“Only born US citizens [white]… [Don’t share with candidates]”
Yep. That’s real. And it made its way into a published job ad on Indeed thanks to Berkshire Hathaway recruiter Arthur Grand Technologies. Here at Insure Equality, we’re exposed to many stories of racism and discrimination but rarely do we see something so overtly white supremacist in writing.
We’re calling it white supremacy because that’s what it is. The idea of the superiority of ethnically European Americans is baseless, pervasive, and everywhere once you learn how to spot it.
The job ad has been shared widely on Twitter and TikTok with HR influencer Ashley Herd saying “Don’t share with candidates. No literally, don’t. And don’t share internally either, that’s awful.”
@managermethod #jobposting #dont #worktok #hrtiktok #greenscreen ♬ Swan Lake "dance of four swans" – Kohrogi
Arthur Grand did damage control, immediately firing the person responsible for posting the ad. However, we’re unclear as to who directed the ad to have overtly racist language and the wider cultural forces at work at Arthur Grand and Berkshire Hathaway.
While this could be dismissed as a proofreading error gone viral, it reveals a deeper truth about white supremacy in recruitment. There are many ways to discern a person’s ethnicity or nationality from a resume, such as international universities or non-Western names. A 2021 study found that candidates with traditionally Black names like Leticia or Jamal were 10% less likely to be interviewed compared to those with traditional Western names like Emma or Greg. Research published by Northwestern in 2023 found that in North America and Western Europe, racial discrimination has not improved since the 1990s.
So what can we do?
How to reduce racial discrimination in insurance recruiting
Truly eliminating bias is unrealistic. Each of us come to work with a unique context that skews us against and towards particular groups. That’s just human. What makes us better humans is being aware of our biases and correcting for them.
Identify your biases
The Implicit Bias Test was first developed at Harvard University in 1998 and is the gold standard tool for getting to know your own tendencies towards favoritism or discrimination. This is a great exercise to incorporate into your training curriculum.
Question your AI
Algorithms are written by people and they can be just as flawed as people. As recruiters become increasingly dependent on AI tools to screen resumes, they need to interrogate how the humans behind the tech have incorporated anti-racism into their product design. If they don’t have an answer to that question, stop using that tool.
Measure and report
The biggest factor Gen Z uses to decide on an employer is equality. Collect race and gender data during the application process and make this information public internally. Encourage a culture of transparency and accountability and your staff will reward you with loyalty.