Reet: Blind Interviews. A Case Study

Problem & Solution

Problem: Hiring managers want to feel they have hired candidates without unconscious bias

Solution: Replace a standard phone interview with a blind interview

Why Blind Interviews?

What is human interaction these days?

Most of us rarely interact in real life (IRL). IRL meaning human to human/person to person: We text through many avenues: phone/Slack/IG/Facebook/Reddit. We email. We use chat functions for help support to avoid hopping on a dreaded phone call not knowing how long the wait will be to get on the phone with someone and whether or not there will be a language barrier. We can ring up a transaction in a grocery store without ever speaking with the clerk, if a clerk is even utilized at all. Robots perform surgery. We find lovers on dating apps. People literally marry robots.

The overall conclusion from these statements is that transactions are executed very effectively without direct human interaction.

What is unconscious bias?

Unconscious biases, also known as implicit biases, are the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people unconsciously attribute to another person or group of people that affect how they understand and engage with a person or group.

According to the Harvard Business Review: [S]imply having a name that sounds black can reduce the chance of you getting an interview, according to a study conducted by researchers at MIT and the University of Chicago. The research showed that this is true even at companies that are actively looking for diversity in hiring.

Overall Theme for Reet: Blind Interviews. A Case Study

The overall theme for this case study is blind interviewing. There is a lot of focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce, schools, and teams. DEI has evolved to its current state from civil rights to affirmative action to today. Civil rights stating there should be equity and equality and stressing there isn’t. Affirmative action making it a requirement to hire based on diversity. DEI, emphasizing the benefits of building an inclusive environment.

How is this done fairly? How is this done unbiased? It’s a very murky topic. Is it best for a hiring manager to not see their candidates as much as possible in the interview process? People have a tendency to want to surround themselves with people that are similar to them to maintain their level of comfortableness. Who is doing the hiring?

We still live in a white male-dominated culture at the top of all businesses. Even when the majority of the workforce is female, men are at the top.

Do hiring managers feel the pressure to hire people of different backgrounds, even when the people might not be the “best” candidates? Are people of different backgrounds by default not the “best” candidates because of lack of equity? Is there tokenism to check off boxes that you are an inclusive workplace?

How do people feel that fit these criteria that are brought into a work environment? Are they glad there is this emphasis to focus on a diverse population, or are they concerned they were hired just because they fit a criterion?

How effective is blind hiring? If a manager never sees the names of those they bring in to interview and only sees their experience level, will they by default choose people of all the same background because this background typically has had the opportunity to gain the experience necessary that fits the position?

Who are we aiming for the process to be fair for? The candidate or the hiring manager?

The focus of my case study was to design for the hiring manager. Through the process of redacted resumes, blind chat/emailing, an initial blind interview- the hiring manager would feel confident they had selected the final candidates with the least amount of bias as possible.

The Idea

Typical Hiring Process:
-Submit resume and cover letter
-Phone interview
-In-person/live video interview with hiring managers

VERSUS

Reet’s Blind Hiring Process:
-Redacted resumes
-Blind chat AI communication and emailing platform
-Blind video interview with a hiring manager (the focus of this project)
-Final in-person interview with hiring managers

Reasons Why This is a Good Approach

This would be a better initial interview process than robot interviewing, as it’s more personal.

The hiring manager and applicant still get a sense of each other’s character while mitigating unconscious biases, compared to a phone interview where you can’t see body language and can be influenced by unconscious biases.

Read more about this case study at: jesstabac.com

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