Blind Interviews aren’t so blind.

I am sure some of my amazing recruiter friends will have something to say about this but. . . I don’t believe in the blind interview. It’s a lie.

To be clear, the blind audition works in the example from orchestra auditions. The applicants stood behind a curtain and removed their shoes so they were evaluated on their musical performance only. And it worked- there was an increase in gender diversity of 20%.

But during a hiring process, hiding a name from a resume only takes you so far.

  • You will know the applicant’s gender from a phone screen.
  • Any physical differences are visible during a video screen or in-person interview.
  • Bias can creep in when:
    • You see the name of the school the candidate attended,
    • Lack of degree,
    • Gaps in employment that you may make assumptions about,
    • Board participation.
So if blind interviews don’t work, what does?

Diversity hiring can be better by making changes to the hiring process.

  1. Sit with the team who will be doing interviews and determine what is really needed for the role. Setting the requirements ahead of time can help to lower the possibility for the likability factor. The hiring team will be able to focus on what they need in a candidate, not if they are going to have similar interests.
  2. Stop thinking about culture fit and focus on values fit. Does the person exhibit the values that are expected in your organization? Culture fit leads to bias. You want to encourage different points of view, as long as the future employee lives the values.
  3. Make sure you have a diverse candidate slate. One diverse candidate won’t work. We already know the diverse person statistically won’t get hired. Many diverse candidates will make a difference. And if you are still someone who thinks you don’t have sources for diverse candidates, let me know. I can show you where to look.
  4. Make leaders accountable to their hiring and promotion numbers for their teams. There should be a consistent and fair process in place to bring new folks in but also to give them a career path once they join. People want to know they can continue to grow.

It’s time to make some real progress on diverse hiring. Blind interviews aren’t so blind. Make the right changes to move the needle.