No matter how much we try to avoid or reduce it, we all have an inherent bias or unconscious preconceived notions about groups or individuals. But bringing your own bias into job interviews is unfair to candidates and can cause you to make hiring decisions that aren’t necessarily the best. Blind hiring helps to reduce the effects of inherent bias by stripping away information such as name, gender, socioeconomic background, or even academic experience. It forces employers to focus on skills and abilities and can help increase diversity while choosing stronger candidates.
Of course, blind hiring isn’t perfect, as cues to a person’s identity can still leak through. And at some point, you’ll need to conduct an in-person interview. This will reveal much of the information that blind hiring strategies stripped away. Still, in tandem with other measures to improve diversity and inclusion, blind hiring can be a powerful tool. Here’s how to use it:
Write Inclusive Job Postings
Blind hiring starts with non-discrimination in your job postings. Use generic wording such as “the right candidate.” Focus on skills rather than years of experience. Also, be careful to avoid words that seem gender-neutral but have a historically masculine bias such as “strong,” “analytical,” or “driven.” Replace them with more inclusive words such as “solid,” “thoughtful,” or “motivated.”
Hide Resume Demographics
Use blind hiring software to remove demographic information from resumes. This includes things such as name and zip code. It will also remove any photos or other attachments that could give away a person’s identity. In addition, the software takes away academic information such as college name, GPA, and even years of attendance (which could give away the candidate’s age).
Collect Skills Data
Assessments are the best way to determine a candidate’s skills in an unbiased way. You can use existing assessment software to screen for technical skills, personality, and even soft skills. Just make sure you’re using scientifically validated assessments that are carefully vetted to reduce bias.
Skip the Social Media
You may want to check up on your finalists’ social media before making an offer. But there is no reason to pre-screen candidate profiles before conducting interviews. Searching social media can produce a great deal of information about each candidate, reintroducing the bias your blind hiring processes tried to remove.
Conduct Anonymous First Round Interviews
At some point, you will need to conduct face-to-face interviews. But to make the process of landing a face-to-face interview as fair as possible, consider conducting anonymous initial screening interviews. Options include email questions and answers, live online chat, or even utilizing chatbots.
Inherent bias is a problem for all hiring teams – especially in a direct hire or temp-to-hire environment. But implementing blind hiring practices is a great way to minimize the effects of bias and ensure that you hire a diverse group of top candidates.
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