Reducing Unconscious Bias in Candidate Selection with Candidate Cloaking

Unconscious bias can significantly impact the hiring process, leading to unfair outcomes and a lack of diversity. To address this issue, Alooba offers a powerful feature called Candidate Cloaking. This article will explain the concept of candidate cloaking, its benefits in promoting fairness and inclusion, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to enable it within the Alooba platform.

What is Candidate Cloaking?

Candidate Cloaking is a feature designed to hide specific candidate information during the selection process. When enabled, sensitive fields such as names and emails are concealed, allowing recruiters to evaluate candidates solely based on their qualifications and skills. This helps mitigate the influence of unconscious bias.

Benefits of Candidate Cloaking

Enabling Candidate Cloaking in the hiring process offers a wide range of benefits that contribute to creating a fair and inclusive selection process. Among these benefits, we have:

Mitigating Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias can unintentionally influence decision-making during candidate selection, leading to unfair judgments based on factors such as race, gender, or name. By hiding personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, Candidate Cloaking removes these potential bias triggers from the screening process. It allows recruiters to focus solely on candidates' skills, abilities, and qualifications, reducing the impact of unconscious bias on decision-making and promoting fairness, diversity, and inclusion.

Expanding Access to Opportunities

In traditional hiring processes, candidates from underrepresented backgrounds may face barriers due to unconscious biases. Candidate Cloaking helps break down these barriers by focusing on candidates' skills and abilities rather than personal information. This allows individuals who might have been overlooked to be evaluated solely on their qualifications, increasing their chances of being considered for the opportunities they deserve.

Improving Candidate Experience

Candidates appreciate fair and unbiased evaluation processes. By implementing Candidate Cloaking, you signal to candidates that their qualifications and performance are the primary factors considered during selection. This contributes to a positive candidate experience, as they feel confident that they are being evaluated fairly and their chances are not influenced by irrelevant factors.

Building a Reputation as an Equal Opportunity Employer

In today's competitive job market, candidates are increasingly seeking organizations that prioritize diversity, inclusion, and fairness. By implementing Candidate Cloaking, you demonstrate your commitment to these values. This helps build a strong employer brand, attracting top talent and positioning your organization as an equal opportunity employer.

Complying with Privacy Regulations

In an era of heightened data privacy concerns, Candidate Cloaking helps organizations comply with privacy regulations. By hiding personally identifiable information, you reduce the risk of potential data breaches or unauthorized access to sensitive candidate information. This ensures that candidate data is handled securely and aligns with privacy best practices.

By leveraging Candidate Cloaking within the Alooba platform, you unlock these benefits, creating a more equitable hiring process that promotes diversity, inclusion, and fairness. It empowers you to make unbiased decisions based on candidates' qualifications, skills, and performance in assessments, enabling you to build a stronger and more inclusive workforce.

Implementing Candidate Cloaking Effectively

To make the most of the Candidate Cloaking feature, consider the following guidelines and best practices:

Use during Initial Screening

Candidate Cloaking is most useful during the initial screening phase when evaluating candidates based solely on their assessment results. Once direct contact with the candidate is necessary, such as scheduling an interview, it may be necessary to disable Candidate Cloaking temporarily.

Communicate Transparently

It is crucial to communicate with both your internal team and candidates about the use of Candidate Cloaking. Transparently explain the purpose and benefits of this feature to your recruiters, ensuring they understand its role in reducing unconscious bias and promoting fairness. Additionally, inform candidates about the use of Candidate Cloaking in your selection process, emphasizing the commitment to unbiased evaluation.

Enable Candidate Cloaking for specific Assessments

Candidate cloaking can be enabled for a single assessment, this is especially useful when inviting external members to the hiring team to permanently block their access to candidate information. If this is enabled for an assessment, candidate cloaking cannot be disabled through the candidate details page. This is best used in conjunction with creating groups to further limit external users' access to confidential data on specific assessments.

Enabling Candidate Cloaking in Alooba

For Individual Users

All users can enable candidate cloaking for their own accounts through their profile settings. This allows them to hide candidate information across assessments. This will not impact the experience of any other user in the organization. This option will not be available if organisation-wide cloaking is enabled.

Navigate to the personal details page through the user icon on the top-right corner
Enable candidate cloaking for your account

For a Single Assessment

Cloaking candidates in a specific assessment can be toggled on or off using the assessment menu on the dashboard. This provides flexibility in tailoring cloaking settings to specific assessments. Any user can enable cloaking for assessments that they've created, Admin and Owner users can enable it for any assessment in the organization. If this is enabled, it will override user-level and organization-level cloaking (i.e. disabling cloaking for your account will not disable it for the assessments that have this setting enabled).

For the Entire Organization

Admin and Owner users can enable candidate cloaking at the organization level through the organization settings. This impacts all users within the organization, when enabled, users will not be able to disable cloaking for their own user account.

Navigate to the organization settings page through the sidebar
Enable cloaking for the entire organization

Temporarily Disabling Candidate Cloaking For a Single Candidate

When there is the need to disable Candidate Cloaking for specific candidates, that can be done by accessing the candidate details page and clicking the toggle button on the top right corner that says "Candidate Details Hidden". This will show the current candidate's details in full until you navigate However, this option is only available if Assessment-level Cloaking is not enabled for that assessment, this is done to prevent external users from disabling cloaking and accessing sensitive information. If your use case requires exposing candidate information at some point, please use organization-level cloaking or user-level cloaking.

Toggling candidate cloaking in the candidate details page

Necessary Access Levels and Impact on Users

Enabling candidate cloaking requires appropriate access levels. Admin and users can enable cloaking at the organization level, affecting all users within the organization. Individual users can enable cloaking for their own accounts without impacting others. For information about managing user accesses in Alooba read our User Management article.

If cloaking is enabled, candidates will only be able to be identified through their unique reference code, which is visible in all pages that contain candidate data

On the candidate details page
On the assessment results page

Furthermore, any page that displays personal data of a candidate, like emails, names, or images of the candidate, will have that information hidden when candidate cloaking is enabled. Having candidate cloaking enabled will make some features unavailable, such as full candidate exports, viewing Candidate Snapshots, and Video Answers.

Candidate video response is hidden, but transcription is available

If you have disabled Candidate Cloaking for your account, but still cannot see candidate PII, try refreshing the page to clear any cached results, If candidate information is still hidden, it means that either another user has enabled Candidate Cloaking for that assessment, or for your organization.

Further Reading


By leveraging the candidate cloaking feature in Alooba, recruiters and organizations can create a more equitable and inclusive selection process, reducing the impact of unconscious bias. Embrace candidate cloaking to ensure fair assessments, promote diversity, and attract top talent.

Remember, unbiased hiring not only benefits candidates but also enriches your organization by fostering a culture of inclusivity and driving success.

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