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What is blind hiring and how can it affect you?

The April issue of HR Magazine has an article about an old hiring practice that is starting to grow in certain industries.  The concept is called blind hiring and the objective is for employers to reduce, or ultimately eliminate, any bias for possible discrimination in the hiring process at the earliest level of the recruitment for candidates.  Depending on the method the company uses, you may need to modify how you are writing your resume and cover letter to fit their guidelines, so here are some different ways this practice could affect you.

  • Don't include any identifying information on your resume. Some companies are asking applicants to remove name, address, phone, dates, and any other personal identifying information from their documentation. This way the hiring team only sees your experience and accomplishments without any possible indication of your personal demographics.
  • Complete an online assessment through a third party to evaluate your abilities. This has been a common practice for companies that aren't doing blind hiring - personality assessments, technical, and writing skills assessments are parts of several companies initial screening process along with a resume review. For blind hiring practices, only the scores are provided to the hiring personnel and then candidates are chosen to be interviewed based solely on the tests.
  • Remove any sections with non-experience related information. The debate on whether to include ‘hobbies and interests' sections on resumes continues with employers, but in blind hiring these sections need to be removed prior to submission to the company. Including that you are a passionate Little League coach could indicate that you have children. Noting that you volunteer for your church would signal your religious preference. Ultimately this information isn't supposed to give you any advantage in the hiring process, so removing these sections on all of your resumes is probably the best strategy.


6:13 pm          Comments

What should you do when your interview seems like an American Idol audition?

You're pretty excited because you sailed through the online resume screen and right into the phone interview.  After nailing that, you were invited to meet with the manager for the job and he thinks you are someone who can be successful on the team.  So - now it's time to head into the final panel interview round with upper management and/or human resources.  You are confident about your ability to do the job, but sometimes a panel interview can spin out of your control.  American Idol is the ultimate panel interview - so think about how you are going to manage the situation if it heads down one of these paths:

The interviewers are giving you ‘negative' body language.  So visualize a contestant starting to sing and it's WAY off key.  The panel - even Luke Bryan - starts to make faces like they ate a raw lemon.  Even the most qualified candidates can find themselves wandering off into a bad answer.  The best approach here is to stop talking and ask them if you can give a different example.  Say something like "I apologize, that isn't the best example I can give you for that situation.  A different time when I handled a difficult issue was..."  They have to listen to your new answer (song) and hopefully will forget your first performance.

One of the panelists is becoming distracted.  On the show, it could be Katy Perry finding her newest crush or Lionel Richie and Luke getting up and dancing.  In a job interview this could be as simple as one of the people checking their phone while you are answering a question.  The key here is to stay on track with your answer and pay attention to the other panelists with your eye contact.  If the person becomes re-engaged while you are speaking, pretend nothing happened and show them that you are in control of answering the question effectively.

You are getting ‘buying signals' from the panel.  This can be a great - and terrible - thing to happen in an interview (audition).  It's wonderful that everyone is fully engaged and leaning forward and listening intently to you while nodding and whispering to each other about how qualified you are.  Avoid the temptation to start smiling too much and getting so internally excited that you forget your answer (the lyrics) and fall off the rails at the end.  Stay focused on what the question is and provide the clearest example of how you used your skills to successfully produce results in that type of situation in the past.

3:07 pm          Comments

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