Last Updated: 06/29/2019

Using SeekOut to implement Equal Employment Opportunity Best Practices

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws and advancing equal opportunity for all in the workplace. Over the years in addition to carrying out its enforcement duties, the EEOC has focused its attention on helping employers identify ways in which to advance equal employment opportunity in all sectors of the U.S. economy. One such effort is the EEOC’s Best Practices Report for private employers. The full report of best practices covers an extremely wide range of topics, including best practices for Recruiting and Sourcing.

For Recruiting and Sourcing, the EEOC’s Task Force on Best Practices recommends:

  • Increasing diversity at the top of the candidate pipeline

  • Reducing implicit bias

  • Harnessing technology to reach more diverse talent pools

The features of SeekOut provide teams the ability to effectively implement some of the EEOC’s best practices.

Increasing Diversity at the Top of the Candidate Pipeline

The Recruitment and Hiring section of the Best Practices Report focuses on affirmative recruitment programs designed to create a diverse workforce. The EEOC Task Force that created the report found that:

Ultimately, the most successful companies have figured out that it makes best economic sense to draw talent and ideas from all segments of the population. Inclusive hiring and promotion practices bring into the organization segments of the workforce that may well provide competitive advantage in the increasingly global economy. Systematic exclusion of these segments denies these resources to the organization and lessens the chances of eventual success. For these companies, pursuing diversity and equal employment opportunity is just as integral a business concept as increasing market share or maximizing profits. In this way, diversity and EEO become not just programs, nor even separate departments, but rather a way of life that is integral to all business activities of the company.

In the area of hiring and recruitment the EEOC Task Force highlighted as best practices programs designed to broaden applicant pools by affirmatively reaching out to educational institutions and professional organizations made up primarily of women or racial minorities. The EEOC report, in citing best practice from Motorola says “[Motorola] Uses internal recruiters and external search firms, and both are required to present diverse candidate pools.” In citing best practice from PPG Industries, it says “Recruits at Historically Black Colleges and Universities”.

SeekOut’s ability to search for candidates with diverse backgrounds puts the power of modern technology behind our customers desire to apply these best practices. SeekOut’s Diversity Tag search allows customers to find qualified, diverse candidates to add to the talent pipeline.

Using SeekOut our customers can assemble a more diverse slate of candidates to present to companies’ hiring managers in a way that advances equal employment opportunity for all.

Reducing Unconscious Bias

The EEOC recognizes that implicit bias, stereotyping, and the tendency of hiring managers to hire people “like me” are barriers to a diverse and inclusive workplace. As part of their best practices, they recommend taking action to reduce unconscious bias. SeekOut’s Blind Hiring Mode helps companies reduce unconscious bias by masking candidate race and gender. This helps recruiters and hiring managers focus on candidate experience and skills, without the baggage that implicit bias can add to the evaluation process.

When Blind Hiring Mode is enabled, candidate pictures, names, race, and gender are hidden from view.

Harnessing Technology to Improve Diversity and Improving Diversity in Technology Industry

Diversity and inclusion are an even more significant challenge for the technology industry, as discussed in the EEOC’s report on Advancing Opportunity for All in the Tech Industry. The findings are even more relevant, given SeekOut’s focuses on technology talent. EEOC chair Jenny R. Yang encourages harnessing the creative thinking and technology by entrepreneurs to help ameliorate the challenge. From the report:

“The high-tech sector has been an innovation leader, transforming how we live our lives today and driving solutions to some of our greatest societal challenges. Let’s harness that creative thinking and entrepreneurship to ensure that the talents of all Americans are fully utilized in this vital industry,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang.

In another comment in the report, Ben Jealous, Partner at Kapor Capital and the former President and CEO of the NAACP, comments: One way to overcome bias is to use technology itself, Jealous told the Commission. There is an entire field of startups creating innovative solutions to workplace diversity and inclusion. It’s called People Ops Tech, and there are dozens of companies working to eliminate bias in hiring, find diverse talent pools, and create welcoming work environments for everyone.

A couple of specific suggestions made by Ben Jealous in his written testimony, include:

  • Remove names and schools from résumés. Hidden bias is very powerful and very real. Studies show that traditional “Black” sounding names get half the callbacks than “White” sounding names, even when the résumés are otherwise identical. Removing names also works to mitigate gender bias.

  • Use the “Rooney Rule” and add diversity to your interview rounds. In the NFL, managers are required to include at least one underrepresented person of color in the final round of interviews, and this is an easy step for every company to put into practice. Additionally, consider the positive effect of having multiple diverse candidates in interview rounds

SeekOut is helping to break down barriers to equal employment opportunity in hiring by enabling corporate recruiters to cast their nets wide to find more women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans for consideration for open job roles. SeekOut’s technology allows corporations to apply 21st century tools to the best practices defined by the EEOC. This lets SeekOut’s customers tap into a broader pool of talent much faster and less expensively than other strategies. In doing so, SeekOut helps its customers expand diversity and inclusion.

Have questions about how SeekOut can help you team reach its EEO objectives? Contact Us