Understanding How Hiring Technologies Affect Equity

Understanding How Hiring Technologies Affect Equity

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That today's webinar will be recorded, and we hope to make that link available to folks in the next few days. And with that, I am going to go ahead and turn it over to my colleague Barbara, to go through the agenda and introduce our speakers. Laura. It's Alexandra. Good afternoon. I am more burger with the Casey foundation, and I will serve as the moderator for today's webinar. We were excited to share and discuss findings from a new report from upturn.

Explores the hiring assessment technologies adopt applicants, counter each day. Employers have long use digital technology to manage their hiring decisions. And how many are turning into new predictive technology tools to inform. They're hiring processes with more and more companies, especially those to employ a large number of entry level, hourly workers, using predictive technologies to automate the screening and assessment of applicants is important to better understand what these hiring technologies look like. And how young DOB applicants are experiencing. Unfortunately, we are hearing from many of our guarantees. If people are struggling with how to navigate online hiring processes.

For example, online applicants typically do not receive any feedback. If they have been screened out that's making it difficult for young people to understand. What would make them a better applicant for future opportunities and ultimately how to be better job seekers. So, it is our hope today that during the webinar, you will gain some better understanding of hiring technologies. And how young people are experiencing them.

And learn about ways practitioners can use this information. That help people navigate these technologies and B, to engage with employers and crafting solutions to support more equitable access for entry level job seekers. Again, I want to mention that after we hear from the panelists, we will have some time for questions. So I encourage you to ask a question. If you have 1 using the Q and a window. Located at the bottom of your screen. So, with that, let's get started with a quick review of the agenda.

After I introduced today's speakers, we will hear from upturn to learn more about their research and find you on hiring technologies. Then we will be joined by 2 practitioners who will share their experiences around navigating hiring technologies. And we'll also have some time for Q and a, at the end. Next slide, so I would like to introduce our speakers today.

1st, we have Aaron Riki managing director at. We have Mila with research assistant at upturn. And then later in the webinar will be joined by Heather executive director at Fort gods in Seattle, Washington. And Adam assistant director for strategy and business development at Ohio in Cleveland, Ohio. So, now I will kick it over to Aaron and our Manila to walk us through the research and find the. Great. Thanks so much. Laura, it's really great to be here.

My name is Aaron upturn is a small nonprofit based in DC, and our mission is really focused around justice and equity wherever technology is used and obviously hiring is an important area. There. I want to talk to you just briefly about kind of the motivations for this report. This is a headline from the Washington Post that came up last year, and I'll just read it a face scanning algorithm. Increasingly decides whether you deserve the job and, you know, we see a lot of headlines. A lot of kind of marketing materials coming out of Silicon Valley. There's a lot of attention to new hiring technologies. When we looked out at the research and the publicly available material, what we didn't see is really kind of a basic gut check about what our large hourly entry level and players actually doing in their application processes today. Um, so with support from the Casey foundation, um, we were able to do just, um. You know, how to be honest, this is really some basic empirical research about what we're seeing on the ground and what it means for for young job applicants. Um, I'm really excited that we get to present to you today.

We do a lot of work with state and federal policy makers, but it's kind of a special treat and a unique thing for us to talk with folks like those on this webinar who really work with young applicants every day. So really look forward to trying to make this research relevant and answering your questions. And with that, I would like to turn it over to who was the lead researcher on this report and she'll walk you through our findings. Thanks Erin. Um, hi, everyone, thank you for joining us today. Um, so I'll just start with a very brief overview of our research, and then get into it. Um, as Erin said, we, in our in the process of our research, we're trying to identify. Large hourly employers, um, which we defined as those with approximately more than 200 K employees in the United States. And so that left us with 15, very large companies that. I'm sure all of you are familiar with, like, Walmart, Amazon, CBS, et cetera.

So, for each of these employers, we submitted an online application. To, uh, understand better what the process was uh. Can you hear me all right? I can't see everyone's video so I'm not sure. Yeah, your cut your audio is coming through. Let's see. Okay.

Yeah, you're coming through. Okay, Eva. Can you hear us? Okay cool. Sorry if y'all heard me I swear to myself. Oh, okay. Well, I'll keep going. I'll keep my video off just in case. Sorry about that. Okay. Where are we yeah, so for each of the employers we submitted. 1 application to each of them, all of this happened in February of 2020. so short before the pandemic and we did some repeat applications throughout the course of the year. But generally what we, what we gathered was from before the pandemic. So, for each employer, we took a screenshot of every single page of the application process um, so that we could record and better analyze and understand this after we filled out those applications.

