Blind recruitment: The New Strategy to Avoid Bias

Blind Recruitment
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Have you ever felt you didn’t get a job for reasons beyond your experience and skills? Do you think there can be favoritism in the recruitment process? Sometimes, candidates find out that they were rejected because of their gender, their foreign names or even after being found on social media.

Candidates are sometimes judged on personal traits that are not relevant to the job instead of being considered for their work experience and skills. This is why, in order to avoid being biased, recruiters are turning to “blind” recruitment.

What does “blind” recruitment mean?

Implementing blind recruitment in your company means “hiding” the candidate’s name, gender, location, religion or any other identification details that are not relevant for the job. This way, recruiting managers can avoid being influenced by more personal traits that may lead them to rejecting valuable candidates. They will only make the decision to interview a candidate based on their professional profile.

Why do I need it in my company?

In an era where equality, diversity and inclusion are so valuable and relevant, candidates look for companies where they are respected and are comfortable being themselves. Therefore, you need to follow some policies to avoid being part of discriminatory processes that may, in the end, affect your reputation.
Although you may think of your company as a progressive one, there is something called “unconscious bias”, which refers to the unconscious influence of thoughts and feelings on decision-making.

Blind recruitment will help you focus on the candidates’ experience and what the candidate can do for the company regardless of their age, beliefs or the color of their skin. Blind recruitment will help you build a skillful and diverse workforce, while enhancing your company brand and increasing retention rates.

How is blind recruitment put into practice?

The first step towards its success is educating your recruitment managers so that they can overcome their unconscious bias.

Then, you can implement an ATS to “anonymize” the candidates’ CVs or application forms or ask another member of the HR department, who won’t be part of the interview, to do so. You can create a formulary where this person can just fill out the information related to their work experience, education and skills and then, they can assign each candidate a number to identify them for the interviews.

Another way to focus on their skills is applying some tests, like a trial project or an assignment, to see how well candidates can perform before inviting them for an interview. However, not all jobs can be tested like that.

Is it all that perfect?

As with any process, blind recruitment also has some downsides that you need to consider. First, although it promotes diversity, not knowing who the person is, what their age, race and gender is, may not be helpful if you are aiming at building a diverse workforce that matches your requirements.

Also, if you’re not using and ATS, having an extra step to anonymize candidates will make your application screeninglonger which contradicts the idea of having an efficient and faster recruitment process.

Final thoughts

To start valuing workers for what they can do and break down prejudices, try implementing “blind recruitment” in your company. Of course, using this strategy won’t eradicate this phenomenon entirely as interviews can be biased as well, but it will get you closer to having a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Jennifer Soto
Creative Writer