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What is Blind Recruiting and Unbiased Hiring?

By July 28, 2021April 18th, 2024RETS Blog

As more employers are trying to diversify their staff, we are seeing an increase in reverse discrimination. One of our clients has actually turned to blind resume recruiting. This method provides an equal opportunity for all applicants at being selected purely based on their skills.    

What is Blind Resume Recruiting?   

Blind resume recruiting, otherwise known as blind resume review, happens when identifiable information is removed from a candidate’s resume before being reviewed by the employer. This information includes the person’s name, gender, age, education background, years of experience and any pronouns.    

The ultimate goal of blind resume recruiting is simple; reduce conscious and unconscious hiring bias. It is no secret that the commercial real estate industry is dominated by white males. This form of recruiting aims to give women, non-white, younger and older applicants a shot to compete without hiring bias’. The idea is that if you do not have the information that could lead to a biased opinion, you won’t make a biased decision. Many firms look at Universities attended and GPAs to assess candidates. What if subsequent to college the candidate acquired work experience that allowed them to perform better in the role than someone without such experience from a better school? Removing these insightful details eliminates the assumption of demographics which in turn results in an unbiased decision.    

How conclusive is hiring bias?   

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, it was found in a study of over 40,000 fake resumes, older females were less likely to receive interviews than all other candidates. Another study done by Northwestern University, Harvard and Institute found that 36% of white applicants get more callbacks than equally qualified Black candidates and 24% more than Latinos.   

More and more employers are calling attention to these hiring biases and are increasingly making a difference in their workforce’s diversity. While this approach is a great way to end hiring bias and equal the playing field within resumes, it doesn’t stop there.    

Hiring bias is everywhere…   

Blind resume recruiting is an excellent step forward in equality within the workplace. Nonetheless, there are still actions required that will attract bias. In the process of selecting candidates for interviews, you will eventually meet them in person (or virtually via zoom). When this takes place, it will be close to impossible to avoid bias on demographic information.   

Interviews are prone to bias. People from all walks of life have biases. For example, a woman could have an unconscious bias against other women in the CRE industry and might see them less qualified for this reason.    

How to improve recruitment…  

Blind resume recruiting removes bias from the first part of the recruiting process and stops there immediately. Luckily, there are additional ways to reduce hiring bias that could be added to your hiring processes.   

  • Be attractive  
    • You cannot build a diverse workplace if you do not attract applicants who don’t identify with the surroundings of your company. Candidates want to see inclusion or representation. Starting out is hard but this will lead you to increasing your candidate pool. Be sure to add information such as culture and commitment to diversity in job postings.
  • Remove gender bias from job descriptions  
    • Remove gendered language or create a balance between feminine and masculine verbiage.  This is important because a job description that leans too far to one end of the spectrum could discourage that minority gender to apply. 
  • Diversify your interviewers  
    • Above all, facilitating a diverse group of interviewers is not only talking the talk but walking the walk. You cultivate a unique experience for the candidate which makes them feel welcomed. In turn, you receive different perspectives from interviewers on candidates.  

Reducing bias can help with the initial screening process. However, there is still a great deal of progress to be made. The payoffs will lead your company with diverse employees and an inclusive workplace.

Christa Brillhart serves as a Director at RETS Associates, a national real estate executive search firm. She can be reached at

The RETS Team brings a deep, strategic understanding of the real estate industry to your recruitment needs. Click here for more insights & tips.