Does blind recruitment work for small businesses?

does blind recruitment work? by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

What is blind recruitment and why is it so vital for your business?

Blind recruitment took the hiring world by storm a few years ago. It completely changed the way that thousands of businesses – from small local organisations to giants like Google – approach hiring. But does blind recruitment actually work? What does it achieve?

Blind hiring can be traced back at least 40 years to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. They began recruiting musicians in a new way: by having them audition from behind a screen.

The hiring committee could only hear the musician’s talent – they had no other indicators of whether they would be the ‘right fit’.

Other orchestras began following suit and the results were staggering. Where committees ran blind auditions, women were hired on average 25 – 46% more often.

Naturally other organisations began following the trend. Today blind hiring means something quite different. No one tends to interview candidates from behind a curtain, but thousands of companies do remove details like name, age, ethnicity, location and even education from their application processes.

Why use blind recruitment?


Blind recruitment is scarcely done without a goal. For lots of companies, it’s about diversity.

Promoting equality and diversity is a must in the modern world. If your business isn’t actively campaigning for equality you’re probably missing a trick.

One of the easiest ways to promote equality is to show it. We speak about our dedication to helping companies find the top, diverse talent all the time!

But as always, actions speak louder than words. Populating your team with diverse people is the best way to prove your company’s dedication to equality and fair hiring.

Fighting unconscious bias

No matter who is doing your recruitment – no matter if it’s a trusted hiring manager, outsourced recruiter or even yourself – their own brain can be your worst enemy.

Humans are often silly. We let ideas of things get in the way. For example, your hiring manager might have an idea that only women can do marketing or only men can be in sales. They could let this kind of wacky belief completely control the entire hiring process.

This can be a disaster. You’re trusting someone to find you the best talent but they’re ignoring half the population!

The same goes for age, ethnicity and even education.

The best way to tackle this is to use blind hiring software. I’m saying software specifically because machines shouldn’t have bias (unless it’s coded in!)

Our recruitment platform is a great example of this. Lots of the companies we work with choose a blind hiring route, meaning that we pull in the best people and have them complete a task. Our clients then choose the best of the bunch to invite to interviews.

This means that they’re already seen undeniable evidence of the person’s skill before meeting them. The idea is already formed, and the interview just confirms that!

Recruiting the best talent

Lots of small business owners make the mistake of valuing their personal opinion over fact. This comes up when they’re focusing on culture fit over skill.

Choosing to hire the person that you want to go to the pub with over the person actually capable of the job is a mistake in a lot of ways. And as a small business owner, can you really afford for your new hire to be a slow starter? You want someone that can hit the ground running.

But when you move the focus from company culture fit to skill, you will end up hiring the best talent. Your only option will be to hire the best person for the job.

This is such a monumental change! It all comes down to this: workplace culture isn’t real. It’s not a concrete thing that you can base your hiring decisions on.

You might disagree. That’s fine, but I can tell you now that you can’t judge someone’s entire personality and work style on a couple of interviews.

What is real is their skills and talents. Betting on these is much safer!

Does blind recruitment work?

Blind hiring clearly works – people all over the world have been swearing by it for 40 years! The question is more about whether blind recruitment strategies will work for you.

The only way to know is to test it. This means stepping away from the usual ads you post and going rogue. Blind recruitment relies on good processes, so expect to put in a fair amount of work.

You can always speak to the team at DigitalGrads if you want to use blind hiring to find your next junior.

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
Posted in Hiring Graduates