Name blind sifting has been iterative in its adoption over the past decade, becoming increasingly common over the last couple of years. In recent months, the need for it has heightened.
It is most common in public sector, widely used by dozens of organisations across the Civil Service (where Oleeo supplies Recruiting Enablement solutions) and is now being adopted by larger blue chips – especially in the hiring processes used for emerging talent.
The aim of name blind sifting is to avoid any possibility of bias – conscious or unconscious – from being able to determine gender, ethnicity etc from a person’s name. It is just one of many good practices that recruiters should be adopting, facilitated by technology, in order to embed good practices within their organisation.
For HR Directors, the use of name blind system allows for the anonymisation of name and other irrelevant data so that managers are responsible for running recruitment processes fairly and without prejudice. It helps to facilitate independent panel screening and can even make your recruitment process accessible to disabled candidates. At a time where equal opportunities are important, it also means that businesses can guarantee minority applicants are satisfying minimum criteria for interviews and more accurately identify the sources that generate high quality minority applicants.
Blind recruitment might start with a person’s name and contact emails but can them extend to all personal details (address/contact info) or parts of a candidate’s work history e.g. line manager, employee number. When a narrative or covering letter are important scoring criteria points, a CV or other attachments can be hidden until the candidate is officially shortlisted etc.
The reason for doing this is simple. When a business can monitor successful placements across the equal opportunities spectrum, then they can focus more on engaging existing staff minorities into a recruitment process as role models and reach out to their social networks. Such outreach and early engagement allows a business to maintain virtual relationships with communities that would not normally consider an industry or their organisation.
In the future innovative Recruiting Enablement technology will be essential to ensuring an organisation recruits diversely. For example, Big Data will play a large part in “democratising” recruitment because it is possible to make big data decision algorithms “blind to anything”. So, a recruiter might be able to calculate and adjust for any unintended adverse impact of any neutral decision making factor (e.g. if maths grade was selection criterion and a particular gender does better an algorithm can be trained to adjust).
These possibilities will help to remove any human selection bias by recommending candidates who unequivocally perform better e.g. deliver more revenue, profit, or stay longer in the business.
It will also provide stronger evidence and recordkeeping to support hiring decisions, allowing a recruiter to promote more diverse hiring by enabling them to adjust and accept more applications with lower resource implications. The time is now to react and adapt.