Did you know the average time recruiters take to scan your resume is six seconds?
That’s barely any time at all. So how can you stand out from the crowded pool of job applicants with such a short period of time to actually get noticed? Let’s look into a hot new recruitment trend, blind hiring, and how it’s changing the recruitment game for good.
What is blind hiring?
Blind hiring is a recruitment practice aimed at eliminating biases based on race, gender age, ethnicity in the workplace and promote workplace diversity. In blind hiring, the recruitment process is purely based on, experience, skills, and expertise. The personal information of the candidate are blacked out and hiring decisions are purely taken on talents.
For any organization, the most important aspect is its productivity. The ability to deliver, to perform, to bring better innovations and creativity, and build a company culture that thrives. And to make that happen every organization must promote diversity in their workplace. There are many other recruiting tools to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace but with blind hiring, organizations not only take care of diversity but also fight unconscious hiring biases.
How does blind hiring eliminate unconscious bias?
One of the major problems faced by any organization in their recruitment process is unconscious biases. Hiring managers often succumb to their beliefs and perceptions, which often influence their hiring decisions. And the shocking factor is that often recruiting managers are unaware of their own biases. The reason behind this is that these biases are majorly unconscious biases, which seeds from perceptions, stereotypical beliefs, and societal conditioning.
Gail Tolstoi-Miller, award-winning career coach and strategist, shared her experiences on unconscious bias in her 20 years long career. She reveals how a star candidate didn’t get a job simply because she was wearing white pump shoes.
She also reveals how your clothes, your social media profile pictures or posts, and even your accent can be the reason for not getting the job even if you have the necessary skills. This is what unconscious bias does; it not only discriminates against viable candidates, but also influences the decision-making skills of the recruiters, which eventually harms the organizational bottom line and employer branding.
To solve this issue, recruiters can practice blind hiring to eliminate biases. Since every organization is different and have their individual company cultures and needs, therefore they plan the blind hiring process accordingly to hire the best talent. They can also do some self-reflection on their beliefs and perceptions. And then act accordingly to have a non-biased attitude while recruiting.
Why is blind hiring a growing trend?
One of the earliest examples of this practice began in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the 1970s. The symphony orchestra members were all white men. To remedy this and find more diverse candidates, they set up blind auditions where musicians were auditioned behind a screen so that they would not be judged on appearance – only on talent. And they found that the number of women being accepted into orchestra went up from 25% to 46%.
A few years ago Kedar Iyer, an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley noticed how recruitment bias is common in his industry. Coders from fancy colleges were given priority over ones who came from “average,” non ivy-league (or similar) colleges. This made Iyer introspect on the company’s hiring biases. To solve this problem, he developed a software company called Gapjumpers in 2014. The software enables employers to evaluate candidates based on relevant performance challenges.
Companies using GapJumpers cannot see candidates’ resumes – only their names and test results. In theory, this process would shift employers’ focus from resumes to skills.
Nowadays more and more companies are open about blind hiring and they align their HR policies in line with it. Companies like Google, HSBC, BBC are applying blind hiring in their recruitment process to hire talents from diverse backgrounds and promote a diverse work culture.
4 advantages to blind hiring
Although there are many more, we’ve outlined four core advantages to implementing blind hiring practices in your workplace.
1. Help build a diverse team – and boost revenue in the process
It’s not just a feel-good tactic to have a diverse team. Studies have shown that racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse ones by 35%; teams with an equal number of women and men earn 41% more in revenue; and 57% of all teams believe their companies should be more diverse. Not only is it good for company culture, it’s good for your bottom line.
Every employer now understands the importance of diversity in the workplace. And the above stats says it all. It is not a trend to follow nor a quota to meet. In fact, it is one of the most critical aspects of any workplace today. The advantages of diversity in the workplace are paramount.
Diverse teams not only bring the best ideas to the table, but they also help in dealing with diverse customers and understanding their needs and perspectives. This gives them an edge over their competitors and at the same time also boosts employers’ brand. Blind hiring helps build diverse teams with diverse skills and talents.
2. Experience better team performance and creativity
What keeps you ahead in this corporate ladder? Factors are many but one of the major factors is creativity and innovation. The competition high, resources are at stake, and the need to outperform your competitors is critical for a raising bottom-line. Diverse teams bring diverse ideas and perspectives on the table. They are capable to solve problems with their collective diverse skills.
This is possible when you hire people solely on their skills and not just fill the diversity quota for socio-political reasons. Blind hiring techniques can be very useful to meet that target. Candidates in the blind hiring process are screened keeping these perspectives in mind. This builds stronger teams and enhances team performances.
3. Find the perfect hire
Traditional hiring techniques often fail to attract the right talents. Someone might be a talented developer, but you might not get that from a brief first glance of their resume.
Let’s say you are a marketing agency and your company needs people who are creative writers with good analytical skills who can think outside of the box. In this scenario, you can test your candidates’ writing and analytical skills with blind hiring programs and not give emphasis to academic qualification or professional experiences.
Sometimes academic background or previous work experience isn’t the best indicator of a “perfect hire” – which is why blind hiring programs exist: to test those based on skill rather than on-paper merits.
4. Employee retention and engagement
Employees often leave organizations where they cannot see career development or do not have an empowering work environment. Working with people from the same ethnic group can be nice but it would very soon make your worklife unidimensional. Ideas would get stagnant, opportunities to learn and evolve would be few. Without diversity, the learning graph and makes the work culture monotonous and stressful, which triggers employees to quit.
Current job candidates, of which millennials make up a large portion, seek a work culture that gives emphasis on workplace diversity. Additionally, 83% of millennials are more engaged when their organization has a diverse work culture, which falls to 60% without workplace diversity. This proves how workplace culture is changing and how it psychological influence the mindset of the candidates.
If you want to promote diversity in your workplace, or cut the biases in your recruiting process, blind hiring can be your first step or the tool you are looking for. But before you dive headfirst into blind hiring, make sure to evaluate your needs and build a process that suits your work culture.
If you're interested in getting started with better recruitment techniques, check out our recruitment hub, containing over 15 useful resources to better serve your job candidates.
Braja Deepon Roy is a Content Marketer at Vantage Circle. Vantage Circle helps corporates to manage human resources efficiently. He actively participates in the growth of corporate culture and keeps himself updated in this space.