What is blind screening? A concise guide to it's role in recruitment and selection.

May 12, 2023

    Blind Screening

    What is blind screening?

    Blind screening, also known as blind recruitment, is a practice used in the recruitment process to minimize minimise bias.  It also helps promote diversity within the workplace 

    Blind screening involves the removal of personally identifiable information, such as candidate names and other identifying factors, from resumes and applications throughout the assessment phase. 

    This technique involves stripping away personal identifiers. By anonymizing these details, hiring teams can focus on evaluating candidates based on their: 

    •    Skills
    •    Experience 
    •    Qualifications

    rather than personal characteristics that might introduce unconscious biases.

    What identifying factors are removed during blind screening?

    Companies implement blind hiring in various ways. There are are some identifying factors that are removed from applications:

    •    Candidates' photos 
    •    Names 
    •    Age 
    •    Gender  
    •    Addresses
    •    Educational institutions

    In some cases, educational institutions and dates of attendance may also be removed to prevent potential biases based on the pool of candidates' backgrounds.

    This approach enables recruiters and hiring managers to make more objective decisions throughout the candidate evaluation process. Blind screening fosters a more diverse and inclusive workforce that benefits both the organisation and its employees.

    Benefits of blind screening with recruitment

    By focusing solely on relevant skills and experiences, blind hiring helps to promote diversity and ensure that candidates are considered on an equal footing, regardless of their background.

    Reducing Bias and Discrimination

    By removing potentially biased information from candidate profiles, blind recruitment allows the focus to shift towards skills and experience. This mitigates the impact of unconscious bias on the hiring process, promoting fairness in candidate evaluations.

    Promoting diversity and inclusion

    Blind recruitment contributes to a more diverse workforce by ensuring that the selection decision is based solely on candidates' qualifications and achievements. A diverse workforce brings several benefits, such as improved team performance, customer understanding, and talent retention.

    Methods of blind screening

    Blind curriculum Vitae (CV) Review

    During a blind CV review, personal details that may reveal the candidate's identity are removed from their application. This allows recruiters to assess candidates purely on their skills and experience rather than their personal backgrounds.

    Removing identifying information

    To effectively implement blind screening, it is crucial to remove personally identifiable information. This ensures that recruiters are only considering candidates based on their qualifications and not allowing biases to influence their decision making..

    Skill-Based Assessments

    Another method employed in blind screening is using skill-based assessments. These objective evaluations focus on determining candidates' skills and abilities rather than their personal characteristics. This helps in making an unbiased selection while considering only the most relevant factors for the job.

    Blind screening limitations

    Face-to-face interviews

    Blind screening helps reduce bias by removing personal information such as name, gender, and religious background in hiring processes. However, this approach may not entirely eliminate unconscious biases because face-to-face interviews eventually reveal candidate's demographic attributes.

    Overemphasis on Skill Assessment

    Blind hiring puts more focus on skills and competency, possibly overemphasising them at the expense of other factors like cultural fit and soft skills. This may lead to candidates who excel in technical skillsbut might not necessarily align with the company's culture and values.

    Successful blind screening examples

    Anonymous hiring has proven effective in various industries, with noteworthy examples showcasing its impact on diversity and inclusivity.

    Orchestra Auditions: A famous case occurred in the 1970s and 1980s when major orchestras in the United States introduced blind auditions. By having musicians audition behind screens, orchestras significantly increased the ratio of women members, highlighting the power of unbiased selection. The percent of female musicians in the five highest-ranked orchestras in the nation increased from 6 percent in 1970 to 21 percent in 1993.

    GapJumpers: GapJumpers has conducted more than 1,400 auditions for companies like Bloomberg and Dolby Laboratories. According to the company’s numbers, using conventional résumé screening, about a fifth of applicants who were not white, male, able-bodied people from elite schools made it to a first-round interview. Using blind auditions, 60 percent did.

    Government Recruitment: In 2017, the Australian government found that the blind recruitment pilot led to a higher proportion of candidates from minority and underrepresented groups making it to later stages in their recruitment process.


    Blind screening has become an essential practice for organisations aiming to eliminate biases and create a diverse workforce. By removing identifiable information, employers can focus more on a candidate's skills and qualifications.

    When implemented effectively, blind recruitment can lead to a more competent workforce and a fairer, more inclusive work environment. Utilising applicant tracking systems and integrating anonymous hiring practices into the recruitment process can significantly improve the hiring experience for both the candidate pool and the employer.

    To learn more about the potential bias that can occur throughout the recruitment process, check out our blog on hiring bias.

    This post was written by: Alicia Edwards, Digital Marketing Assistant