Bytemark is hiring, by anonymous interview

Update: Check out how we found recruiting anonymously.
We’ve got some new positions open at Bytemark at junior and intermediate levels.

  • In York, we’re looking for an Office Support Administrator to handle the day-to-day running of our office, plus some customer enquiries.
  • We’re also seeking several new Systems Administrators, who can be based in York or Manchester, who will handle a mix of customer enquiries and internal projects. If you’re just starting your career in any of those areas, we’re considering people on pay of up to £33,000p.a.

You can apply straight away at https://careers.bytemark.co.uk/ – it will take about 15 minutes to put an application in. But if you’re interested in workplace diversity or hiring practice, read on – we’ve made a big change in the way we hire.

Anonymity and “cultural fit”

The biggest change is this – your first two interviews are truly anonymous. We conduct them over instant messaging and run our skills tests remotely too. We don’t even ask for your real name or CV up front. We don’t know anything about you that you don’t choose to present in the interview.

That makes us work hard for explicit goals. We want to know about:

  1. Your most valuable skills
  2. Your ability to learn
  3. Your ability to work effectively in a team

We grade people by those factors, and try to avoid the “X factor” of cultural fit, which we’ve seen as an excuse for all kinds of implicit and explicit bias.

We also want to be respectful of your time, your enthusiasm and your interests – we’ll test not just what you know but what you can learn. We want you to concentrate on putting your abilities to the fore, without fear that you’ll be judged on irrelevant things. We define the job, we define the skills, and we want to test those without bias.

Our culture comes from you, the best person for the job at the end of the process.

So if Bytemark sounds like somewhere you’d like to work, either now or in the next 12 months, check out our hiring site – come and shape our culture.

Why anonymity might work – US Orchestras 1970-1991

In 1970, only 6% of musicians in the “Big 5” US orchestras were women. By 1991 that had risen to 21% and continues to rise. That’s because (from a much-cited study), orchestras began to use “blind” auditions. The hiring panel would listen to a candidate from behind a screen (rather than seeing them as they played); adjusting for other factors, a woman who auditioned in this way was 50% more likely to advance to the final round of selection.

That’s a big win, and one I’d like to see happen in our industry.

Hiring bias isn’t solved in orchestras. Hiring may be only part of the problem of ongoing sexism, and the technology industry isn’t every industry, and Bytemark is only a tiny part of that … but heck, I’m people and people are biased. There’s just no reason it can’t be done, for the kinds of work we’re offering. So that’s why we’ll  defer meeting you until late as we possibly can, until we’ve committed our interview notes to paper. We want to argue on the basis of what you can do, and the impression you make in writing.

Of course we need to meet you, we want to meet you. But we will start our interviews on the solid foundation. You can get a full description of the process at our careers site, and apply for any of our open positions if you’re looking for a change of view.

That’s it, go apply, good luck!