What Is Blind Hiring And How Can It Contribute To Workplace Diversity?

By Anna Marsh - Nov. 6, 2022
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Blind hiring is an HR practice that aims to reduce biases during the hiring process. The idea is to promote talent acquisition based on a transparent method and hire eligible candidates regardless of their name, gender, mother tongue, religion, and socioeconomic background.

It also forbids hiring managers from asking about the academic qualifications and professional experience of a candidate during the hiring process. In other words, a candidate is not judged by his or her pedigree but by the skills and talent they can offer to an organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Nowadays, many companies are aligning their HR policies with blind hiring, with companies like HSBC, BBC, and Google applying blind hiring practices in order to hire talented candidates from different backgrounds.

  • Many companies and industries overall suffer from a lack of diversity and do not have demographic proportions matching the actual population.

  • In addition to eliminating biases and helping to contribute to workplace diversity, blind hiring ensures that the most talented and qualified candidates are hired.

what is blind hiring and how can it contribute to workplace diversity?

The history of blind hiring

The earliest example of blind hiring dates back to the 1970s, when Toronto Symphony Orchestra musicians used blind auditions to hire the best orchestra members by putting up a screen in front of the judges who were selecting the talent.

In previous auditions, the majority of the musicians hired were white and male. However, the new blind audition method resulted in a more diverse mix of people being hired.

A study by the National Bureau for Economic Research further elaborates on the issue. The study was conducted among different orchestra groups that implemented the blind hiring method in their auditions. According to their findings, a blind audition increased the selection of female musicians by 25%-46%.

The role of blind hiring in workplace diversity

In the past, Google has received flak for a lack of diversity in its employee structure. This disproportionate ratio of employees in the workplace has raised serious concerns surrounding Google and other major organizations, highlight the need for a practical solution to curtail the problem.

So, how can blind hiring contribute to workplace diversity?

In general, the hiring process is susceptible to a large number of biases from start to finish. Interviewers, hiring managers, and HR professionals are also human beings, and human beings have inherent biases, even if they are not conscious of them. Many of these biases can result in candidates being passed over for reasons that are completely unrelated to their qualifications and actual merit.

Blind hiring removes any potential interference by biases, conscious or unconscious, from the process. Doing so will help to create a diverse workplace that more closely reflects society itself, which result in a healthier and more positive environment.

Positive Effects of Blind Hiring

The implementation of the blind hiring strategy has demonstrable positive effects, including but not limited to the following:

  • It ensures workplace diversity. With blind hiring, you can build a diversified workplace where people from different backgrounds can work together. Such a work environment breeds ideas and give more colour to your organization. So you can get a non-linear work approach where different individuals use their ideas to contribute to the growth and progress of the organization.

  • True talent finds its way into the organization. The traditional hiring process limits the access of real talent and prodigies to get a position into an organization. With blind hiring, you can test out the real talent by setting unconventional assessment methods. For example, if you want to hire a genius web designer for your newly-launched startup, you cannot do it with the traditional hiring method that requires a specific certification, degree, or experience since it is the core part of the recruiting and selection process. Instead, you can set a contest-based test where you can assign an intricate design project to several candidates. The one who creates the best design should be eligible for the job.

  • Fewer occurrences of biased hiring. It is commonplace to see incompetent people working in a company who end up doing more bad to the organization than good. Such hires are a result of the biases that arise from the tradition hiring method. A conventional hiring method encourages the hiring manager to prefer one candidate over other based on his belief system, personal liking or social prejudice. With blind hiring, the organizations make sure they hire only the fittest person based on his skillset and not because of his academic credentials, gender, or ethnic background.

  • Companies can hire candidates who fit into their specific work culture. This can be particularly favorable for the companies that search for talent who can fit into their specific work culture. Let’s say you run an advertising agency that thrives on highly creative people. So naturally, you will be interested to hire the people who can think outside the box. With blind hiring program, you can find those creative minds without the help of traditional hiring criterion which emphasizes on the academic qualification and professional experience.

  • It avoids unconscious biases: Unconscious bias (also known as implicit bias) are stereotypes about people that are inherent or learned, that all people have without realizing it. Blind hiring programs ensure that hiring teams avoid unconscious biases when recruiting talent.

Final Thoughts

Blind hiring can be a game changer for organizations that want to improve diversity in their workplace. By eliminating biases and ensuring that employees are hired only on the basis of merit, it helps to build a more diverse and effective workplace. Doing so helps to improve workplace culture, public image, and company performance as a whole.

Anna Marsh is a Hiring Manager, Educator, and a Blogger. In her blog, she brings to light the role of different hiring methods and how it streamlines the recruiting process. She is also an educator who helps students find the right route for their academic and professional life.

Author

Anna Marsh

Anna Marsh is a Hiring Manager, Educator, and a Blogger. In her blog, she brings to light the role of different hiring methods and how it streamlines the recruiting process. She is also an educator who helps students find the right route for their academic and professional life.

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