The conversation around blind hiring is heating up in the HR world as more and more people are becoming aware of the effects that unconscious bias can have on the hiring process. In our last blog post on the topic, we discussed how blind hiring practices could serve as a valuable tool for combating unconscious bias.
More recently, the New York Times published an in-depth look at the potential value of blind hiring in light of the strong evidence that unconscious bias is negatively impacting the diversity of hires in a number of major industries. The article argues that employers often choose employees based on cultural fit, and that this reliance on human judgment when making hiring decisions is unintentionally impacting certain groups more than others. Even more importantly, powerful new research shows that this dependence on gut feeling may actually lead to worse hiring outcomes overall when compared to the predictions of less biased algorithms and pre-employment tests.
What this demonstrates is that people aren’t as good at making judgments as we’d like to think. The New York Times article demonstrates that statistically, there is a lot of untapped and undervalued talent in the candidate pool, and using additional tools can help hiring managers find the best talent. Tech companies, in particular, have begun to take a serious look at ways to eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process in order to promote diversity and ensure they hire the best talent possible. Companies like GapJumpers and Blendoor have already begun to develop blind hiring solutions that tackle the diversity issue head-on.
We’ve been thinking about blind hiring practices and reducing unconscious bias for a while now, and so today we are releasing a new blind hiring feature within our pre-employment testing software, HireSelect. When administering our pre-employment tests to job candidates, HireSelect users now have the option to turn on the blind hiring feature, which will hide the names and email addresses of job applicants as the user reviews test results. Names and email addresses can often betray an individual’s gender or ethnicity, and hiding them allows you to examine the test scores in a less biased environment. This blind hiring tool can be turned on and off at any time, so employers can turn it on at the first stage of the process and then turn it back off once they decide who they want to reach out to for interviews.
This is one small step towards promoting a more impartial hiring process, and we plan on expanding the feature as blind hiring tactics evolve over time. We hope that employers find value in this tool and that it helps them find and hire the best talent available.