A Blind CV: Everything you need to know!

Creating a blind curriculum is becoming fairly common among job seekers. If you’ve never heard about a blind CV, I am sure you can imagine what it is, although you may wonder why you would want to create one?

First, lets be crystal clear on what a blind CV is, before we go any further. A blind curriculum is essentially one that doesn’t include any personal details which refer to the applicant’s gender, age or ethnicity. In general, the idea is that any information unrelated to a person’s work capabilities, shouldn’t be included. The only information that should appear is academic training, work experience, and contact information so that there is no unconscious bias that is created. This form of CV is used for blind recruitment or blind hiring, the process of recruiting colleagues without personally indefinable information available, so that personal bias doesn’t occur.

What is the purpose of blind recruitment?

Simply put, hiring by a blind CV in the recruitment process allows the human resources manager to select the right candidate without imposing any type of preconceived ideas or discrimination.

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Structure of a Blind Curriculum

Broadly speaking, the structure of this type of curriculum vitae is as follows:

  • Candidate information: Although any type of personal information should be avoided, some data needs to be included. The job position to which the candidate aspires is one example. Also, the employer may require the expiration dates of official documents. This information is required in the case of needing to verify a candidate’s eligibility, by law, to work.
  • Contact information: This information, such as the mobile number and email, allows the company to contact the candidate. As long as the information doesn’t constitute personal data, then it can be included.
  • Academic data: The details relating to the applicant’s studies, including the degrees or courses obtained, duration of studies, and grades are a must to include. You can ignore the date of graduation for obvious reasons.
  • Previous work experience: In many cases, the experience is what the company values most. Although, in other cases, the previous training the applicant has obtained is more valuable. Including past tasks and duties is recommended; dates can be left out.

It is true that with the data provided in points 3 and 4, the recruiter is able to gain a pretty good insight into the approximate age of the candidate. However, there is little way around this, as the candidate must share information on their previous work situation and academic studies.

Main advantages of a blind CV

  • Gender Equality. When there is no gender listed on the CV, the company recruiting isn’t able to reject or select a candidate based on their gender, thus reducing bias.
  • No Age Discrimination. Commonly, mature workers find it difficult to enter the labor market, due to age discrimination. On the other hand, younger candidates often feel this struggle too, as many recruiters view them as lacking maturity or experience. Without knowing a person’s age, the employer is forced to hire based on skills and experience rather than age.
  • Physical Appearance Is No Factor. The physical appearance or the image of a person should not influence their candidacy. Although for some jobs, physical appearance is one of the main factors that does influence hiring (ie. modeling). If this is the case, a blind CV shouldn’t be used to apply for the position.
  • Change in Mentality. The employees aren’t the only ones who benefit. The company begins to adopt a new way of working. They start to focus more on an employee’s qualities and competencies in a job, rather than age, appearance, or gender.

Debates against hiring with a blind CV

  • Hiring with a blind CV can in fact do the opposite of what it seeks to achieve and hinder diversity in hiring. Many employees seek out minority candidates during the hiring process to engender positive action. This is defined as taking measures to support the recruitment of underrepresented minorities. However, when recruiters do not have candidates’ information, they cannot pursue diversity.
  • Blind hiring can sometimes mean that employers do not get to see the candidate’s characteristics and personality traits, which could be problematic later on down the line.
  • It is also important to consider that hiring via a blind CV may not always work. Unconscious or conscious biases may still arise when candidates are selected for an interview and they meet with the employer. This means they could be fully qualified candidates but fall at the last hurdle.

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Companies Pilot Testing the Blind CV

In 2017, the Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality in Spain, led by Dolors Montserrat, began talking about this possibility of blind hiring. The minister then highlighted how it had been successfully implemented in other countries such as England, Germany, France, and the Netherlands as a way to avoid labour discrimination in the hiring process.

After requests from more than 300 companies and collaborations of various entities, in July of that same year the ‘Project for the design, implementation, and evaluation of an anonymous curriculum vitae project for the selection of personnel’ officially arrived. This pilot program tested out the blind curriculum in 78 companies and entities in each personnel selection process.

Ikea Blind Curriculum pilot project

The first major company to implement the use of a blind curriculum in its selection process is Ikea. In 2018, the pilot project rolled out in Madrid and Seville. Their objective was to see the result of the pilot project before implementing it in more locations.

The first test they ran obtained more than adequate results. After selecting 18 people through their blind curriculum search, 15 of them passed the interview stage and the entire selection process. The company accepted over 80% of candidates in their company, without the recruiter even knowing about their age, gender, appearance, etc.

What are your thoughts on the Blind CV?

Talent acquisition isn’t easy, especially when it is plagued by unconscious bias from the hiring manager. For this reason, the blind CV is an incredibly useful tool for recruiters.

 

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