Guide to Blind Hiring: What it is and How to Implement it

Bias can manifest itself both consciously and unconsciously throughout the hiring process — and can occur as early as the resume-screening phase. Blind hiring is a recruitment process that can help reduce potential biases through obscuring an applicant’s personal information that could influence a hiring decision. 

To help your company better integrate diversity and inclusion into the hiring process, Embroker breaks down what blind hiring is, how it works, and how to implement this process to your own business as you start to rehire post-pandemic.

How Blind Hiring Works

Blind hiring hides or “blinds” resume details that can allude to someone’s gender identity, race, religion, or socioeconomic background, which are factors that can bias a hiring decision. For example, candidates’ names, educational backgrounds, or addresses are often hidden.

Allowing recruiters to evaluate candidates solely based on their skills and experiences helps maximize objectivity and reduce bias during hiring. 

Types of Hiring Biases

Vanderbilt described unconscious (or implicit) bias as “unsupported judgments in favor of or against one thing, person, or group as compared to another, in a way that is usually considered unfair.” They also said that “unconscious bias occurs automatically as the brain makes quick judgments based on past experiences and background.”

Unconscious bias may appear throughout the hiring process and may cause hiring managers to make decisions in favor of a candidate or at the expense of others without even realizing it. 

Biases may also appear in job postings. A Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study found that job descriptions with words typically associated with male stereotypes such as “leader,” “competitive,” or “dominant” were less appealing to women. 

The Importance of Tackling Bias

Left unchecked, biases can negatively shape and impact your company’s culture and employee engagement. On the other hand, being proactive about combatting bias and diversifying teams comes with a number of benefits, such as:

  • Increase in revenue: Companies with “above-average diversity” have 19% higher revenues.
  • Increase in productivity: Diverse teams deliver 60% better results.
  • Improves trust among staff: Diversity practices are directly linked to levels of employee engagement, trust, and value.
  • Attracts top talent: Over 85% of millennials prioritize working for a business that conducts itself ethically and responsibly.

It’s no surprise that diversity in an organization is crucial. Consider the below tips on how to incorporate blind hiring into your hiring process.

How to Implement Blind Hiring

One way to develop a more inclusive hiring process is to implement blind hiring. Below are some digital HR tools that your company can use for blind hiring:

  • Blendoor: This tool obscures the names and photos of candidates to facilitate diversity recruiting in tech companies.
  • Textio: This tool assesses your job descriptions, highlights problematic phrasing, and provides recommendations to help you attract diverse and qualified candidates.

In addition to tech, here are some processes you can follow during the blind hiring process:

  • Use spreadsheets: Pull applicants’ data into a spreadsheet and simply filter out specific details.
  • Customize your application: Create a standardized application for applicants to include only their relevant skills or experience.

Tips to Prevent Hiring Bias

To meet your company’s diversity goals, you’ll need to go beyond blind hiring. You’ll also need to find strategies to mitigate hiring bias that may be present at any stage of the recruitment process, including interviewing and onboarding. 

From training employees on biases to standardizing your questions, consider what works best for your team and company size.

Below are a few tips to help you reduce hiring bias:

  • Neutralize job descriptions: Use gender-neutral language and be mindful of your word choices to attract a diverse candidate pool.
  • Diversify hiring staff: Create a recruitment panel made up of staff members varying in genders, cultural backgrounds, and ages. 
  • Prepare skills assessments: Shift the focus away from gender, age, background, or personality to assess a candidate by their skills and knowledge.

Recognizing hiring biases and implementing recruitment strategies to promote diversity and inclusion are the first steps towards diversifying your company for the better.