On Blind, Anonymity Leads to Camaraderie and Recruiting

On Blind, Anonymity Leads to Camaraderie and Recruiting
From Recruiter - August 19, 2017

On the internet, anonymity generally leads to trolling, hate speech, and maybe, if were lucky, a funny meme or two.

But things are different on Blind, the exclusive, anonymous communication app where the employees of tech giants congregate to trade stories and share news. There, anonymity leads to transparency, camaraderie, and even the occasional job offer.

A Workplace Tool Employees Can Actually Use

Founded in South Korea in 2014, Blind really began to gain attention in the U.S. earlier this year, when it became a reliable source for reporters looking to learn more about the much-publicized turmoil at Uber.

But Blind wasnt exactly founded with leaks in mind. Rather, it began life and still primarily functions as an employee-centric community-building app.

There are so many tools, for the workplace, but they are all geared for the employer, says Alex Shin, Blinds head of U.S. operations. There is more to work than employee surveys and productivity. We spend a third of our lives working, yet there is no place for professionals to just go and mingle with professionals.

The team behind Blind launched the app as a tool that would fill this gap, something to help professionals navigate their workplaces and communicate honestly with one another. Blind is not a free-for-all; the app is only available at certain companies, mostly major tech firms like Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and so on. Aside from private company channels, users can also chat across companies via the Tech Lounge channel or use the public Topics channel to reach an even wider audience.

In a way, the app is counter-hierarchical: Employees operate totally anonymously on the app, putting everyone from the newest hire to the CEO on equal conversational footing.

We believe what is said is more important than who had said it, Shin says. Whether you are an intern or a V.P., you can have candid conversations and really understand how everyone is feeling.

Indeed, this is largely the direction in which Blind has gone, operating as a channel for workers to discuss company culture, events, and new developments with their coworkers and with colleagues from other tech-industry giants. For example, many Google employees turned to Blind to discuss the events surrounding James Damores diversity manifesto, with the average user at Google logging 69 minutes of usage per day as the situation unfolded.

We purposely left very little onboarding and never directly communicated with our users about what Blind was about, Shin says. Professionals can find their own need. They can also moderate themselves. Were not about censorship, so the tone of Blind is very authentic. If a company is doing great, youll feel it immediately. If there are layoffs hitting your company, youll feel that, too.

Blinds usage numbers suggest tech workers have really taken to the app: The average user logs in four times and spends 41 minutes total on the app every day.

Anonymous Recruiting?

If theres a new business app, someone will eventually use it for recruitingwhich is exactly what happened to Blind.

While the apps users in South Korea tend to search the platform for advice, relationships, and venting, according to Forbes, the search queries of U.S. users indicat[e] a prominent interest in new [job] opportunities and generally exchanging information amongst each other.


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