Earlier this year the hiring platform Indeed implemented Indeed Assessments, skills-specific testing to help them rate applicants for employers on actual skills and help weed out bias. An increasing number of employers are utilizing software to hide at least some information that’s prone to bias, such as an applicant’s name, address, or college, while preserving other hiring-relevant information in place. Blind recruitment can be an effective strategy since bias exists on a subconscious level. By removing this data, a potential employer can more honestly interact with an applicant's qualifications.
Blind recruitment, undertaken properly, can help increase diversity in a company. Diversity is undertaken with ethics in mind, but also has benefits for an organization's bottom line, boosting productivity. A company with a wide range of perspectives will have more creative ideas, more innovative strategies, and will anticipate more pitfalls. Blind recruitment can give a fair hearing to women, minorities, and other candidates who have traditionally been marginalized during the initial screening process.
Before we declare the problem solved, one final word of caution: with any new technology or strategy, we should watch for pitfalls. Algorithms can absorb the biases of their programmers. We must be diligent to continually seek input and evaluate outcomes. For more on the shortcomings of algorithms, check out Cathy O’Neil’s book Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.