By: Jennifer Magdalene
Businesses with diverse workforces bring in 19% more revenue than non-diverse organizations, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Despite this, African Americans are greatly unrepresented in the workplace and have a higher unemployment rate than any other group of people. It was recently reported that the pandemic has made it even harder for African American men to recover in the labor market. So, let’s find out why African Americans experience recruitment bias and how it can be prevented.
African Americans are often seen as being less educated than white people. 67% of them say that they’ve been treated as though they’re not smart despite having completed at least some college. Businesses that think like this will naturally avoid hiring them. Many employers also discriminate against African Americans on the basis that they’re less reliable than other groups of workers. Those that are hired tend to be placed in unstable, lower-paying roles.
Changing the recruitment process with an interview panel
Shockingly, many organizations are biased and discriminatory in their hiring process. Dollar General is a well-known business that has previously been fined $6 million for failing to give African Americans the chance to work for them. There is a big need for businesses to overhaul their recruitment process. An effective way to do this is to introduce an interview panel. Interview panels are infrequently used because they take multiple people away from their main job roles. But by having a diverse interview panel with people from different departments, of different ages, and with different ethnic backgrounds, businesses reduce the likelihood of making biased hiring decisions.
Set criteria and stick to it
All businesses should set job criteria when advertising a role. This ensures that the right people apply for the job. When the interview process takes place and a job role is offered, interviewers must follow the criteria set. They mustn’t skip over a white candidate not having the relevant qualification and offer them the job. This is particularly important when an African American candidate does have the necessary qualification. Having a job criteria also makes it easier to onboard new employees. Personalized training can be given to successful candidates based on the criteria and their skills. It also makes it easier for employers to lay out important information from day one, including hours, expectations, and job benefits.
Have a non-bias job description
U.S. businesses are currently finding it tough to fill job posts. There are around 10 million job openings, yet African Americans are still not being considered for these roles. Often, this is because the job description is racially biased. A non-bias job description shows that businesses are open to introducing people of ethnic minorities to their company. Phrases such as ‘strong English skills’ and ‘must have neat hair’ are biased because they discriminate against African Americans whose first language may not be English and who may natively style their hair.
The workplace is often racially biased against African Americans. It’s time for organizations to change the way they recruit employees so that hard-working African Americans have the chance to shine.