More fair hiring

I’m attending the Recruitment Automation Conference today and reminded again why I feel passionate about my work in recruiting technology and people strategy. 

I’ve been proud to work for organizations that have taken steps to address inequality in their hiring and management, and I’ve been happy to see new laws that restrict asking about previous compensation in order to minimize persistent compensation gaps. But these are tiny steps – there is so much more work to do. 

A core American value is belief in meritocracy – power and capital is distributed on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than wealth or social class, and advancement is based on performance. This is absolutely not the case when it comes to hiring. 

Some statistics: 

  • In a meta-analysis of callback rates for applicants, white applicants received, on average, 36% more callbacks than black applicants and 24% more callbacks than Latino applicants with identical résumés (HBR).
  • In 1967 African-American median household income was 55% that of whites; in 2016 that number was 61% (HBR).
  • Black men and women still represent a very low percentage of the professional white-collar workforce (less than 8%), given their overall representation in the population (HBR).

We can and must do better. 

Unconscious bias and subtle racial stereotyping impacts hiring decisions that for the most part have very little oversight. Compensation practices are rarely transparent and progressive policies that address racial bias reach only a small fraction of hiring. 

Doing structured hiring, measuring outcomes and introducing blind screening are just some ways that technology and automation can (and do!) move the needle on recruiting. 

There is so much more that we can do, and I want to be part of the change.