First impressions are everything. Even contestants on popular reality-show competitions know it takes a certain image, attitude and skill set to be crowned winner.

To overcome the bias of a first impression, The Voice uses blind auditions — the four judges keep their backs turned to contestants while first hearing them sing — during the beginning of each season to find top talent that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Biases are everywhere, especially in the workforce and in hiring as companies look for new ways to find top performers and determine overall job fit.

Today, some companies are asking potential candidates to write a short essay, take a brief exam, or answer critical-thinking questions not always entirely related to the job before conducting an initial interview — or even prior to requesting a resume.

Ultimately, employers must recognize any biases they may have before meeting potential candidates in person or via phone.

While it may be difficult, allow the candidate to do the talking to explain why their skills and experience would allow them to excel. This is of particular importance for jobs that, for example, involve collaboration and teamwork as a core part of the job.

Better yet, companies can let the data do the hard work and talking for them with an assessment-based system like Talent Management Plus™, which can compare overall job fit between several candidates by measuring their behaviors, driving forces, job-related skills and acumen.

Leveling the playing field for all job candidates can be simple and effective when companies let the data do the talking for them — and they choose to leave their biases at the door.

Zach Colick serves as a Content Specialist with TTI Success Insights and specializes in a host of copywriting and marketing strategies that help strengthen the TTI SI brand. Colick has close to a decade’s worth of experience in journalism, editing and marketing, and has held multiple positions within those fields. @ZachColick