Facebook Engineers Hindering Diverse Workforce Efforts [REPORT]

Apple diversity reportPhoto by geralt (Pixabay)

Some Facebook recruiters allegedly stopped trying to bring diversity into the workforce after candidates were blocked by engineers. Bloomberg reported on Monday that the engineers at the tech giant blocked so many diverse candidates that several recruiters just stopped trying to recruit them.

High-ranking engineers to blame

Bloomberg reported that the recruiters at the tech giant spent several hours a week and doubled incentives to bring in Latino, black and female software engineers. However, according to Bloomberg, many candidates did not get offers from the final hiring managers, who were almost all Asian or white men.

Joelle Emerson, a diversity consultant, told Bloomberg that the final decision was more on conventional factors such as the candidate’s resume or whether a candidate had worked at another technology company.

Facebook refused to comment on the Bloomberg report, but it did say that the tech giant recruits from hundreds of schools and employers worldwide, and most of the people hired at the social networking company do not come through referrals from anyone at the tech company.

The social networking site added, “Once people begin interviewing at Facebook, we seek to ensure that our hiring teams are diverse.”

Facebook assessed candidates on traditional metrics

In 2015, the tech giant began an internal recruiting strategy to bring in more black, Latino and female software engineers. But this push by the tech giant failed because of a multi-layered hiring process that gives a small committee of high-ranking engineers the power to choose candidates, notes Bloomberg.

According to former recruiters who asked to remain anonymous, the engineering leaders making the last choices frequently assessed candidates on traditional metrics such as what college they attended, if current Facebook employees could vouch for them, if they had worked at a top tech firm, etc. Emerson told Bloomberg that focusing on where someone went to school or the people they know at the social media company can often exclude candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

A Facebook spokeswoman said, “Our interviewers and those making hiring decisions go through our managing bias course and we remain acutely focused on improving our ability to hire people with different backgrounds and perspectives.”

Despite the efforts from Facebook, the demographics in technology roles at the social networking giant have remained almost the same. The proportion of women in tech increased from 16% to 17%, while the proportion of Latino and black U.S. tech workers remained flat at 3% and 1%, respectively, from 2015 to 2016.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at [email protected]

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