In previous posts I’ve written about how neutral hiring processes, particularly in selection instruments, can create more diverse workforces without negatively impacting performance.  The symphonic music industry has adapted this approach by having blind auditions (those applying for performance jobs play their audition pieces from behind a screen and without shoes).  I am sure they have done other things to promote diversity in the applicant pool as well.  This article reports that the New York Philharmonic has achieved overall gender parity.  This is not to say that unequal pay issues have gone away, but it does represent a milestone.  And I don’t think anyone is cancelling subscriptions because of it.

There are so many straight forward ways to ensure that your selection process is neutral and identifies the candidates who are most likely to be successful, including:

  • Check to see if your job postings are gender and race neutral.
  • Remove names and other gender/race information from resumes before they are evaluated.
  • Check each step or your recruiting and selection processes for adverse impact. Don’t put your head in the sand!  You cannot tell if you are reducing adverse impact unless you track it.
  • Conduct a validation analysis of each step of your process. Check to ensure that your (human or AI) processes for evaluating resumes, assessments, and interviews are predictive of performance.

Unbiased and valid approaches to hiring go hand-in-hand.  The symphony industry has moved from some orchestras not letting women to even audition to the best known one in the US having an unbiased process without a lowering of quality.  If they can do it, so can you.