After the second round of reviewing an exceptional applicant pool for the Newton Venture Program VC Fundamentals program, we have now collectively spent 3220 minutes reviewing all applications…blindly.
We have no idea what your CV looks like, which schools you went to, who employs you, whether or not you’re employed, etc. Instead, we assess motivation, grit, and your ability to overcome challenges rather than focusing solely on past achievements…all the things that make a great venture capitalist!
Too many people are currently being overlooked and this is largely due to homophily, a sociology term that explains our tendency to associate and bond with similar others.
In other words: Birds of a feather, flock together.
People invest in people who look like them, hire people who look like them, promote people who look like them, the list goes on…all without intentionally trying to limit themselves to only similar others. In order to limit our unconscious biases from driving our decisions, we use a blind recruitment tool to ensure a fair process. Here are our top tips!
1. Ask yourself – what are you really looking for?
When you remove markers such as university, background, current employer, what are you actually trying to assess?
We asked people across the ecosystem—from VCs to LPs, to recruiters, to accelerators and angel investors—to identify what makes a great venture investor and then built out our assessment questions from there. You don’t have to have a PhD in behavioural psychology to write questions for your process—although it helps that our founder, Lisa Shu does!
2. Use a program that enables blind recruitment by design.
At Newton, we use Applied.com, a blind recruitment software designed to ensure minimal bias across the hiring process. Asking candidates to remove details from their CV can get overly complicated (and not everyone complies) so we gladly rely on tools purpose-built to simplify the process!
3. Be intentional …
…about extending beyond your network and being open to different profiles – you need to look at the top of the funnel. Are you attracting a diverse pool of candidates? If you don’t attract diverse candidates from the beginning, even the fairest selection process won’t help.
And one last piece of advice…
It’s supposed to feel uncomfortable!
Interested in the Newton Venture Program? Follow us on Twitter & Linkedin and sign up for our newsletter below for all updates.