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March 23, 2023

Bust the Pipeline Myth and Diversify Your Candidate Pool with Blind Hiring Made Easy

purple vase with one flower that is wilted and a blue vase with a large bouquet of flowers

The days of the diversity pipeline problem are so over, but is your candidate pool still suffering from a lack of representation? According to the data, the answer is probably yes.

Despite mountains of research proving time and time again that equitable workplaces lead to increased innovation, many hiring managers still fall into the trap of hiring job applicants who look like them rather than the best person for the role.

The result is a glaring lack of representation at the top of the org chart and some seriously expensive legal problems for growing companies.

Even with millions of dollars poured into DEI initiatives every year, all aimed at making diverse hiring seamless and profitable,  EEO violations are still a very real problem for employers of every shape and size. From truck dealerships refusing to hire female salespeople to retailers discriminating against deaf applicants, million-dollar lawsuits due to a lack of fair hiring still happen far too often.

While there is no magic formula for instantly making your workplace more equitable, the best place to start is at the beginning. 

With easy, automated blind hiring, you can instantly reduce hiring bias and screen the right applicants in. Here’s how it works.

What we’ll cover:

  • What is blind hiring?
  • How to implement blind hiring without messy manual processes
  • Blind hiring is great, but it’s not a cure-all

What is blind hiring? And why it could be the missing link in your recruitment process

Imagine missing out on a career defining opportunity because your name is Jasmine instead of James.

Research has proven that hiring bias keeps qualified applicants from even reaching the interview stage. And no matter how much we think we’re getting it right, the truth is — we’re human. None of us are immune to unconscious bias for or against our job candidates. 

But that doesn’t mean we stop trying.

In every inclusive recruitment strategy, there are many moving parts — diverse employer branding, the right diversity job boards, clear metrics for measuring progress, and more.

Among these many tools, blind hiring is a key bias-buster that can help you build a more representative workforce. 

So what is blind hiring?

Sometimes called blind resume screening, blind hiring is a process in which an employer blocks out identifying personal information on a candidate’s resume or application that could influence or “bias” a hiring decision.

By hiding the parts of an applicant’s resume that may be subject to unconscious bias – such as name, location, college, or graduation year – blind hiring helps hiring managers focus on the candidate's relevant skills and work experience, rather than their demographic data. 

Blind hiring is often used during the screening and pre-interview stages, and is usually (and most easily) done automatically via an applicant tracking system. (But we’ll get to that in a minute).

How blind hiring can help you build a diverse candidate pool without messy manual processes

In our recent diversity hiring survey of over 1,000 respondents, 865 employers said they are experiencing issues with improving diversity. Regardless of size, sourcing talent from diverse backgrounds was reported as the biggest challenge for hiring managers at 40%.

The good news is, with a few extra steps to your recruitment process, you can beat unconscious bias and start hiring candidates based on their fit for your job postings.

And with the right tool, you don't have to wrangle spreadsheets or break out the permanent marker to make it happen.

Here's how Breezy makes blind hiring easy:

  1. For Breezy users who have enabled the Incognito Apply feature, any identifying information is automatically redacted as soon as a candidate submits their application.
  2. The applicant’s name is replaced with an adjective and an animal name until they are moved to another stage in the pipeline by the hiring manager or recruiter.
  3. When combined with Candidate Match Score, AI will compare your job description to incoming candidates’ resumes and assign a simple 0-10 score so you always know which applicants to review first.
  4. Breezy then automatically removes the redaction and kicks off relevant workflows and automations. 

And that’s it!

With the powerful combination of Breezy’s Incognito Apply and Match Score features,  you see only the information that is actually relevant to the candidate's skills and experience. From there, you simply accept or reject based on the information relevant to the role, rather than the familiarity of a candidate’s name or area code.

The rest happens automatically.

Household name companies like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, BBC and Google have already put blind hiring practices into action to help make sure they don’t miss out on top talent.

And with the right recruitment tool, you don’t have to rank on the Fortune 500 to follow their lead.

Blind hiring is awesome, but it’s no cure-all

By taking steps to remove potential bias triggers from the hiring process and use AI to instantly surface top candidates regardless of identifying features like gender, age or location,  more employers are positioning themselves to build a representative pool of qualified candidates and harness the competitive advantages that come along with that.

Here are just a few of the big-deal benefits a more diverse workforce can provide:

  • Speedier problem solving - Diversity delivers new skill sets and approaches, helping businesses solve problems faster.
  • Higher employee engagement - No more last-picked-for-the-kickball-team feelings – when everyone feels represented, engagement increases
  • Greater resilience - Diverse teams are almost twice as likely to be able to cope with change. In this day and age, who doesn't want more of that?
  • Better reputation - DEI plays a big role in how workers (and the world) perceive your company. Give them something positive to talk about by making good on your DEI promises.
  • Elevated innovation - Diverse perspectives mean new ideas that lead to increased revenue for the business.

But even with the core identity cues removed from your incoming applications, it’s important to note that the rest of your hiring process may still be subject to bias.

Once you've succeeded in using inclusive job descriptions and better blind hiring to diversify your candidate pool, you still need to take steps to minimize bias in your interview process, make a fair offer, and ensure that the right systems and opportunities are in place for equitable advancement.

Because in a day and age where there are more S&P 500 CEOs named Michael or James than women chief executives period — it’s not enough to recruit diverse candidates.

From leaky pipelines to "broken rungs" in the ladder, candidates from underrepresented communities still face a number of barriers that keep them locked into low-growth entry-level roles. To build a genuinely equitable workplace fit for the future, you need to put just as much effort into onboarding, advancement, and retention.

With the right strategy, what starts with an easy, automated blind recruitment process can end in a powerful and representative workforce made up of talented individuals who are proud to stick around.

Hire the right people for the right reasons with Breezy

At Breezy, we can't execute your DEI strategy for you. But we can help you make sure that each and every applicant gets the fair shot they deserve.

Breezy offers two best-in-class DEI tools to help — to start, hiring teams can use Candidate Match Score to automatically see a clearly prioritized and bias-free list of best-fit candidates for their open roles. 

Next, Breezy’s new blind hiring feature, Incognito Apply, will help you screen the right candidates in — not out. 

With this double-whammy approach, Breezy will help hiring teams reduce bias at the screening stage, meaning more interviews with talented candidates from a wider range of backgrounds.

Find out how easy it can be to build a more diverse candidate pipeline, while protecting your business from expensive lawsuits and reputational damage.

Enable Candidate Match Score and Incognito Apply today.