HR and Recruiting

How blind hiring can improve workplace diversity

chairs that have we are hiring spelled out
Written by Eric Titner

There’s a growing trend across industries when it comes to hiring—and in the age of information, you may be surprised to learn that involves having access to less information instead of more, in an effort to enhance ethical hiring practices and improve workplace diversity. If your company isn’t utilizing blind hiring practices yet, it might not be long before it jumps on this progressive new hiring bandwagon.

What is blind hiring?

This bold new hiring practice is referred to as “blind hiring,” and according to a recent article by Analytics in HR (AIHR), “Blind hiring is any technique that anonymizes or ‘blinds’ personal information about a candidate from the recruiter or hiring manager that can lead to unconscious (or conscious) bias about the candidate. This bias tends to be unfair and discriminatory because much of the personal information that is presented is generally unrelated to his or her on-the-job performance.”

How blind hiring can improve your company’s hiring practices

As an HR professional, not having access to personal candidate information that tends to lead to bias allows for increased objectivity when evaluating potential hires. As a result, decisions will be based on a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and potential to succeed, and things like a candidate’s race, gender, age, and education level are ignored—and when ability is the primary driving factor for hiring, it results in a more qualified and talented workstaff. Increased hiring objectivity also leads to a more diverse workforce, which benefits both employers and employees.

How are companies—and the HR world at large—warming up to the idea of blind hiring According to AIHR, “Blind hiring is gaining more acceptance as part of a larger movement to remove faulty human judgment element that interferes with hiring people that were truly the best candidates in first place. Research featured in the Harvard Business Review found that candidates who were hired based on an algorithm were 50% more likely to be successful on the job than candidates picked based on recruiters’ human judgment.”

How companies are implementing blind hiring practices

Currently, the most common methods for doing so are occurring during the resume review process and through the use of anonymized pre-hire tests and assessments. AIHR reports that significant human bias exists during the resume review process: “Resumes with White-sounding names receive 30 percent more interviews than identical resumes with African American names. Resumes with old-sounding names were rated as less suitable for the job compared to identical resumes with modern-sounding names.” Removing all superfluous personal candidate info from their applications, resumes, and online profiles is designed to eliminate this bias. Pre-hire tests and personality assessments—using anonymous candidate IDs—are also being used more frequently to assess a candidate’s abilities and potential fit when making hiring decisions. Both of these tools are reported to increase hiring objectivity and workplace diversity, which can be gauged and tracked through your HR department’s recruitment metrics.

Are your company’s hiring practices as objective as they could—and should—be? If not, then consider adopting blind hiring practices to make things more fair. Use the strategies and advice presented here to help improve the diversity in your workplace and make sure you’re hiring the most qualified candidates possible.

About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.