How (and Why) Companies Use Blind Auditions to Hire

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What does it mean when employers use blind auditions to hire? How do blind auditions work? It’s a tool employers use to screen an application based strictly on the job and the candidate’s qualifications for it. Blind auditions are an effective way for companies to screen job applicants in an objective manner.

The theory behind blind auditions is that recruiters may pick applicants who are more like themselves than they are different. Research indicates that employers tend to select candidates who have gone to schools like theirs, or possess similar background characteristics.  The consequence is that employers miss out on talent that doesn't fit that traditional mold. Here's how - and why - employers use blind auditions to screen candidates.

What are Blind Auditions and How Do They Work?

When using the blind audition method, organizations screen applicants without accessing information about colleges attended, previous employers, age, gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status. With this approach, recruiters can focus on skills, knowledge and other assets directly related to job performance.

Work samples generated through the blind audition process are given the highest priority in the screening process since they provide concrete evidence that candidates can perform the tasks associated with the job.

Most employers who implement blind auditions use software that strips resumes or applications of identifying information and bias-inducing indicators. Applicants are asked to answer work assessment questions and complete challenges to provide evidence of their skills, knowledge and approach to projects. Examples of challenges include writing a case study, editing a document, creating a computer program to execute a function, or designing a website.

Employers gain the benefit of weeding out casual applicants and those without a strong work ethic, while job seekers can be assured they won't be unfairly prejudged.

Common Blind Audition Software

GapJumpers, a leader in the field, has produced a customizable platform for employers to conduct blind assessments of candidates. Employers can tap questions and challenges provided by GapJumpers or devise their own.  GapJumpers research indicates that blind auditions yield a more diverse pool of candidates.  For example, GapJumpers reports:

  • "Positive bias in hiring female candidates likely exists due to their performance on the audition and due to lack of diversity on the teams that they are applying to. 69.2% of preferred candidates from blind auditions were females."
  •  "Due to lack of expert guidance, counseling and self-confidence, community college applicants performed poorly relative to others during in person interviews."

Applicants respond to challenges anonymously, and employers review the results of their assessment prior to viewing more traditional profile information. The system employs a plagiarism checker, Google Knowledge Index, to verify the authenticity of candidate responses.   

Blind Audition Tips for Job Applicants

 Are you considering a blind audition? Review these tips for how to success.

1. Read the directions carefully and follow them completely.

2. Note the time constraints and make sure you complete the tasks within those parameters.

3. Outline or map out your approach to the problem offline.

4. Complete as much of the task as possible offline prior to making system entries.

5. Check your submission for errors including spelling and grammar prior to finalization.

6.  There may be challenges that have no right answer. Explain your approach and the rationale for the option you have selected. Apply your strategy consistently to the problem. 

7.  Consult resources and ask for help as needed, but don't copy content. Answer based on your own skills and qualifications for the job.