And then in the background, we ran a web proxy that basically collected. Any information that the site by each application site was pulling externally and this was to try to understand. What vendors were involved in the process, what other tools might be involved in the process and this was done to varying success. We could kind of see what types of technologies were in the background. But overall, it's very difficult from the applicant perspective, which we had in this process to understand. What exactly is going on, but after that we conducted interviews with employers, technology, vendors and psychologists to better understand what these selection procedures were trying to get at. And better understand the purpose of a lot of these different tools.

And so finally we took these all together and basically made our research report. Um, next slide. Okay, so there are several steps in the online application process. Not all of these steps happen to every employer, but this is generally what we saw. In this presentation go deeper into 2 of these steps, which is number 2, the screening questions that applicants encounter and then also step 5, which is about preemployment tests.

But there are other steps here, like, gathering background, information, work, experience, resumes, and even further interviews, which we didn't really take part in in our research process. So, if you're interested in learning more about these steps, I would say, definitely look at our research report. But and this presentation will really just be going over screening questions and preemployment tests. Um, 1, last thing to know. Is that virtually all the employers that we looked at use an applicant tracking system, which. Folks in the audience may be familiar with, but I'll cover just in case. Applicant tracking system are generally like, umbrella technologies that allow employers to pull from different vendors when they're trying to do any step in this application process. So, 2 big names in this are IBM, brass ring and Oracle. Those are generally what we saw. Next.

Ok, so screening questions can look different, a different employers, but generally. The 1st, 3 questions we saw almost everywhere, so they asked for applicants age their education level and their authorization to work. And so what classifies a screening question for us, especially for these 3 is that you need to have it in order to work. It's a basic qualification, but you'll notice that some of the things on this slide are not necessarily black and white prior experience.

Can be gray, so can previous employment with the company and by gray I mean, it's not clear to us, whether having employment with the company previously will result in an automatic rejection. The same way that being too young to work with the job will result in an automatic rejection. So, there is some, um, lack of clarity. I think here. A couple other things we saw were schedule availability as a basic screening question, and we'll see in the next slide. What? This can look like. Um, 3 employers also asked for. What an employees desired or when applicants desired pay is so I think it's important to note that there is a possibility. We're not sure of this, that if applicants. Right and a higher pay them what the employer will provide that they could be automatically screened our rejected. So it's important to note when applicant starts going through this process, or for people advising folks who are filling out these applications physical ability was also asked about a 2 in players.

I think it was a very so position at Starbucks asked if you could twist and turn and pick up heavy things as well as a male career position, and Leslie to employers did also ask about possession with reliable transportation. So, again, this is a bit gray does public transportation. Mean, reliable transportation um, but it was really just a, yes or no question. Next time okay so Here's a sample of the scheduling questions. A. This was a part of a longer. This is an excerpt of a longer list of questions, but here you can see the high school diploma question. Whether you're a college graduate. And then you can see a general availability.

Fill out questionnaire, I guess, and this is just asking about weekdays and weekends so it's not very granular, whereas other employers might ask about each, your availability on each day of the week. Next time, okay. So for preemployment tests, we generally saw 3 types of tests. There are more types of tests that other employers might use. Um, some of the things that we didn't see are, like, more or more complicated forms of tests, these are generally like, simple more traditional forms of employment testing. So I'll go through each of these examples.

Are each of these types of tests and then I'll show a few examples so the 1st type of test is a simulation. So these ask candidates to perform tasks that are similar. So, what they perform perform on the job. So an example would be a. Change counting task where it will tell the candidate how much changes owed, and they'll select the smallest number of bills and coins and submit that answer which you'll see in the next slide. The 2nd, type of test is situational judgement test. So this is more open ended in the sense that candidates are given. Work problem or job related situation so an example could be a CO worker. You're not performing. Well.

Or there's a disgruntled customer, and then it gives them several choices to select from. And the questions that we saw generally ask candidates to select what they're most likely to do and least likely to do. And then, finally, personality tests generally claim to measure applicants, motivations, preferences, interest, emotional state, things like that. I think most of us are probably familiar with these types of tests and we can, we'll get into more examples of how these can get sticky. And in general, I think it's important to note that. There is conflicting evidence as to whether personality tests actually genuinely measure candidates traits, but they are so popular that it's important to know how to, um, I guess, approach them, especially if you're an applicant. Okay next slide. So this is an example of the simulation that I mentioned, it says a customer member rows, 10 dollars and 51 cents, and pays 50 dollars in cash. The change due is 39 dollars and 49 cents. So if you'll notice they're not asking candidates to calculate how much changes owed as in a real life job, the cash register will probably tell them this.

