We have all no doubt heard about or watched The Voice, the reality television singing competition based initially on 'blind auditions.' Contestants are concealed from the judges, who are asked to vote purely on the quality of their voice. Quite simply the process is an attempt to remove bias that may exist from the talent acquisition process.
Diversity and inclusion are central to every business. Unconscious bias is a big challenge in the workplace and society. Just imagine transferring the concept of the 'Blind Audition' to the workplace for talent acquisition with 'Name Blind' recruitment. The Confederation of British Industry(CBI) has described “name-blind” recruitment as one way to remove “criteria that could unintentionally bias managers, and give under-represented groups confidence that their application will be fairly considered”. Personal information such as name, age, gender, location, disability and nationality would be concealed during the screening process. This will help applicants to be judged on their merit rather than background or personal profile.
Whilst 'name blind' screening is a step in the right direction to remove the potential for discrimination, it cannot guarantee a diverse and inclusive workplace. There will still be a need to eliminate bias at the interview stage possibly by introducing recruitment technology, assessments and training interviewers. There will also be a continuous requirement for diversity awareness training and effective leadership.
Artificial intelligence and technology will play a big part in recruitment in the future. For now though, maybe it is time for policy makers within your business to audit your recruitment and promotion processes for potential bias and take action.
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