Blind Hiring

In 1970 many symphony orchestras were still made up almost entirely of white men due to the directors claiming they were the only people qualified. Around this time many orchestras had begun blind auditions, a practice pioneered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1952 (removed which was) put into place after a high profile race discrimination case against the New York Philharmonic. Musicians auditioned behind screens and walked on carpeted floors so high heels went undetected. Researchers from Harvard and Princeton took notice of this. They studied the results and found that blind auditions increased the possibility of a woman being hired by up to 46 percent. Confident that they would now be treated fairly the number of female applicants increased greatly.
Blind-HiringThis fair and indiscriminating process of hiring is what we are looking to replicate at JobsTheWord using software. Many companies claim to want to diversify their workforce so it could be argued in 2016 this isn’t necessary. However, for various reasons they are still failing to do so.

A problem in many industries is that talented workers are overlooked due to lacking elite pedigrees. Hiring managers are often too easily swayed by the name of a university on a CV. We address this problem by focussing on skills and experience to match candidates to jobs rather than focus on Universities and exam scores.

Another issue affecting the diversity of the workforce is that companies are hiring for ‘culture fit’ which can be self-reinforcing. Data from companies using this method of hiring revealed that only 2 per cent of its employees were black, 3 percent were Latino and 70 percent were men. They claim in their defence that there are not enough qualified women and minority men applying for roles within these companies. Just as the directors of the Orchestras said before the blind auditions.

Statistics show that there certainly are enoughJargonqualified men and women but the likelihood of them actually applying for these companies can be affected by factors as small as the wording of a vacancy. An advert for a company looking for a “rock star” has been said to be greatly off putting to many women and corporate jargon terms such as “push the envelope” and “synergy” are shown to turn off almost everyone bar white males.

Our methods at JobsTheWord encourage diversity as we approach candidates directly letting them know that there is a job suitable for them based on their qualifications, skills and experience.

This takes removes the first hurdle where in the past a candidate may have been put off by an advert that has been accidentally aimed at a targeted audience. Also as the job role has been proposed to the candidate it may give them the confidence boost needed to apply even if they have previously encountered discrimination during in the application stage of similar roles.

Along with poorly worded vacancy listings, hiring personnel can also be to blame for flawed human judgment creating obstacles in fair recruitment. According to decades of research humans are just not very good at hiring. Human involvement is necessary at some point but using our software at the beginning of the process links the right people to suitable jobs and could reduce the likelihood of hiring the wrong person in the end.

A study in 2003 researched discrimination in hiring using fake CV’s. The results showed a candidate with a black sounding name was very likely to be overlooked for a candidate with a white sounding name with the same qualifications.

With 10 million profiles in the UK and 270 million worldwide, our diverse talent sourcing methods use software to try to combat bias in the hiring process in a similar way to the blind auditions. We assist companies in their search for the diverse workforce they say they are aiming to achieve while directing the best candidate for a job to the job.

Steve Bebbington
Client Partner
0207 193 0220

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