A diverse staff can help a company thrive. A well-rounded staff can impact employee wellbeing, satisfaction, engagement and culture, helping your company enter new markets.
It’s no wonder that so many companies are focused on diverse hiring right now. But even though companies may have this goal in mind, some still allow unconscious bias to seep into the hiring process and affect outcomes.
That’s where blind hiring comes in.
Blind hiring attempts to remove these unconscious biases by “blinding” the recruiter to certain aspects of the applicant’s identity, like age, race or gender. In doing so, companies aim to hire the best candidate for the job without letting any biases creep in.
In this guide, we’ll talk about what hiring biases are and how blind hiring can help reduce them during the hiring process.
What are hiring biases?
Hiring biases are things about an applicant that a hiring manager may subconsciously judge. They can be broken up into primary and secondary identifiers about a person’s identity, ranging from the obvious to the more subtle.
Primary hiring biases are more common and obvious markers like gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or physical ability. Essentially, primary biases can usually be gleaned from a person’s appearance or resume.
Secondary biases are more subtle details about a person that may make a hiring manager feel biased toward a candidate without realizing it. These could be things like education level or schools attended, parental status, religion followed or even hobbies (a recruiter may think that a candidate who reads is “smarter.”)
Though a hiring manager or recruiter most likely isn’t aiming to let these biases impact their hiring decisions, it could happen without them even realizing it. Blind hiring can help prevent this from happening.
How to implement blind hiring at your company
Blind hiring starts with taking any steps to conceal an applicant’s identity from the hiring manager.
Blind candidate screenings
Initial screenings of an applicant can make biases creep into hiring, while the recruiter looks over the employee’s resume or talks with them for the first time.
Some technologies are available to conceal an applicant’s name, address or education from their resume so the hiring manager won’t be able to see it. You can also use a form where applicants can input their contact information, experience and relevant skills without any other identifying factors.
But during the initial interview, a phone or video call may be necessary. However, some companies are avoiding any biases that may arise during these encounters by conducting the interview over a chat service or via a Q&A form on email.
Avoid social media
Everyone has heard horror stories about employers looking at an applicant’s social media profiles and developing opinions about them. And it’s true: social media can be used by employers to glean information about a candidate. But for those practicing blind hiring, that may not be a good thing.
Even a LinkedIn profile can reveal information that could potentially lead to bias. So when evaluating a candidate solely for their merit and qualifications. It might be a good idea to avoid looking at their social media.
Diversify hiring staff
A diverse hiring staff is a great idea for many reasons. On one hand, it’ll make diverse candidates feel safer and more welcomed during the interview process, but on another hand. A well-rounded hiring staff can function as a way to check each other’s biases. Then Ensure that candidates are being chosen for the right reasons.
Standardize interview questions
You won’t hire a candidate without meeting them first. But once you jump to calls or meetings, you may find new opportunities for bias. Creating a standardized interview questions list. That can help eliminate bias during the interviews — ask each candidate the same questions, focusing solely on their qualifications.
Of course, having a friendly conversation with your interviewee can help them feel more welcomed at your company. But for the most part, keep it friendly but focused on your standardized questions.
To learn more about blind hiring, check out the following infographic.