So, it's really just asking them to do what they would need to do on a job, which is count out bills and coins for customers. So this is 1 of the more straightforward job skilled testing. It makes sense that. If you can do this successfully, you'll very likely be successful on the job. I'm excited so this is a little bit, um. This is a personality testing question and I think is a little bit more sticky it as. If it if I had to list everything, I felt grateful for, it would be a very long, long list and candidate.

Rate their agreement from strongly disagree strongly. Agree. So you might be asking yourself. What does gratitude have to do with being a warehouse associate? And so I think that's where personality test questions get difficult. Is that. Candidates answers don't necessarily demonstrate whether they'll be successful in the job, or you could see someone who maybe is in a bad place, or having a bad day, and are not feeling grateful for things, but would still be a successful warehouse associate. But I think just a tip for applicants seeing these types of questions, I think it's easy to overthink them and say oh, well, I'm not always grateful. So, maybe I'll do agree or neither agree or disagree. But from our conversations with psychologists and vendors.

Employers generally want to see applicants that are grateful and will follow directions and are like, generally a good mood and there's nothing wrong with saying you would strongly agree to the question like this. Um, okay, next time, this is another personality style question, and it gets at Canada honesty. So it's asking candidates, whether they believe. Most people can be trusted, or whether it's smart to question people's intentions. And so this is commonly termed as an integrity test question from what we've heard from psychologists and vendors. And so these kinds of tests again are trying to understand how honest employees are. And I think it's important to reiterate.

This the way a candidate answers, this question doesn't necessarily show whether they're trustworthy or not. But the logic behind such questions is often that if you as a candidate, believe, most people can be trusted. It's because you can be trusted. And if you think it's smart to question people's intentions, it might be because you're not trustworthy again. Not clear if that's truly evidence based but that's generally. The thought process behind these next.

Slide. So, these are a group of questions all from CBS that I think I think it's clear what the theme is. I'll just go ahead and read a couple of them. So, this a**, I prefer a job where there are high performance expectations, or I am highly compensated for my work. I have held accountable for store outcomes, or I can have a stable secure lifestyle, outstanding services provided to customers, or I don't sacrifice my personal life to meet my work goals. So I think you can get the gist. It's kind of asking candidates.

You know, are you willing to work for lower pay? Are you willing to have somewhat of a stressful job that kind of maybe can interfere with your personal life? Um, and I think these are some of the questions we find most concerning, because, you know, we saw them and people answer them every day to get these jobs. But it's pretty clear that I'm wanting compensation and wanting a stable secure lifestyle probably has less to do with personality. And, and whether you would be good at your job, as it has to do with just someone's life circumstances. And so these questions, I think often are getting our employers other motivations rather than. And applicants qualifications, but in these cases, again, employers are probably looking for candidates who are willing to say that they're going to perform to high expectations. There'll be held accountable for sort outcomes, give good service. Um, so as unfair kind of strange as these questions are, that's generally what it seems to be that employers are getting at. Um, yeah, okay next. Oh, yeah this is this.

Great thanks for me. I just want to wrap up here in the last few minutes and 1st, I just want to make make a big point. Right? We started out with the slide of wondering, gosh, to what extent is artificial intelligence or something like facial analysis used in these hiring processes. And what we saw is actually a lot of the things that are grabbing that headlines are not yet. The exact kind of things that Apple concern countering when they're applying for large hourly employer jobs today instead we're seeing some relatively traditional screening questions, some relatively, um, traditional sorts of psychological and personality quizzes deployed on the Internet at scale.

Right? And so I just want to wrap up with some concerns for us to think about here as we enter a conversation. The 1st is, you know, I think I think Jada can't seem to be careful with these screening questions as I said, you know, you can probably immediately screen yourself out. If you mess up the pay question when you're asked for your availability. I think it's really important that applicants, provide the maximum availability they're comfortable with and not just. Their personal preference, because that's another screening out point that we suspect is automated. There's nothing to do about background checks, which can be illegitimate and discriminatory barriers to employment, but we're just noting that in these large applicant tracking systems that employers are using. It's never been easier for employers to plug in and kind of automatic background checks and background screening processes. So for anyone that's engaged with state legislature's.

I think it's increasingly important to have the policy advocacy about background checks and appointment on point 1 of the really frustrating things here is that virtually no employer offered us great feedback during the application process. So, it's unlikely that your applicants will know did I mess up the change counting tests? Did I answer the quote? Unquote? Wrong answer is during the personality test was my shift availability, mismatched all of that kind of basic feedback. Is not given to applicants and so it can be very, very frustrating, I think, to not know where, where you went wrong.

Um, if you're working with applicants with disabilities, obviously, there are employers have legal obligations to provide reasonable accommodations. Those were not very well marked or advertised through these application processes. So, I think, you know, just give special attention. If you're working with non typical applicants or applicants, that might struggle with vision or basic accessibility needs to these websites. I think that just be extra careful to make sure that they're taking that they are finding what the employer provided as an outlet for reasonable accommodations because those were not.

