In the U.S. it’s Martin Luther King Day. Let’s talk about racial bias in the hiring process.

18 Jan

On this day I’m taking a moment to reflect on the legacy of Dr. King, and specifically how far we have to go in erasing racial bias from our society, including our places of work.

Over the past few months I’ve heard of a few things that are designed to moderate (not eliminate) hiring bias:

~ Some companies have chosen to send hiring managers resumes where personal information is been redacted. Hiring managers review only the qualifications of the candidates before choosing who to interview. Some “applicant tracking” software offers this as a feature.

~ Some companies now no longer ask about the salary history of applicants. In fact, some states and jurisdictions outlaw the practice. Asking about prior salary history has been shown to bias African American and female candidates. Eliminating this practice levels the playing field, and a recent study shows it has improved pay equity.

This topic deserves more than the length of this post, but I hope you will join me in considering how we can honor the legacy of Dr. King today, and every day, by working to create more inclusive places to work.

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