Why I don’t believe in blind hiring

imgresIn the last few months I have talked to a few start-up companies who have created technologies that can help companies do blind hiring.  It essentially eliminates all bias that might happen on the companies side.  It can also help companies zero in on people whose skill sets are much more aligned with the job that they are hiring for.  The case for that would be that someone would stick with that job for longer creating higher retention.

The concept of figuring out a way to dig deeper into someone’s skill sets to match them with the appropriate job makes sense.  That this would help the person making the hire have zero biases on the other side of the table is an interesting one.  Certainly we all wonder about that when women pitch their companies to a room of men but is that the end all be all to the problem?

Here is why I don’t believe in blind hiring.  I have personally made a conscious decision to invest in women and minorities.  If I just shut my eyes then perhaps I would not have ended up with so many of my investments in something that was important to me.

When companies start to hire their team they have to make a conscious decision that they are going to be gender balanced.  Maybe the people walking in the door are not the women they want to hire but just a slew of great men for the job or perhaps the other way around.  Then work harder and find the people you need to create the balance.  They are out here.  I have had this exact conversation with many founders.  Make a commitment to gender balance and make a commitment that the next hire will be a woman or a minority…whatever is it you decide but decide what you want your company to look like.

Equal treatment is supposed to be color blind but unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way.  Many might be against affirmative action but if has forced many companies to advance the employment of women and minorities.  I am not convinced we are ready to be completely blind when it comes to hiring people.  I believe we need to make conscious decisions to hire with balance in mind.  Not only do people benefit from it, the companies culture benefits the most.