How to Anonymize Resumes

If you’ve ever heard of blind recruitment and wondered what this means or why a business would do it, this article is for you. Learn how to anonymize resumes and why so many organisations are now doing this to improve their recruitment processes.
May 22, 2022
4 Minutes
Anonymize Resumes with Affinda's CV-processing tools
Anonymize Resumes with Affinda's CV-processing tools

What Is Blind Hiring?

Blind hiring is the process of taking personal details out of candidates’ CVs that might cause hiring managers and recruiters to have a bias against that person. Personal information irrelevant to the job is removed, such as any reference to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age. If you choose to anonymize resumes, the people deciding who to interview will focus only on previous experience, qualifications, and other attributes that are more relevant to the role.

Why Would You Choose To Anonymize Resumes?

Justice is blind, and if applying that same concept to hiring can lead to the best hires. Blind hiring is becoming recognized as the best method to produce a strong workforce.

Reduce Bias

No matter how hard we try not to let bias influence our decisions in recruitment, we all have biases that we are unaware of. Unconscious bias can lead to discrimination, despite our best efforts to prevent this. Taking away any personal details that may lead to a skewed perception of the applicants can significantly reduce the risk of discrimination.

Handshake illustrating that anonymizing resumes can lead to a diverse, well balanced workplace and valuable hires you might have otherwise missed.
Anonymizing resumes can lead to a diverse, well balanced workplace and valuable hires you might have otherwise missed.

Improve Diversity

Blind hiring practices can give diverse candidates a more equal chance at getting through the resume screening process. As the hiring panel doesn’t know anything that suggests someone is a minority candidate, they instead focus more on work experience and skills to make their decisions. The outcome of implementing a blind recruitment process is often a greater amount of diversity in the organization over time– and that’s good for everyone.

Better Hiring Outcomes

As blind hiring forces the decision-makers to make their decisions based on only the most relevant information, the hiring outcomes are often improved when an organization decides to anonymize resumes. You might expect to see results such as lower staff turnover, improved performance, and a higher chance of a candidate being successful in their role.

How To Anonymize Resumes

There are two main ways that you can anonymize resumes. One is an older method that takes up a fair amount of time, while there is also a newer way that leverages the latest technology.

The Old Way

Previously, when HR departments decided to anonymize resumes, they would ask an admin person to gather up the applications and anonymize them manually. This involved creating a copy of the resume with all of the personal information redacted. As names must be deleted, each applicant would be assigned a number, and a master sheet recording which applications correspond with which number would be recorded in a separate document.

The hiring panel would then be given the anonymized resumes to review. When they reach a decision, they would tell the admin person the numbers of the people they want to interview, and the admin person would find their details and invite them in. Anonymizing resumes this way is a lengthy and time-consuming process, with a high risk of getting applicants mixed up.

The Easy Way

Luckily, new innovations by Affinda have created a much easier way to perform blind recruitment. Affinda’s resume redactor can be used to anonymize resumes without the hassle. This HR automation tool is based on AI and deep learning modules that can identify every field within a resume.  Simply upload your resumes to the tool and choose which parameters you’d like to have redacted. You’ll receive them back in the same original format, but with all potentially biasing fields removed. This makes it simple to review the CVs without any identifying details.

Information that can be removed using this tool includes name, location, age, previous employers, photos, links, and university or school. This resume anonymizing tool works in 56 languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, French, and Hindi.

Start building more diverse teams and begin hiring based only on potential effectiveness in the job, without anything else getting in the way of your decision making. Contact Affinda today to find out more about how you can anonymize resumes in the fastest and easiest way possible.

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