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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