I have read a couple of articles recently talking about the future of recruiting. A few of them mentioned blind interviews and how more and more, companies will remove identifiable data from resumes, applications and any other pre-face to face interview form. The data removed could include name, gender, age or years of experience (easily figured out by dates of work). The goal of blind interviews is to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process. This article in FastCompany says that big firms like Deloitte and HSBC are already doing this.
Studies have shown that a workplaces with a diverse workforce often perform better. Utilizing blind interviews is certainly one way to increase the diversity of the applicant pool that is eventually brought in for interviews.
But they don’t fix the bias issue once the individual shows up for the interview.
I firmly believe that if someone has the propensity to discriminate based on age, gender, hair color, height, race or some other ridiculous reason, then they are going to do it regardless of when they see these things in the interview process. And I believe that even though the bias happens when they see someone, it can still be an unconscious bias.
So blind interviews may diversify the interview pool, but work will still have to be done to overcome unconscious bias to diversify the workforce.
That isn’t to say that I think blind interviews are a bad idea, I don’t. And I do think they will become an increasing component of recruiting strategies in the future, especially as the EEOC cracks down on unfair hiring practices. I would just caution anyone who thinks that blind recruiting is going to fix their unconscious bias problems.
It will be essential to combine training and ongoing diversity efforts with blind recruiting in order to really make an impact in that area.
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