Use blind reviews to identify and source more women

How blind reviews can improve gender balance

In a time when unconscious biases affect almost every aspect of the workplace, blind reviews offer a way to open up the female talent pipeline.

Research finds recruitment processes to be 85% ineffective. Traditional sourcing and identification methodologies tend to be riddled with the biases of the recruiter, HR representative and hiring manager. These biases can be unconscious or otherwise. Either way, diversity recruitment is highlighted as a top priority and trend by 78% of talent management professionals for 2018. The business case for gender balance is very compelling and should be a priority for all organisations, but it doesn’t appear that way much of the time. What is obvious is that organisations need well-conceived strategies to be in a better place to identify, source and hire increased numbers women.

Two potential strategies

There are two possible scenarios requiring different approaches:

  • Target women candidates directly:  This is about revamping outdated candidate sourcing practices and is best employed in sectors or for openings where female candidates are hard to identify. In these cases an organisation needs to pro-actively look for or encourage applications from women. It will be important to make every element of the hiring process female friendly to draw them in.

Download our free eBook for Recruiters and Hiring Manager to understand how men and women apply for jobs differently

  • Manage the unconscious bias in existing systems: This is effective for existing systems where men and women apply in equal numbers, but female candidates are eliminated from the pipeline by the biases of those involved. To tackle this, fields which trigger bias are removed or covered. Masked or blind reviews are increasingly incorporated into the algorithms found in different specialist software designed for this purpose, which is then used by HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). The outcome is a better chance of gender balanced long lists.

Blind reviews

Blind reviews

Some organizations are tapping into technology in order to root out bias and so improve their diversity hiring results. Using blind reviews embedded in AI, candidate data is masked or extracted to mitigate against patterns of potential bias. By applying an automated and objective process, the scope of bias can be reduced at the sourcing and CV triage stage of the hiring process. This increases the chances of having a higher number of women at the long list stage, where otherwise a significant number of candidates are eliminated.

Key data that can be masked would include:

Name:  Implicit in a person’s name is a candidate’s gender, race, ethnicity or cultural background.

Education: Educational level and the institution are taken out. Very often roles don’t need an advanced degree. Profiles are frequently beefed up unnecessarily and even the name of the university can trigger bias. How many times have you felt your spirits lifted by a candidate from a “good” university? Or been dismissive of either an obscure institution or one that has a bad reputation?

Years’ experience: Setting a limit to the number of years’ experience can help combat bias against ageism.

Post code: A post code can raise bias about a person’s socio-economic background.

Date of graduation: This leads to bias related to age at both ends of the spectrum.

Employments gaps: If these are no longer visible then it reduces bias against candidates who have taken parenting leave or any sort of gap period in their career.

Photos: In some geographies it is still common to supply photos. If these are masked then bias related to age, gender, physical appearance or ability and ethnicity is managed successfully.

Taking on unconscious biases

Pilot studies reveal that when using blind reviews, gender biases are reduced. This generates an equal number of male and female candidates. Companies working in the space offer competitive solutions to understand where is bias introduced in an interview process and to prioritize actions to manage bias more effectively.

This type of software which allows blind reviews is becoming commonplace in many large organisations. Eventually it will be standard in most HRIS systems. Without this external objectivity, reviewers (and therefore candidates) are at the mercy of their own unconscious biases.

What blind reviewing won’t do is tackle the biases than creep in before the sourcing stage of the process and later into the hiring procedure at interview or offer.

Unconscious biases are rife throughout organisations, but they can be beaten. 3Plus can help with our Unconscious Bias Training Workshops. How can we help? Get in touch: 

Corporate Inquiry

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

3Plus, 3Plus online e-Gazine for professional women, Candidate indentification, Executive Search and Recruitment, Female Talent Pipeline
Web | Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.

Leave a Reply

Found that interesting? Learn more about our services
Individual services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
more info
Corporate services
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
more info
Upcoming events
Currently we don't have upcoming events
Download and listen free podcasts
Why all women need a strong LinkedIn profile
Free Download

Data on women on LinkedIn has always been hard to get and analyse, but some new information sheds light on how women use the platform differently to their male colleagues and what those differences mean. You will find out why you need a strong LinkedIn profile.

