As you saw in the opening of "Diversity and Multiculturalism", sometimes organizations do not mean to be exclusive or discriminatory, but their practices are discriminatory and illegal. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says it is illegal to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for a particular type of person or discourages someone from applying for a job. For example, a Facebook post that says “recent college graduates wanted” might be inclusive to a younger group and discouraging to a diverse (older) workforce, not making the post multicultural. Another example might be the reliance on word-of-mouth advertisement for job openings. Suppose you have a mostly Hispanic workforce and use word of mouth for recruitment. It is likely that most new hires will also be Hispanic. This is also illegal, but perhaps a consideration is the lack of diversity you will have in your workplace with these recruitment methods.
Make sure that job announcements aren’t posted only for your Facebook friends to see; post them in a variety of places to gain the largest and most diverse response.
We address discrimination in the selection process in "Selection". However, a mention of the four-fifths rule here is important to determine how we can quantitatively evaluate discrimination in our selection practices. One way to calculate possible discrimination is by using the four-fifths rule, or 80 percent rule. The rule states that a selection rate for any race, sex, or ethnic group that is less than four-fifths of the rate for the group with the highest rate could be regarded as adverse impact. Adverse impact refers to employment practices that may appear to be neutral but have a discriminatory effect on a protected group. For example, let’s assume 100 women and 500 men applied to be firefighters. Let’s say 20 of those women were hired and 250 men were hired. To determine adverse impact based on the four-fifths rule, calculate the following:
- Selection rate for women: 20 percent
- Selection rate for men: 50 percent
- Then divide the highest selection rate: .20/.50 = .4
Because .4, or 40 percent, is less than four-fifths, there may be adverse impact in the selection process for firefighters.