Consider this scenario: You’re meeting your friend’s new partner for the first time. Your friend hasn’t told you a lot about their partner, but you know things are getting pretty serious. The partner greets you with a genuine smile and solid handshake. So far so good. You get to chatting and discover that the partner grew up in the same suburb as you, and went to the same university… what are the odds?! Then you find out they also follow the same football team as you – instant approval!
But… what if they had given you a limp handshake? Grew up on the ‘other side’ of the river/city? Went to a uni that wasn’t as good as yours? Or don’t actually follow football (shock horror)!? How would you be feeling about them then? And does that really have anything to do with how good a fit they are as a partner for your friend?
[bctt tweet=”Can blind recruitment help you see the truth?” username=”ATCevent”]
We all have a number of unconscious biases that come into play when we are trying to make decisions about people. This is our brain’s way of taking a shortcut and making things easier for us. And this starts from the very first time we are made aware of this individual, such as when we meet them, or, as it more commonly occurs in the recruitment process – through an application or their CV. In this context we make unconscious assumptions about people based on their name, gender and other key pieces of information we can glean from their application. Consequently, this can create difficulties when we’re trying to create a more diverse workforce in our organisations.
When recently speaking with a prospective client in the tech industry, we got to talking about how he’s been working to automate the initial selection process to try and decrease the ‘human touchpoints’ to eliminate the impact of bias around not only gender and ethnicity but things such as what university the candidate went to. This can be a difficult balancing act to make sure the candidate still feels engaged with the organisation throughout the process, which includes an online application that automatically screens candidates based on key criteria, followed by a psychometric assessment. The result:they’re making more diverse hires, and people that previously wouldn’t have made it through the initial stages are now being hired.
A registered psychologist with a Masters of Organisational Psychology, Nicole has expertise in psychometric and behavioural assessment for selection and development purposes. With a passion for positive psychology and analysing human behaviour she loves assisting people to enjoy their work. Whether that be through matching them to the right job through psychometric testing and/or assessment centres, assisting teams to work more effectively together, or helping people to fulfill their potential and be engaged at work.