Hiring Manager’s “Blind Auditions” Fixes Flaws in the Hiring System

By Julia Dunn on July 19, 2015

Recently, mainstream news sources took notice of entrepreneur Petar Vujosevic when he decided to hold “blind auditions” as a replacement for the innately-flawed traditional hiring system.

Most of us realize on some level that the usual hiring methodology involves arguably outdated and flawed components that desperately need reform: applicants send in or hand-deliver a resume, the employer looks it over and decides if the person is qualified enough to be granted an interview, and lastly the employer makes a final decision based on the applicant’s interview quality and resume combined.

Appropriately, Vujosevic has received media recognition for his cutting-edge logic in attaining a more pure definition of what it means to be an equal opportunity employer. He says, “There is definitely room to improve how we view talent, how we screen talent, how we engage with talent and how we end up interviewing talent”; there are ways we can change the hiring system so that candidates have a chance at a job even if they don’t perfectly fit the employer’s vision of their ideal employee.

Vujosevic is on to something with these refreshingly fair “blind auditions.”

Image Via: www.gapjumpers.me

In a culture so highly controlled by external appearances and the judgments which accompany them, the concept of “blind auditions” brilliantly reduces the likelihood of employers making assumptions about applicants based on educational background, the manner in which they have acquired certain skills, and personal attributes or appearances.

“Blind auditions” are a revolutionary advance in the employment realm, allowing applicants to showcase their talents with less fear of being compared to other applicants for less-than-relevant differences. Employers who adopt this procedure into their hiring procedures will be able to maintain equality when making hiring decisions, and score an employee who has already proven that they can get the job done skillfully–regardless of their personal details which may unconsciously and unjustly influence hiring managers not to hire a certain applicant when they may in fact be the best person for the job.

Image Via: www.npr.org

Hiring managers interested in holding their own blind auditions should turn their attention to GapJumpers, the website which Vujosevic developed himself as a premier platform for any employer who wants to jump into the blind auditions movement. The website allows candidates to apply for jobs by completing a “challenge,” or task which the hiring manager posts onto the website. If you can complete the challenge well, it doesn’t matter where you went to college, if you went to college, where you’re from, or anything else that may otherwise prevent candidates from landing a job elsewhere by traditional hiring methods.

The level of anonymity associated with blind auditions allows interested applicants to showcase their skills without fear–a win-win for both employers and their job applicants. For instance, if you are a hiring manager for a website design company, use GapJumpers to post a challenge for potential applicants to complete, such as an assignment to design a website. Conducting your hiring through this platform eliminates the risk of losing valuable talent due to pre-conceived ideas of the ideal candidate.

Image Via: Modern Manners and Etiquette

As a hiring manager, you will initially judge applicants based on the quality of their work on your “challenge,” without knowing the applicant’s ethnicity, gender, age, or educational background. Then, you will read applicants’ resumes–without the applicant’s name, address, college name, and graduation year. The resumes should be stripped of these identifiers which, if included on a candidate’s resume, have the potential to negatively affect the way hiring managers assess someone for a position.

As unsettling as it is to acknowledge that employers sometimes allow irrelevant factors to take precedence over skill and quality of work when they are hiring new employees, it’s unfortunately common for people to report feeling they were denied a job in the past for reasons unrelated to their qualifications. With modified resumes, hiring managers can still see an applicant’s listed experience and qualifications, giving them more insight into the details that really matter when narrowing down candidates for a position.

Image Via: knpr.org

Blind auditions are a bold update to the way hiring managers select the most qualified applicant for a job. Changing the way you select applicants for a position will make a huge amount of difference for both you and those who apply to fill your vacancies.

You will attract diverse candidates you may otherwise have overlooked if you had unconsciously made a snap judgment about an applicant based on their demographic, age, or other irrelevant factor that has little to do with their work performance.

The perfect person for your position may come from a community college, not an Ivy-league university. They may be 19 and not 30. They may be from a low-income neighborhood. They may identify with a target group or be a minority.

With blind auditions, these details will step aside, allowing anyone to pursue a job for which they can prove they are qualified–and this is highly refreshing.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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