Recruitment of new talents to fill positions in an organization can be a relatively stressful and time-consuming process. While recruiters must consider all the factors, such as credentials, personality and work experience, they also need to be careful to avoid bias in the hiring process. Unfortunately, the conventional ways of vetting candidates have been known to increase the chances of unconscious bias.
According to research by Harvard Business Review, 85% to 97% of recruiters rely on intuition to some extent when recruiting new employees. Of course, this approach can help save time when dealing with identical candidates. However, relying on your gut feeling in such an instance opens up a window for bias you might not even know exists. That’s why an increasing number of marketing recruitment agencies today are opting for blind recruitment processes in place of conventional vetting methods.
What is blind recruitment?
Blind recruitment (blind hiring) is a diversity-focused recruiting approach that involves removing personal info from candidates’ applications during vetting. The primary aim of this approach is to conceal any piece of the applicant’s information that could affect the recruiters hiring decision. That is especially important since a study by Deloitte Insights shows that 48% of HR managers are sure that bias affects their choice of candidate.
Some of the applicant’s details that companies should conceal during blind recruitment include:
Excluding such information from applications helps recruiters make a hiring decision based on individual abilities and job-specific talents. It eliminates unconscious bias – which refers to prejudice and preference that impacts how someone judges a person’s abilities, skills and personality. When implemented correctly, blind recruitment brings the organization a wide range of benefits.
Benefits of blind recruitment
Encourages a more diverse workforce
Blind recruitment helps eliminate bias in the recruitment process. With a fair approach to hiring new employees, employers can ensure they continue adding multiculturalism to their ranks.
As diversity becomes a requirement for modern organizations, it is becoming increasingly important to adopt HR trends such as blind recruitment. Besides bringing a wide range of differing opinions and ideas to the table, a diverse workplace helps bridge the inequality gap, enhancing the company’s reputation.
Enhances the chances of recruiting the right people
Blind recruiting eliminates the element of bias and ensures employers hire individuals based on their skills, experience and suitability for the job. Of course, it is acceptable to pick new employees based on their personality and character. However, merit-based recruiting allows you to identify and choose the most deserving candidate.
Besides choosing a candidate that deserves the position, hiring on merit increases the chances of finding an individual that fits the position. An ideal recruit should possess the best transferable skills and attitude – which should fit perfectly with the needs of any modern company.
Provides a leveled playing field for candidates
Although diversity has come a long way, we still operate in a work environment where some candidates avoid applying for specific jobs because of who they are. For example, 45% of women believe gender stereotyping seriously hampers their job chances. Most of them fear the bias will get them turned down before they even get a chance.
But like interview coaching, the rise in popularity of blind recruitment has helped create a level playing field for every candidate. It has made skill sets and suitability for the job the only measurable assets during the recruitment process, encouraging more and more candidates to apply for roles.
Companies also benefit from this dynamic since it opens up a larger pool of candidates to pick from. With more people applying for the job, the company has a greater chance of finding the perfect person for their ranks.
How to implement an effective blind hiring process
The primary aim of transitioning to blind hiring is to eliminate biases in recruitment processes. With that in mind, it can be relatively challenging to implement it all at once. However, a few steps could help hasten the process and get you well on your way to a properly functioning blind recruitment procedure.
Obscure candidates’ personal information
Candidates’ personal information contributes greatly to conscious and unconscious bias during recruitment. According to research by GoRemotely, ‘white-sounding’ names get 50% more calls for interviews than ‘black-sounding’ names. So, if you want to implement a blind hiring process, the first step is obscuring personal details such as gender, race and name before submitting applications to the recruiters.
Personal information that can be easily associated with a particular race or gender can lead to conscious or unconscious bias. So mask details such as names, gender, age and college attended (especially if the institution is historically race dominant).
Create a diversified recruitment team
Another step towards implementing an effective blind recruitment process is diversifying your recruitment team. Your team should have individuals of different ages, educational and ethnic backgrounds.
In a diversified team, everyone brings something different to the table. That helps enhance the recruitment process as everyone has varying perspectives of each candidate.
Implement a skill-centered interview approach
In a conventional interview model, questions are mostly centered on the applicant’s details, including age, work, experience and the institution attended. However, suppose you want to implement an effective blind recruitment exercise. In that case, it might be wise to start asking questions regarding the skills and general background that make the candidate suitable for the advertised job.
Avoid checking applicants’ social media pages
Over 60% of recruiters check applicants’ social media pages to find out more about their backgrounds. And unfortunately, most of them decide whether to call back or not based on the information they find online.
With the vast pool of information, accessing the applicants’ social media platforms renders the blind hiring process pointless. So, it is wise to consider limiting access to their social platforms until later in the hiring process.
Is blind recruitment worth the effort?
Although blind recruitment is a great way to eliminate bias in the hiring process, it still has limitations. For instance, it only works in the first stages of the recruitment process; there is no guarantee that there will be no bias in the subsequent phases.
For this reason, it is essential to use blind hiring in conjunction with other techniques to ensure its effectiveness. These can include diversifying your recruitment team and providing training on the right approach to the hiring process.