Applicant Anonymous

My job application number is AW55672. This number will be used to track my hiring process from start to finish. There are no identifiable qualifiers on my resume that will allow you to consider anything other than my work experiences and qualifications for the job for which I am applying.  All you need to know is that I am qualified for the job and should be considered for the position.  You do not need to know my name, race, ethnicity, gender, or age. The only identification on my resume is the application number.

Often hiring processes are biased and unfair.  Racism, sexism, and ageism are all unconscious biases that hinder the hiring process.  There are many professions that are gender dominant, and hiring processes cater to the stereotype. In education, teachers are primarily female; however, males dominate most leadership positions.  Engineering is a predominantly male-dominated field. Discriminatory hiring practices can lead to standards of hiring. If the playing field is neutralized, these prejudices can be minimized.  If job applicants are viewed and considered through anonymous steps and procedures, it may level the workforce, creating a diverse workforce and culture.  Concentrating on one’s qualifications and talents eliminates the focus on demographic characteristics.  Many times employers will go no further than an applicant’s name and determine whether that candidate is a good fit for the organization or not, without ever considering their qualifications.  Bias awareness training can uncover weaknesses among hiring managers and reveal unfair hiring practices. This training should be mandatory for all hiring agents.

Job pay scales should be based on qualifications and not gender, race, etc.  Men should not get paid more or women less for the same position and duties. It is unethical and unlawful that women are often paid less than men for the same job, and yet it continues to happen. Anonymous hiring can help mitigate some pay disparities among men, women, and people of color.  Transparency among pay practices can significantly decrease the gender gap between men and women. Salary determination should be attached to the position only and not the person.

With the revision of hiring practices, the focus of screening and hiring should be anchored less in the familiar and focus more on initiatives that promote gender diversity in all areas of the workforce. By not focusing on age, gender, ethnicity, or level of education, hiring managers are not distracted by the biases that surface during resume reviews.  Gender decoding software would allow nondiscriminatory practices when considering job applicants. Though this idea is not a guaranteed method, it can reduce some hiring biases.  Knowing a candidate will need to be seen at some point, the initial screening can be done through anonymous resume review, task or test measures, and voice threads.  All of these sight unseen steps can allow the hiring manager to evaluate candidates based on qualifications and not by what is seen. If the NBC show “The Voice” can hold blind auditions, undoubtedly hiring managers can adopt some of the same practices to diversify their workplace portfolio.

Being on several hiring panels, moving forward I will strongly suggest we implement some of these neutral hiring practices.

One Reply to “Applicant Anonymous”

  1. If you can convince your colleagues to move forward with that, I’d be interested in knowing how it works out. One concern I’d have is that anonymized resumes might favor those who have advantages from the start.

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