What is a Blind Resume and How it Helps Reduce Hiring Bias

If you've been wondering 'what is a blind resume' you've come to the right place! Here's what is it, what it does, and how to generate it.
January 20, 2023
6 minutes
Find out what is a blind resume and how can it help you bring diversity to your organization

If you’ve ever wondered, ‘what is a blind resume?’, you’re not alone. The use of blind resume screening is becoming a common practice across HR departments and recruitment firms. With this strategy on the rise, it’s high time you learned how it could help your business succeed.

What Is A Blind Resume?

A blind resume is simply a CV with all the applicant’s identifying characteristics removed. This includes details such as age, gender, place of qualification, and more. 

Why Use Blind Resume Screening?

There’s an excellent reason why blind resume screening is so widely used these days – it can help to remove bias from the recruitment process. Evaluate candidates more thoroughly and accurately without extraneous details distracting you from what’s important – whether the applicant is the right fit for the role.

What Is Hiring Bias?

The purpose of using a blind hiring process is to reduce conscious as well as unconscious bias. Unconscious bias is when we have preconceived notions about specific types of people, such as those who went to a particular college or people of a certain race. These types of factors are not relevant to whether someone would actually be successful in the role.

Hiring bias is when recruiters and hiring managers choose to hire people or not based on these discriminatory factors. Unfortunately for job applicants, if you haven’t implemented a blind recruitment process, they could be weeded out of the recruitment process based on unfair assumptions.

Essentially, if information is removed from applications that may lead to bias, then decision-makers must make their choice based purely on suitability for the role instead of irrelevant demographic information.

But Hiring Bias Doesn’t Happen In My Organisation…

Many people think that hiring bias doesn’t happen in their company. But, because most biases are unconscious, you wouldn’t be aware that you’re making decisions based on biased assumptions. 

It’s much more prevalent than most people realise. As part of a study on age discrimination, more than 40,000 job applications were sent out. The findings were revealing; older women were the least likely group to hear back after submitting an application. 

Luckily, more information is now being spread about hiring bias, so HR teams are becoming increasingly aware of the issue. And blind hiring works – as organisations have begun implementing blind hiring practices, we are seeing an upswing in diversity. This is great not just for candidates but also for businesses, as more diverse companies are often more successful than their monotone counterparts.

Benefits Of Blind Resumes

Using blind resumes to reduce hiring bias comes with many positive side effects. Increased diversity, a broad range of perspectives, and fair candidate selection are just a few examples of the benefits of using a blind recruitment strategy for evaluating candidates.

Anti-Discrimination

Take a stand against discrimination by using blind resumes to reduce hiring bias. Prejudice, whether it’s based on age, ethnicity, gender, or something else, is not acceptable – take a stand against it by changing your recruitment process.

Improve Employer Brand

When you use blind hiring processes, you are taking a stand for what’s right, and the candidates and your staff will appreciate your efforts. If you want to improve the way you’re seen as an employer, using blind resume screening is an excellent first step. 

Better Hiring Decisions

You’re likely to make better hiring decisions when you hire based on ability alone. After all, your hiring team will only have access to the most relevant information to compare with the job description and decide who the best person for the job is.

Boost Diversity

Hiring managers often find that when they take identifying factors out of recruitment, they hire a more diverse range of people. The broader the range of perspectives you have in your organisation, the better! Diversity fosters collaboration, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

How To Implement Blind Recruitment

The most common reason that HR managers who can already answer the question ‘what is a blind resume?’ haven’t yet started using them is that they aren’t sure where to begin. Thankfully, Affinda’s resume redactor makes it easy to generate a blind CV and  implement blind hiring in any type of business.

Leveraging the same market-leading AI technology we use in our resume parser, our redactor simplifies the removal of information on CVs and automates the blind hiring process.

Simply sign up with Affinda, select the fields you’d like redacted, and we’ll make it happen.

Affinda’s Resume Redactor Can Redact:

  • Personal information – Examples include email, address, and name. Names are a common source of bias as they can hint as to which ethnicity someone is.
  • Education details – Such as the name of the university or college they attended. After all, if the person is qualified, does it matter where they studied?
  • Photos – Photos are an issue for a range of reasons; they show a person’s likely age, ethnicity, gender, and more. Did you know that there is also a bias based on how good-looking someone is? Attractiveness should not be what anyone bases hiring decisions on.
  • Location – If you’re focused on hiring the best person for the job and are willing to take on remote workers, then you don’t need to know an applicant’s location until later in the recruitment process.
Blind hiring and the use of blind resumes is just the first step in reducing bias in recruitment

Other Ways To Reduce Bias In Recruitment

While fighting against unconscious bias using blind recruitment is an excellent tactic, it’s not the only step you can take to reduce discrimination in your hiring processes.

You can never entirely eliminate bias, but you can certainly reduce it if you know the right techniques. 

Attract The Right Applicants

You can’t improve your organisation's diversity without attracting a more diverse range of candidates. Some businesses argue that if diverse applicants simply don’t submit an application, that’s not their problem. If only a particular type of person is applying for roles with your company, this highlights a significant issue with either your job advertising or how your company is perceived.

You can try to attract a wider range of applicants by working on your job ads. Make sure that you cater to all types of people and mention any anti-discrimination policies you have. This may make people feel more comfortable applying for the role. You could also look at where you put your job postings and the demographics of people who use various sites to find jobs.

Improve Interview Processes

If the people getting to the interview stage don’t see themselves reflected in the interview panel, that’s a huge diversity issue. Your interview panel should not contain all men, for example. Diversifying your interview panel comes with the added benefit of gaining a greater range of perspectives, helping you make better hiring decisions. 

Another great way to level the playing field during interviews is to ask each applicant precisely the same questions. Structured interviews usually require you to ask the questions in the same order as well. This makes it much easier to compare applicants’ answers against each other and see who answered each question the best. That way, you’re going less off biased ‘gut feeling’ and more off the information gained from interviews. 

Yes, reducing bias in the hiring process requires a high level of commitment from you, both financially and time-wise. However, you will get a return on investment in terms of reduction of bias, greater diversity, more collaboration, and a better employer brand. This makes the effort more than worth it!