Webinar: Building Equitable Hiring Technologies and Practices

Posted July 14, 2021, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Hands on a keyboard

Most workers in the United States — especially younger workers and workers of color — depend on hourly wages to support themselves and their families. The application process for these jobs, particularly at the entry level, often involves online forms that use predictive technologies to automate the screening and assessment of applicants.

A recent webinar hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation explored these hiring technologies and ways they may be reinforcing biases. Panelists also discussed strategies that workforce-development and other youth-focused practitioners can use to help young job seekers navigate online applications, as well as recommendations for how employers and advocates can improve hiring processes to be more transparent and equitable.

The hour-long event, Understanding How Hiring Technologies Affect Equity, began with Urmila Janardan and Aaron Rieke from the tech-focused research and advocacy group, Upturn, sharing highlights from their new report, Essential Work: Analyzing the Hiring Technologies of Large Hourly Employers. The two shared examples of the types of online screening tools being used — including personality tests and job simulations; considerations for how online screenings may negatively affect young people and other job seekers; and recommendations to make the process more equitable and inclusive — including for employers to provide applicants with feedback after they’ve completed online assessments.

The discussion then shifted to steps that workforce practitioners can take to better prepare young job seekers and engage with employers to assess and improve their hiring practices. Adam Artman of OhioGuidestone and Heather Worthley of Port Jobs — two youth-serving organizations — discussed techniques to coach young people through these application processes, including tips for answering commonly asked personality questions. They also emphasized the importance of forging relationships with local employers and helping them shift to more flexible hiring practices that not only serve their business needs but also position youth for career success.

Learn about other practices that foster diversity, equity and inclusion in workforce development

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