Hiring Blind: The New Way to Read Resumes


You can reduce unconscious bias during recruitment by leveraging blind hiring. Blind hiring can help you to promote diversity and inclusion by helping you to eliminate unconscious bias, enabling you to move a more diverse pool of job candidates through your talent pipeline.

Blind hiring helps to promote diversity and inclusion because it takes unconscious bias out of the equation. By using software tools to remove ethnicity and gender characteristics from resumes, for example, recruiters can focus on what’s important—job candidates’ skills and potential.

Unconscious bias occurs when people make judgments about job candidates based on factors other than their ability to fulfill a role, such as their gender or ethnicity. For instance, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that resumes which compelled recruiters to believe that the candidates were Caucasian received 50% more callbacks than those that made hiring managers believe that candidates were African-American. Also, both male and female recruiters are more likely to hire a male job candidate, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Blind Hiring Explained

These outcomes are the result of unconscious bias, which is the result of deeply ingrained and complex feelings held by recruiters about educational and ethnic backgrounds. Blind hiring is a practice designed to eliminate this kind of unconscious bias. It involves using technology to redact resume characteristics such as gender, name, native language, religion or socioeconomic status from resumes. By using blind hiring technology, you can eliminate unconscious judgments based on pedigree and focus solely on the assessment of skills and talent to choose potential job candidates.

Before you choose blind hiring software, you need to decide how you will apply the practice. Begin by establishing the goals that you’d like to achieve by using blind hiring. For example, you may want to recruit more women executives.

You should also decide what information you want to redact from resumes. To achieve the goal of hiring more women executives, for example, you’d want to redact names and any overt references to gender. Once you figure out what information you want to remove from resumes, software with a blind hiring feature, such as Hundred5, can help you to automate the process of redacting gender information from resumes.

How Blind Hiring Boosts D&I Performance

Most organizations understand the benefits of diversity and inclusion in theory, but promoting these ideologies in real life is not as straightforward as understanding what they mean. No one can ignore a lifetime of beliefs and experiences, but blind hiring practices and software eliminate the natural cognitive response that leads to unconscious bias. You can ensure that hiring managers do not inadvertently overlook potential new hires due to their background by using blind hiring technology to eliminate resume information that falls outside the scope of education and skills.

Blind hiring will improve the performance of your diversity and inclusion initiative because it will help you to move a more diverse pool of job candidates past the initial screening process. However, this doesn’t guarantee that unconscious bias won’t seep in during interviews.

In addition to leveraging blind hiring software, you must instill in recruiting personnel that diverse talent will not necessarily overcome all career obstacles because bias—be it conscious or unconscious—is still an unfortunate reality in today’s world. This understanding will help drive home the fact that it’s not acceptable to overlook even a single job candidate because of their background.

Starting on the Right Path

Among organizations that fail to focus on diversity, unconscious bias seeps into the very beginning of the hiring process, and this is where your work toward diversity and inclusion begins. According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one in five women experience gender discrimination during recruitment, and gender-neutral wording attracts a significantly higher number of job candidates. Nevertheless, only 27% of organizations surveyed by PwC leverage blind job applications and 44% aren’t even considering the prospect.

Blind hiring software and practices are only one component of a successful diversity and inclusion strategy, and just one tool you should add to your D/I toolkit. By leveraging blind hiring in combination with other techniques and technology tools, you can start your organization on the path to authentic diversity and inclusion.