In light of recent events across the United States, we have spent the last few weeks reflecting on our work experiences and wondering how we can show up as individual contributors to enable the change that is long overdue in our country.
We have come to realize that, in our role as independent recruiters and as female business owners, we have an opportunity to make a distinct difference. Our clients and candidates, too, can work with us to make a difference together.
Don’t Discount Candidates Just Because Their Profiles Lack Pictures
According to LinkedIn, having a profile picture makes it much more likely that your profile will be viewed — as much as 14 times more likely. And yet, not everyone posts a photo on their profile. Why is that?
In our experience, people often forgo a profile photo for one of two reasons: The individual is often a person of color or they are an older professional in the later stages of their career. In either case, an experienced and talented individual is hiding their race, age, and/or gender because they worry they may not be fairly considered for a job opportunity otherwise. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true.
The good news, however, is that more and more companies are waking up to the systemic discrimination that exists in our society, and they are committing to building more diverse workforces to help combat that discrimination. We encourage candidates to take advantage of this opportunity and add pictures of themselves to their profiles, even if fears of discrimination have held them back in the past.
We also encourage employers and recruiters to think carefully about why some candidates don’t include photos on their profiles. If you typically disqualify candidates for not having profile photos, it’s time to change that policy. Take this moment in history to show the world you’re taking action, not just issuing press releases. Ensure you are considering all profiles that match your searches — whether those profiles have pictures or not.
Advocate Fair Pay for Every Candidate
As recruiters, we often encounter wage gaps between nearly identically qualified candidates. Here’s an example: Two women are applying for the same job. One is white, one is a woman of color. Almost always, the white woman will ask for and/or receive a significantly higher salary — in some cases, double what the woman of color requests. Often, this higher salary is the going market rate.
We recruiters must work to ensure that all of our candidates are aware of the market rates for their roles. We must push for equality in pay rates among similarly qualified candidates, regardless of skin color, age, or gender. If a candidate’s salary requirements are misaligned with their skills and experiences, we need to help them formulate a more appropriate request. We also encourage candidates to ask every recruiter they work with to be transparent about salaries and market values.
We also ask that employers jointly commit to closing the wage gap with us. No company should be paying different salaries to equally qualified candidates for the same role. If you have a candidate who doesn’t know to ask for a higher salary, don’t pocket the difference between their asking salary and what you might have paid someone else. Pay every candidate what they are due based on their skills and years of experience…