Blind Hiring could be the solution to the diversity problem. This form of hiring seeks to remove a hiring manager’s unconscious biases from the interview process.  If factors such as name, gender, ethnicity, and education, are removed, hiring agencies and managers may be able to focus solely on the applicant’s talent.

Back in September, Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) chief marketing and communication officer Antonio Lucio called on all its agencies to develop a detailed plan to increase diversity talent over the next 12 months.  In addition, General Mills instructed its marketing agency to hire at least “50 percent women and 20 percent people of color working on its accounts.”

FCB and Levenson Group are two marketing companies that are following both HP and General Mills’ lead. Both agencies have used the tech platform GapJumpers, “…which allows employers to ditch resumes and instead post challenges for potential new hires online.” Since the agency started using GapJumpers, the company has conducted over 1,200 blind auditions. Levenson Group chief product officer Paul McEnany commented on the success of using GapJumpers, stating “the agency hired a female candidate with no agency experience or no marketing degree. I’m not even certain we would have interviewed her in the first place.”

It may seem like blind hiring should be installed in all hiring practices, but some agencies are not sold.  Singleton Beato, EVP of Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Talent Development for 4A’s, argues, “in order for blind hiring to help change the industry’s diversity problem, agencies must be willing to commit to more than simply changing their hiring practices. You’ve got to make sure your culture is ready, and everyone is trained to enable diverse talent throughout the talent journey.“  Currently blind hiring is utilized by a small fraction of companies.

-Ray Hayes

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