The rapidly-changing landscape of the work environment has created a constant demand for innovative ways to stay ahead of competitors. Often technological advantages are quickly eclipsed by newer tech. One thing remains constant, though – the need to recruit quality employees, and recent studies show that “quality” has no room for homogeneity.
Recruitment can be an overwhelming task and HR employees can be buried under a mountain of applicants. Although there are many ways to sort through and hire the best employees, recruiters may resort to making judgments based on “gut feeling” rather than objective qualifications. Often, those gut feelings are affected by how familiar the applicant may seem – leading to hiring people of the same race and gender.
Blind hiring is a method that prevents the recruiter’s unintentional internal biases from excluding an otherwise qualified applicant. It works by removing identifying data from an application or resume, forcing the reviewer to consider only the relevant data. Excluded data would include names, photos, addresses, schools attended, and milestone years. Why would this be useful?
Studies focusing on resume screening results have shown that resumes where the applicant had a “white-sounding name” were 30% more likely to be invited for an interview than their counterparts with a name that appeared African American. This means that applicants were 30% less likely to even be considered as a potential employee if they were perceived as African American.
It was revealed that resumes with old-sounding names were considered less ideal for a job than identical resumes with more modern-sounding names. This demonstrates the value of excluding information that can color the lens that a recruiter looks through, but how would you execute this change?
To succeed in diversifying your workforce, you will need to create a solid plan. Discuss with your hiring team what your weaknesses are and what qualifications will bolster you in those areas. A clearer picture of your needs and requirements will create a blueprint to uncover hidden gems in the mountain of applications. Once you know what you’re looking for decide how you’ll exclude information that doesn’t support that goal. A name on a resume can’t indicate experience and a graduation year can’t showcase someone’s creative problem-solving abilities.
Your company should be built on strong morals with high ethics and quality values. While implementing the process of blind hiring, it is important to speak clearly with your recruiters and hiring managers. Racism, sexism, and ageism can contribute to decisions, even if they are only in the back of the hiring manager’s mind. These things can still effect decisions subconsciously. Make sure you have a strong core set of values already established in your company and while this process is being implemented, remind your hiring managers of them and why they exist.
There are application technologies that make it easier to de-identify applicant data, but manual methods can work just as well. The goal is to ensure that qualified candidates are evaluated based on solid criteria.
Need more convincing?
Many would agree that diversity is an admirable goal, but may not be aware of the full value it brings to a company. Workplace diversity creates tangible benefits that affect, not only morale, business reputation or creativity but the bottom line. The benefits of diversity in the workplace are remarkable – and it’s something that even companies with even few ethics simply can not ignore.
One study linked a 9% increase in revenue to every 1% increase in racial diversity of the workplace. Compared with companies reporting the lowest levels of diversity, companies with the highest levels of diversity averaged almost 15% times more revenue in sales. This same study reported that employee diversity had a greater impact on sales revenue and customer numbers than the number of employees, company age, or size. Companies with the highest gender diversity rates averaged 15,000 more customers than competitors with the lowest gender diversity rates.
By implementing blind hiring practices, a company takes the first step in diversifying its workforce, which is proven to increase overall productivity and profitability. It leads to a wider applicant pool, clearer evaluation criteria, and better hiring practices. A diverse workforce improves retention and revenue. Ultimately, this diversified workplace will lead its company to success.