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 Post subject: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:00 am 
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Baking In The Flavor

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One of my friends has recently been applying for jobs and has come across lots of application forms asking for things like sexuality and race and she's completely up in arms about it. I was just wondering what the PPK thought?

My understanding of it is that the equal opportunities forms that ask such questions are confidential and get removed from the application forms and then looked at to check that a representative group of people are applying for the job (to make sure the job is being advertised to a wide enough range of people and that certain groups aren't being "scared off") and then to check that the people who get hired are representative of those who applied (for example if there were 10 jobs and 50 men and 50 women got interviews but the jobs went to 10 men it would indicate that there was discrimination at the interview stage). You aren't required to answer the questions.

I tried googling to see what the rest of the internet thought but it was full of people saying "of course they don't really keep it confidential, they use it to shortlist people" or "you're so racist/homophobic/etc in the UK, that would be totally illegal in the US". Am I just being incredibly naive in thinking that it's a good thing?


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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:11 am 
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WRETCHED
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I work for a company that bids on contracts and I believe as part of their portfolio that they submit, they include demographic information such as ethnicity, gender, disability status, veteran status, etc. I don't think there is any quotas to fill but if a company is 100% white male, then you know something is amiss. I think it also helps gauge a company's weaknesses as part of diversity. So we get polled every couple years, there is always the ability for the individual to decline to state and sometimes I feel like I should but my minority status and woman status does bring up their diversity numbers.

Anyway, I don't think it is something that should be used in a job application and my company only asked after I was hired but I also think it opens up people to discrimination, especially questions on sexuality.

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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:17 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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My understanding of it (and I am in the UK) is that the information is kept completely separate from the application and used to monitor diversity of recruitment.

The problem with not collating any of the information, is that if someone complains about bigotry in the recruitment process (or indeed in the organisation as a whole) and you are not collecting this information, it is much more difficult to disprove the claim.


Mat.
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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:23 am 
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Discovered unobtainium
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I hate that crepe. Just because it has a good intent doesn't mean it's not used for ill. The interviewers still see it.

The question about disabilities for example: I answer honestly, then am not hired. I say "none" and then people are upset you lied. Screwed either way.

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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:39 am 
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Not a creepy cheese pocket person
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I've never heard of asking about sexuality. That's not a protected group federally. At a well-run company, the interviewer won't even see your responses to those questions. They go straight to HR. But of course, not every company is big enough for that or sets things up correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:52 am 
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Even if HR is the only one to see the info, it doesn't mean that it doesn't influence hiring decisions and/or paygrade decisions. Bigger companies are generally better at this but that doesn't mean they are immune.

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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:48 am 
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Impressive boner
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I've not encountered a job application form in the UK that didn't include a questionnaire like this. The reasons behind it are as Mat described, however I don't know how effectively they're used.


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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry
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I didn't think it was legal at all to inquire about any of those things, at least in the US, during a job application, according to the EEOC.


http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html

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 Post subject: Re: Job applications and personal questions
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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I can only speak from my experience, but where I work, the interview panel never, ever, ever sees the raw equal opps data (i.e., the questionnaires themselves) before the interview stage (and rarely after it). They only get the collated data which can't possibly provide information on any individual applicant. (And I can say this with 100% certainty only because I'm the one who collects the applications, but I'm never on the interview panel.)

If they asked for that info at the interview stage, or if it was required during the application process and they did see it, that would be illegal (well, I'm pretty sure it is).

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