Avoiding Unconscious Bias: Blind Screening Techniques

Unconscious Bias is a natural human tendency, rooted in our evolutionary history, to categorise and make snap judgments. But, in our modern, globalised world, this bias can be a significant barrier to fostering diverse and inclusive teams. Enter the world of blind screening techniques, a transformative approach to ensure that the best talent is recognised and hired based solely on merit.

What is Blind Screening?

At its core, blind screening is the practice of evaluating job applications without any information that might reveal the candidate’s gender, race, age, or other potential sources of bias. Personal details, such as names, addresses, and even educational institutions, are omitted or anonymised, leaving only the raw data of a candidate’s skills, experience, and qualifications.

Why is Blind Screening Crucial for an effective EDI Programme?

EDI programmes aim to create workplaces where all individuals, irrespective of their background or identity, have equal opportunities to succeed. Implementing blind screening as part of your recruitment process underscores a commitment to fairness and objectivity. It’s a bold statement that says: “At our studio, what you can do is infinitely more important than who you are, where you come from, or what you look like.”

Benefits of Blind Screening

  1. Level Playing Field: By focusing solely on skills and experience, blind screening creates a level playing field where all candidates, irrespective of their background, get an equal shot at being noticed.
  2. Diverse Talent Pool: Studios that use blind screening are more likely to end up with a diverse team, which in turn can lead to increased creativity, a broader range of perspectives, and better problem-solving abilities.
  3. Improved Company Reputation: Adopting fair hiring practices boosts a studio’s reputation as an equitable employer, attracting a wider pool of potential candidates and customers who value ethical business practices.

Benefits of Blind Screening

  1. Use Specialised Software: Several software tools can help automate the process of anonymising applications. These tools can scrub applications of potentially biasing information, ensuring that hiring managers see only what’s relevant to the job.
  2. Revise Job Descriptions: Ensure that job descriptions focus on the essential skills and qualifications required for the position. By setting clear, objective criteria, you’ll simplify the blind screening process and reduce subjective evaluations.
  3. Training and Workshops: It’s crucial that everyone involved in the hiring process understands the importance and methodology of blind screening. Conduct workshops to familiarise your HR team with the techniques and the reasons behind them.
  4. Feedback Loop: Like any new process, blind screening will require fine-tuning. Establish a feedback loop with hiring managers to understand any challenges they face and adjust the process accordingly.
  5. Transparency: Let potential candidates know about your blind screening process. It’s a great selling point and might attract individuals who value such equitable practices.

Unconscious bias is not an easy adversary to combat. It’s deeply rooted and mostly unintentional. However, with tools like blind screening, studios can begin to chip away at the systemic barriers that prevent so many talented individuals from getting the recognition they deserve.

Get started in your organisation

Fiona Housiaux

Get our EDI news and guides straight to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Login or Sign Up

You'll need an Empower Up members account to access this awesome content.

Our members get free access to:

Don't have an account? Sign up