‘Build a hiring system that is free from bias’
A nationwide company that bills itself as advancing “equitable outcomes” has told applicants to omit the name of their college from their resume.
HR&A Advisors “asked applicants for the $121,668- to $138,432-a-year position to remove ‘all undergraduate and graduate school name references’ from their résumés and only cite the degree itself,” the New York Post reported Dec. 31.
“A quick spin through a few other HR&A job postings confirmed that this policy extends company-wide as part of their ‘ongoing work to build a hiring system that is free from bias and based on candidate merit and performance,'” it reported.
HR&A is a real estate and economic development consulting firm with offices in major cities across the country. Its website uses the term “equity” and “equitable” frequently to describe its values and goals.
The Post opinion piece, written by columnist David Christopher Kaufman, went on to criticize the practice:
Many have worked hard and taken out loans to acquire college degrees that, they think, mean something to the HR&As of the world. Many have also devoted hours to the college sports teams, academic societies and other extracurricular activities that are both resume-building and deeply rewarding. …
Policies like HR&As are not just punitive, they’re downright lazy. Telling young people —particularly the young people-of-color this “school-blind hiring” purports to benefit—that academic prestige doesn’t matter literally reinforces the worst stereotypes of minority cultures. It says academic prestige doesn’t matter to them.
Kaufman linked HR&A Advisors’ decision to similar trends in higher education to do away with requiring the SAT and LSAT for admissions.
“At a time when equity and inclusion policies have become corporate must-haves, efforts to ignore educational bona fides for new hires are hardly surprising,” he argued.
In November, an American Bar Association panel voted 15-1 to remove the standardized test requirement for law school applicants, effective fall 2025. The policy is still under consideration, but some law schools have already dropped the requirement on their own.
Since 2015, dozens of colleges and universities have scrapped their SAT requirement in an effort to “diversify” their campuses.
In April 2022, the 23-campus California State University dropped the SAT and ACT standardized tests requirement for its admissions process, citing equity concerns.
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