From Blind Auditions on “The Voice” to Blind Interviews in Business, We are Leveling the Playing Field

Why do companies say they don’t discriminate but still have the voluntary questions about gender and race? And are you like me? Do you answer the questions because somewhere in the back of your mind, you feel it makes a difference? Does a company that asks such questions really embrace diversity in the workplace?

“The Voice”, a smash hit show on NBC provides a level playing field for music artists by allowing them to initially be judged on their singing talent rather than their appearance. By removing race, gender and appearance from the equation, the judges on the show are able to create teams of diverse talent. Their teams are apprised of very talented artists from diverse backgrounds, culture, nationalities, shapes and sizes.

Is it time that other industries try this too? Would it work?  Companies like Gap Jumpers feel it is time and has shown that it can work. Gap Jumpers sells a software program that allows tech companies to perform blind interviews in the early stages of the interview process. Potential candidates take skill tests and are then chosen to move on to the next phase of the interview process based on their test scores. These test scores highlight their ability and talent, only thus eliminating any bias in the initial decision making process.

So, like The Voice, the initial decision is based on not knowing anything except the candidate’s talent. Companies using Gap Jumper’s software initially do not receive any identifying information like names, gender, race or education. Once the companies have evaluated the test scores and have chosen their list of candidates, they can then proceed to phone and/or in-person interviews.

Granted this will not completely eliminate bias in the hiring process, but I do however feel this is a great step in the right direction. What are your thoughts? Is this a step in the right direction? Or is this the wrong approach?

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