By Michael Cork, Esq.
"Driving While Blind" has nothing to do with "Blind Hiring." Hopefully, the latter leads to better results than the former. Blind Hiring or anonymous hiring reflects the attempt by human resources professionals to judge potential hires by their abilities and not their resumes. The process entails redacting personal information like names and alma matters, and looking only at an applicant's work. In some instances, companies will ask the anonymous applicant to work for a day on a special project, write a short story, or complete some other work.
The genesis of Blind Hiring was research suggesting that information like a person's name can affect how they are viewed and potentially cause hiring managers to make biased decisions. Proponents claim that Blind Hiring identifies actual talent and facilitates diversity. It's part of the quest for career success based on what you know as opposed to who you know. (Good luck with that.)
One enterprising start-up is pairing applicants with potential employers in chat rooms. In addition to encouraging that no names be shared, there are plans for a voice-masking feature to further assist anonymity. HR professionals are intrigued with the prospect of Blind Hiring, as it holds the promise of identifying those "applicant-jewels" who are lost in the normal recruiting process.
Sex, race, and to a certain extent, ethnicity, will be obvious during the initial meeting. But it will take some time for hiring managers to feel comfortable with an interview in which the applicant's name isn't mentioned-at least not during the first face-to-face.
However, the outcome is still more certain than driving while blind.