It has always been difficult to identify women on LinkedIn because it’s not possible to do a search based on gender. Any efforts to track women on LinkedIn specifically, involve complex Boolean strings involving pronouns or searching via women’s clubs, universities and networks. So any analysis has always been more anecdotal around perceptions and personal experience, rather than data based. However research from 2017  using LinkedIn member profile data for members in the United States over the past 12 months. Published on the LinkedIn blog it supports pretty much what we already know about women on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn  is the main professional data base used globally by hiring managers and recruiters, yet women continue to engage less than their male colleagues, putting themselves at a distinct professional disadvantage. Now we have some facts and figures as well as tips and tricks to persuade  you to up your game. All women have to have a strong LinkedIn profile. No ifs and buts.

 

How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters
Free Download

In this power coaching podcast, we’re going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple times a week by active job seekers and passive candidates.

How can I get noticed by head hunters and recruiters and connect with them?

In this short power coaching podcast Dorothy Dalton shares some tips and tricks to make sure that you are always on the radar of the recruitment and search specialists who can be most helpful to you. With extensive experience in executive search and corporate HR Dorothy has placed, coached and trained thousands of men and women to career success. As a career coach she has a deep understanding of the job search market and what job seekers need to do to position themselves to they are easily found.

As CEO of 3Plus she also has deep experience of the challenges women face in the workplace. Sadly because women tend not to create career strategies they can be vulnerable when it comes to dealing with change. Regular transitions become career crises. In this short session you will learn some simple tips and tricks to make sure you are on the radar of key recruitment specialists in your sector, geography or function.  It’s not rocket science.

 

 

 

 

One of the most puzzling things about working in executive search is that people and I say this reluctantly particularly women fail to plan ahead. You’ve heard me say before that only 5% of women have a career strategy. This means that they are not prepared for any emergencies until they become a crisis.

 

Goal setting tips to boost your career
Free Download

The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and the upcoming work week. So how do you get to a place where you look forward to a new week of doing what satisfies you? You’ll have to either learn to love your current role, or make a commitment to pursue your dream job. Use these goal setting tips to help you get to where you want to be.

Some women choose the latter, and to do so you’ll have to set career goals to get where you want to be. So make sure you have a detailed plan on how to land a job that you will tick all the boxes.

The majority of women choose to stay in their own organizations and even then you still need to have goals, not just KPis set by your manager. But even if you do see your career developing within your current business it’s still important to set goals.

Many women struggle with career planning and creating a career strategy which can lead to problems. This makes them vulnerable to and sort of challenge which can moprh into a full blown career crisis. Some simple steps to plan and prepare can help avoid this.

Take a look at these goal setting tips to help boost your career and set you on the right path.

Lewis Carroll  said

If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.”

Research shows that only about 5% of women create career goals and a career strategy. This can have a negative impact on your career progression. It means you are reactive not proactive and career glitches can morph into full blown crises. It puts women at a clear disadvantage to men.

Learn these simple goal setting tips to boost your career and protect and prepare you for all eventualities. If these goal setting tips make you think that you could use some further help,  contact us immediately.

 

When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage
Free Download

There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about  female rivalry and competition between women. Some of it makes sense and some of it is confusing. Organizations are pyramids with fewer roles at the top than at the bottom. It is inevitable that at some level, as more and more women are in the talent pipeline, at some point they will be in competition with other women.

Many would say that women aren’t competitive. I would suggest re-framing that. I think it’s more accurate to say they are not as competitive in the workplace as men. We have also been made to feel guilty about being competitive. We need to get over that.  Here are the reasons:

  1. The male nature of corporate culture makes it a disincentive to compete
  2. Women don’t want to compete because  prescribed male goals are not attractive enough for them. “Work 14 hour days, not see my partner or family … get sick.. die..no thanks.. I’ll pass”
  3. Women don’t know how to compete in the workplace. They are new arrivals on the corporate competition scene and lack practise.
  4. Women experience gender blow back when they do compete, from both men and women
  5. Women have been raised to think that competing with other women is not empowering them. As more women enter the talent pipeline that is just nonsense.

Learn some insights from Annabel Kaye, Employment Law Expert about how it’s OK to be competitive and the danger zone when it can turn into sabotage. Understand the benefits of mutual support and how all women can profit from having strong strategic allies, role models and mentors.