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Applying Anonymously

In our country, most of us all have to work to earn a living. Some people do physical labor, some are on computers all day and some of us work with other people all day.

These jobs aren’t just given to us. Most of us had to either apply or interview for the positions we have. Others were lucky and were given the jobs we have for whatever reason. Regardless of how we got them, our jobs and careers mean a lot to us. Not only are they how we support ourselves and our families, but they also give us something to have pride in.

Also in this country, there have been some issues as to how we get these positions. Even more debate surrounds who specifically is hired for particular positions. The most debate lies into how much each person is paid for their position.

Whether we like it or not, people are biased. People have preconceived notions that are almost impossible to get out of them. You have it and I have it. We tend to associate with people more like ourselves. Most of us do this in a way that judges people based on their character. Unfortunately, there are a great number of people who judge people for some other reason that doesn’t matter. Whether that be gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or whatever else.

Even more unfortunately, there are some of these people in positions of power that have the task of hiring people to fill positions. We have all seen it. That jerk manager that only hires people he or she “likes” and not those people who would be best for the job. I’ve been on both sides of that honestly.

No matter what we do, it is literally impossible to get rid of hiring bias. People are going to do this no matter what. But, I think there is a simple way to reduce this in the hiring process.

I had a chemistry teacher in high school who had a saying. In honors chemistry, kids had a tendency to make things more complicated than necessary. Before every test, Mr. Sauchuck would tell us, “Remember, Keep it simple, stupid.” Other than causally insulting most of us in a fun way, he was also giving us great advice.

This same principle can be applied to hiring bias. My simple solution is this: Take names and any other information off of job applications.

This sounds ridiculous at first. How the hell are you going to pick a candidate without knowing their name, you may ask. It’s easy. Education and experience.

On all job applications, we put our education and experience in a very prominent spot. It is what’s really important to see. Sometimes, very qualified candidates are passed on because of some kind of information that has little to nothing to do with the job.

If job applications remove personal information, then only the most qualified candidates would be picked as finalists.

But Blind Owl, what about background checks, and other things like that are necessary for some jobs? That comes next my friends. Once a candidate is chosen as a finalist, whatever application system is being used then reveals the person’s information. The beauty of this, is that in a perfect world, the applicant will immediately be informed that they were chosen as a finalist or for an interview. So then if they are not interviewed, it is not because of “experience.”

Or, if you prefer, each applicant could be assigned a number by a background checking company that can confidentially check people’s backgrounds for employers. Sounds easy right?

Let’s look at it from an employers perspective. All they have to look at is the education and experience of each candidate. Makes life that much easier.

Also, employers should be able to identify specific things they want to see. For example, if the job contains physical labor, they should be able to see some physical capabilities of applicants. Making requirements like, “able to lift 50 pounds.” or “able to reach high shelves.” Some might say that this eliminates some people unfairly. I disagree. This gives the opportunity for some to show what they can do at an interview without being eliminated before being given an opportunity.

When it comes to the interview process, I get that sometimes people are chosen based on their personality. It is important for a lot of positions. That part is still up to the person doing the interview. That part is unavoidable. But what this idea does, is get some people into the interview that otherwise wouldn’t have.

I’ll end with this. I am someone who has 100% been turned down for a job because of my disability. People see “blind gym teacher” and panic. How is that possible? Well, it is very possible. I like to think I’m actually pretty good at it and bring a perspective to PE that is usually missed. The idea of applying anonymously would give people like me a chance to get a job, regardless of our situation.

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