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Is Blind Recruitment the Answer to Recruiting Diverse?

Blind Recruitment 

To combat unconscious bias, some businesses apply a blind approach to their recruitment.

But is this the step forward we need to truly recruit diverse?

Well, research by Adecco suggests that 35% of business already use this approach.

Removing essential information like names, ages, and even scraping CV’s so no demographic information can be used to bias the recruitment process.

Some may even result in utilising a third party to conduct interviews.

And of course, technology. Using Applicant Tracking Systems to hide identifying information.

Rather than focus on this information which is normally essential from the very start of the application process, these companies rather focus solely on eligibility and their capabilities to do the job.

Dynamo, a PR agency in London is one organisation which has adopted this model.

When answering questions on their website, candidates are only required to answer based on their experience and interest, taking no other information other than a contact phone number.

Only when a candidate is taken to the interview stage, do they receive more personalised information.

EY Management Consultancy is another. In 2015, they decided to remove experience and academic history from their entry-level hires, video interviewing them anonymously and screening them based on their eligibility.

Then those shortlisted candidates will attend an assessment with an assessor that only knows their names.

Although many companies have adopted the blind model, all have a slightly different approach.

And in fact, our previous PM, David Cameron was particularly in favour of it, introducing a similar model for their civil service graduate hires.

But the question is, does it work?

Well, many experts are still opposed with a lack of evidence to support its success.

Some also question the process and suggest that it is flawed by defeating the purpose of recruitment, as applying an equal opportunities approach means not every aspect is taken into account.

There is also the concern over the further impact it could have, not allowing those who have worked hard for their qualifications to be able to progress because of it in the recruitment process.

But, research by the US National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that some sort of blindness should possibly be introduced, as 50% of candidates were more likely to reach the interview stage by having a ‘white-sounding’ name.

And in fact, many believe that blind recruitment should not aim to be a 100% prevention tactic of individual bias and is not there to guarantee a more diverse workforce, instead help in finding only the most suitable person for the role.

So, would you try recruiting blindly? Have you already introduced aspects of it into your recruitment model? Have you done it to assist in meeting your initiatives? Do you think blind recruitment is a step in the right direction?

If you would like help in your recruitment approach, do not hesitate to get in touch.

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