Blind Interviews and Artifical Intelligence
Blind hiring is a growing concept. Most commonly used at graduate level hiring but has become more and more widespread with major brands using AI to help them in their hiring process.
What is Blind Hiring?
Blind Hiring was developed to help eliminate instances of possible discrimination based on race, sex, age, socioeconomic background or education.
In blind hiring candidates are allowed to be interviewed anonymously and often take online skills assessments to determine if they are qualified to the job they are applying to.
Using Artificial Intelligence and specifically Cognitive Technology, such as Chatassess and Adept15, the assessments could come in the form of a series of video interviews and scenario questions, or in the form of gamification which could be completed using mobile devices. Companies are also using facial recognition software to assess a persons traits and expressions.
Before the interview the employer would define a series of competencies and concepts and come up with questions to tackle these which would be programmed. They would then define and agree the identifiable responses (positive and negative). The actual candidate responses would then be scored against these identifiable responses with the most negative and unsuitable being eliminated automatically and the most suitable being shortlisted.
Why use blind hiring?
Competencies and not personal experience.
Blind hiring should help a company recruit free of personal bias by focusing on competencies and not education/ experience. The cv is no longer needed and dates of experience are not relevant.
Blind hiring can help reduce costs when hiring at large volumes. For example where there are several hundred of job applications, using blind interviews may help an employer quickly shortlist the most relevant candidates and ensure that the selection process is free of bias.
Increase diverse workforce
Choosing careful wording can help a company attract candidates from a more diverse range of backgrounds and therefore help increase the diversity of employees and social mobility. By not having a cv with dates, education or personal information discrimination in the selection process can be eliminated as much as possible.
What are the pitfalls?
Some blind interview technologies may not yet be entirely inclusive and cater for candidates with special needs such as impaired vision or deafness.
Blind interviewing is costly to implement and might not be cost effective for low volume or single hires. Smaller companies may still feel it is more practical and cost effective to use internal members of staff to manage the recruitment process all the way.
Negative candidate experience
In a competitive job market, it is important to engage candidates from the outset. Not being able to develop a relationship with an employee of a company from the outset or be able to ask questions about the job they are applying to can often mean the company loses a best candidate to a competitor who offers a much more personalised and human recruitment experience.
We asked some of our clients what their view was of blind interviews using AI. The feedback was mixed. Some of our global clients are already using blind interviews to open up the pool of candidates and help them select graduates for their positions. The majority of clients we asked (over 82%) are hesitant, especially for low volume hires (less than 5 heads) They believe that, in the case of needing an experienced candidate, where there is a shortage of skills due to an increase in competition and the overall reduced availability of applicants, getting a strong buy in using a personalised recruitment experience is key from the very start. The only way to do this is by involving their employees in the process from the outset.