There’s a concept called “blind recruitment” that’s gaining traction among employers looking for ways to avoid bias in hiring. A recent article in Fast Company examined the practice. It defined blind recruitment this way: “Blind recruitment [is] the practice of removing personally identifiable information from the resumes of applicants including their name, gender, age, education, and even sometimes the number of years of experience..” A number of large firms such as Deloitte, HSBC and even the BBC have been using the practice to help them gain a diverse workforce.
The idea is to help those involved in hiring to overcome any unconscious bias they might have and to promote diversity in the workforce. But is it for your company?
Here are a few tips to making it work from the Fast Company article that make sense to me as a discrimination attorney:
Customize Your Blind Recruitment Process
The process needs to be personalized to your organization and its needs. There’s no one way to do this. Some companies might want to omit names, gender, ages, and education from their employment applications. Others may only want to only omit information they believe their organization has a certain bias against.
Decide How Far the Blind Recruitment Process Will Go
If you take this process to its extreme, you’d be hiring people without interviewing them personally. If this is farther than you want to go, you might consider applying it only to the initial screening of resumes. This would mean stripping out fields from applications that include name or gender before winnowing the candidate pool down to those you’ll be interviewing.
Understand That We All Have Biases and Train Your Staff to Recognize Them
No one likes to think of themselves as biased, but most of us have some sort of filters in place. Many times we simply don’t recognize them. That’s why it’s important to educate and train your staff to recognize what’s getting in the way of opening up your workforce to a larger pool. Train your staff to recognize those biases and to understand the advantages of a more diverse workforce. As an attorney who is heavily involved in employment law work, I can tell you this process can serve you well.