As a recruiter, your goal is to find the best talent and skill for an open position. But with such variation in candidates’ experience, background, and education, how do we ensure an equitable hiring process? Doing a blind resume review, sometimes called blind hiring, is an excellent first step.
Glassdoor defines blind hiring as “stripping away identifiable characteristics from a resume that are not related to the job, or experiences needed for success.” What characteristics does this refer to? They can include names, gender, age, race, ethnicity, location, and (this is a big one) educational background. Blurring out these fields on a resume can help ensure that we as recruiters don’t accidentally introduce our personal preferences or biases into an ideally objective process.
Nowadays, social media and someone’s online footprint are nearly impossible to ignore. However, be mindful of using these profiles to determine whether a candidate is the appropriate fit for a role. If you have just removed identifiers such as names and photos from your resumes, doesn’t it defeat the purpose to see what people look like and the things they are posting about? (As a side note, an early criticism of TikTok’s resume feature, launched in 2021, was the possibility of introducing bias.) The exception, of course, would be if you were searching for candidates to fill a marketing or social media position – here, a portfolio or work sample will typically suffice.
If conducting blind hiring or resume reviews seems daunting, there are some tools that can assist. To name a few:
- Textio – do your job descriptions contain words that express gender bias? Textio offers recommendations to engage a more diverse candidate pool.
- Project Include – more tech-focused, this initiative by leaders from Pinterest and Slack encourages ways to promote diversity and inclusive work environments.
- Blendscore (formerly Blendoor) – formatted for mobile, this app hides candidate names and photos to prevent unconscious bias during resume screening.
The HR tech space is constantly growing to fill current needs in recruiting. For more alternatives, see these examples from Workable. Are there any tools you have used with success that you would include on this list?
3 Best Practices
In addition to these resources, as recruiters, there are simple actions you can take to make the hiring process fair and inclusive. The best part? You can implement them immediately during your interviews.
- Ask behavioral questions. How would you respond to this hypothetical situation? Do you have an example of how you addressed an issue in a previous role? Such questions will result in more relevant responses than, say, reading through a candidate’s resume item by item.
- Similarly, when interviewing, try to ask the same set of questions instead of different ones for each candidate. This way, everyone’s responses can be measured by the same standard.
- Reexamine how your company’s job descriptions are written. Does your current listing lean toward candidates from a certain demographic or background? If you need another perspective, ThinkHR is a reliable source.
There you have it – 3 tools and 3 best practices to add to your recruitment strategy. Comment below if you found this information useful, and please share with fellow recruiters and hiring managers who may benefit!