How to Fix the Flaws in Blind Hiring


Yes. Companies (still) have a diversity problem. Despite efforts to reverse hiring and retention trends, even the most socially progressive companies just can’t seem to diversify their workforces. After years of aggressive recruiting and well-funded outreaches, tech giants like Google still hover in the low single digits for their overall percentage of employees identifying as African American, and a mind blowing 2.4% for its technical roles.


The Benefits of Diversity

The reasons to diversify by gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and more are many. Besides obvious societal benefits, diverse workforces drive gains in the bottom line. A McKinsey report outlined the benefits perfectly. It shows that organizations with top scores for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have better-than-industry average financial returns, and more gender-diverse firms are 15% more likely to beat earnings averages. But the bottom line in this case isn’t the last word. Diverse organizations are also more innovative, and they hold on to employees longer, with better marks for workplace culture.


Organizations with top racial and ethnic diversity scores are
35% more likely to have better-than-industry-average financial returns.


Fad, or the Future?

So, is this new idea catching on? The process of blind hiring can be as simple as stripping away names and addresses from resumes, or as complicated as what companies like Deloitte do, by concentrating on candidate skillsets. Some in the Human Resources universe have downplayed the new process,  calling it a fad and a “new hiring trend” which will quickly be replaced with, the next “new hiring trend.”

But there are also some other problems with this approach. First, blind hiring removes the impact of referrals, which are effective in moving names from the bottom of the resume pile to the top. Referrals are sometimes more useful than a resume, because they signify that someone trusted has put their name on the line to vouch for a candidate’s performance.

There’s also an obvious glaring problem with blind hiring. The selection process for the interview could increase the chances of diverse candidates making it to in person interviews. But once there, implicit bias can easily kick in again, unless hiring managers take additional steps to affirmatively select diverse candidates.

And then there’s the problem workplace culture. We’ve seen that diversity drives innovation. But when companies turn to “blind hiring,” they seek to erase factors like race and ethnicity in hiring. The idea is that hiring “colorblindness” alone will naturally and inevitably lead to more diversity. But diversity is about recognizing differences and embracing them, not allocating them to the unseen.


Colorblindness Has Blind Spots

The colorblind theory further falls apart when we look at workplace culture and examine candidate “fit.” A good workplace culture involves both motivational fit and an incentives fit. Those who are motivated to apply for incentives will be easily swayed by better incentives somewhere else. But when they’re motivated because they seek inclusiveness, they are more likely to stay, be productive and innovate.

Instead of colorblindness, we should make diversity itself a goaland we should be open about it. When we see a gap in our organization, say, in the hiring women of color – we should make efforts to recruit and hire the best candidates who are also women of color. It’s that simple.


The change starts with carefully examining our workplace culture. Rather than reinforcing culture by hiring like-minded candidates who seem like the best “fit,” we should instead make deliberate choices about what our ideal, expanded culture could be, and then create it. Once we define our cultural goals, we can select candidates who share those ideals.


Rather than reinforcing culture by hiring like-minded candidates who seem like the best “fit,” we should instead make deliberate choices about what our ideal, expanded culture could be, and then create it.


A Better Way to Hire

Zevix Jobs makes this process easier. First, it turns the traditional interview process around. We ask the questions usually relegated to the in-person interview. Questions like cultural fit, career interests, important skills, and anything else the employer/candidates is interested in. We help potential employers with the opportunity to possibly know the whole person first, up front, rather than simply gambling that the right user is selected for a one-on-one. And just as importantly, we help candidates with the opportunity to possibly get a feel for the hiring firm or company or clinic before they agree to an interview. Salary, titles, mentorships, book of business, and perks can be all listed upfront, leaving the interview just to close the deal.

Zevix turns the recruitment process around in an effort to potentially match the best candidates with the best employers. That’s where successful employers start – with a deep examination of their corporate culture, which creates a strategy to widening their appeal.

True diversity is not achieved by ignoring racial and ethnic differences, but by embracing them. Once we inculcate these concepts into the minds and processes of their hiring managers, companies will be better equipped for innovation, have a better workplace culture, and yes – realize a better bottom line.





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