviewing is too complex, blind applications and skills tests can ensure the top contenders are selected based on their experience and competencies alone. Just make sure that all hiring managers have sufficient anti-discrimination training and are informed of the risks associated with conscious and unconscious bias before the selection process begins.5

Work With a Leader in Staffing in Marietta

If you are interested in hiring new employees, Employ Partners can locate top candidates for your positions. Contact us today to work with a top staffing agency in Marietta and see how our services can help bring the right talent to your company!

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