Recruiting Firm Posts Ads For ‘Female Only’ and ‘Preferably Caucasian’ — Yes, Heads Did Roll

It’s been a little over a century since signs like “No Irish Need Apply” were posted in the windows of shops, and the “Help Wanted — Male” and “Help Wanted — Female” ads that were routine when I entered the work world, have been gone for decades as well. However, don’t think that the mentality of job discrimination has changed all that much, because there was a big racist snafu at a recruiting firm in Virginia a few days ago. Here’s what initially went out into the world. Uh, hey @cynetjobs – what's with this? Your job listing for a mid-senior level business development position's top qualification is "Preferably Caucasian" How could you POSSIBLY think that's okay? pic.twitter.com/DPWzpgXqqE — Helena McCabe (@misshelenasue) April 27, 2019 Now, here’s the other jewel. You’ll have to hit Ctrl + to expand the text so you can read it, but the orange-highlighted words are “female candidate only” and this is for a sales job. FYI, the only time you can justify a job as gender-specific is when circumstances dictate that the job is covered under a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ). These are situations where sex matters–for instance you can recruit only women to play female roles in a play or hire only men to help elder men shower in a nursing home. A sales role, as described above, is extremely unlikely to meet the strict qualifications for a BFOQ. In fact, I can’t think of a single way you could twist a sales job to be single gender. I took these screenshots Sunday afternoon and Cynet Systems posted this after 10 p.m. EST on a Sunday, and the job postings were scrubbed around the same time. I spoke with a company spokesman who said both of these mistakes were made by the same employee who was new, and that Cynet is an equal opportunity employer and this does not reflect their values. A post on Twitter further revealed how the company responded internally: Cynet apologizes for the anger & frustration caused by the offensive job post. It does not reflect our core values of inclusivity & equality. The individuals involved have been terminated. We will take this as a learning experience & will continue to serve our diverse community. — Cynet Systems (@cynetsystems) April 29, 2019 The attempt to make nice-nice was not graciously received. You apologize for the anger and frustration? You should be apologizing for posting a racist job advert! This is a “learning experience”, not an “experience which has left us completely mortified and ashamed”? You are utterly clueless. — Claude Demers (@claude6543) April 29, 2019 'must be female' @cynetsystems are you lawyered up for a lawsuit? pic.twitter.com/9vfljpPV5N — citybythelake (@citybythelake) April 29, 2019 What I can share from experience, is that many years ago I worked down the hall from a recruiting agency. I made friends with a few of the “headhunters” (one of whom was black and from Africa, and did we howl about his job title) and we would have lunch and talk shop. These people made it quite clear that there were two conversations that were had with a client: 1. In a perfect world, who do you want in this job? 2. The world being anything but perfect, are you prepared to accept the candidates we can realistically provide you, and not run totally afoul […]

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