Um, really front and center as your Mila spent some time talking about we saw a lot of these personality test questions. He's really kind of squishy, soft questions that do not clearly measure, essential functions for the job. And I think it's just important to see the kinds of questions that your applicants may run into. And I think this is just my view is Aaron, I think, just some gentle coaching about what these questions are eliciting and why, and what good responses look, like, could probably be helpful. And then last, I won't go deep into the policy implications piece of this until it comes up and discussion. But state and federal laws really way behind where it needs to be right now.

Um, so I think we'll leave it there for now. I think what we've shown you. I think some of the most crucial important pieces from the application process. The last thing I'll say before we kind of move into the panel discussion and the Q and a is, you know, there's nothing completely magical about this researcher. What we did some of the policy stuff, and the digital background forensics, and assessing out of who the vendors are, it's harder to replicate but if you find yourself working with large and repeat large employers in your geography, by all means, like, head to the website and complete the application and take some notes for yourself. I think these applications are a moving target and it's really easy to reproduce. I think some of the basic work we did, if you're working with particular larger players on a regular basis and with that, I will turn it back to Laura for the panel discussion.

Thank you Aaron and Mila for that presentation and all that helpful information. So now I am pleased to kind of to bring in Heather and Adam into the conversation so we can kind of a panel discussion, and we can start to share their experiences. So, 1st, I'm going to ask Heather and Adam to briefly introduce the organizations. So we have some contacts for their remarks.

So, I will go, 1st sure Adam Martin and I work with lab guides, Stone, Ohio, based organization. We are predominantly mental health community, counseling and substance use disorder organization, but we do have a workforce development department, our workforce development department. For the majority of our programs works with 14 to 24 year olds, and we do training and different types of sectors. So, construction, manufacturing, health care, retail and food service are focus areas. And within that we're responsible, and in many of our contracts for recruitment and eligibility for training, academic and occupational training, and as well as placement and retention services, I think what I would mention just to cap, it would be what's unique about organizations our workforce department is part of a larger organization that has a range of services and programs that we can provide our workforce participants so that they can be, we can wrap them holistically in these types of programs.

So we've seen a lot of success with that. Thanks. Thank you Adam. Heather. Would you like to introduce port jobs? Can you hear me now? A little bit it's still pretty faint.

Hi, I'm Heather and I'm the director of port jobs in Seattle. We are located inside Seattle to come by international airport. And we connect job seekers from near airport communities. Many of whom are immigrant and refugee speakers of English as an additional language. With entry level jobs at the airport, and we partner with local community colleges to bring free credit bearing college courses on site.

And offer them to airport workers as they advance in their career pathways. And we are delighted to be here today to help contribute to this discussion. We typically see about. 6,000 people a year. In our airport jobs office, when there's not a pandemic. Thank you Heather, so I think my 1st, question to the, both of you is in listening kind of, as you listen to the presentation, what resonated with you, are you seeing any of the same things in your work? Yeah, I'll jump in so I think 1 of the things that resonated with me is this lack of employer feedback, right? We sort of Joe can call it the best. So we've always had these large application systems where you send me the application. I think everybody's experience as you send this application in and you don't hear back. Right? And you've sent 30 of them in, and you don't hear back and, you know, that doesn't feel really good.

Well, with the added amount of energy and effort with a lot of these processes that has that feeling of, sort of being devalued at the end of that process, I think, has exponentially increase. So a lot of our young people they go through this process, and they spend an hour hour and a half doing these kinds of assessments, and then to get no feedback on that again can be really devaluing and really goes to sort of a sense of self esteem right and so, as a coaches practitioner in this space, it can be really tricky to sort of help, keep them motivated along that pathway, but also prepare them to just sort of feel of those things when they don't receive the feedback from employers. And I'll add to that. Be work with job seekers who are applying for jobs across the airport. So, airlines, but also baggage and cargo and died and retail and. A wheelchair assistance and everything in between.

And 1 of the employers who we recently assisted job seekers, applying online to sorry about that dangling proposition. Um, is our own Transportation Security Administration so I think they probably qualify as a large hourly employer. And they have an incredibly complex application. Process as I'm sure you can imagine that also involves. Criminal background checks, personality, assessments, physical drug test, et cetera. But to get to any of that, you have to get through their online application and it is notoriously difficult. So, we recently partnered with the Transportation Security Administration, other request of the port of Seattle.

Because, like, so many other employers right now in this suddenly hot job market, particularly at airports. They're having trouble filling officer positions and. I think it's, it's very simple, but.

Us sitting down with the employer. Especially when it's a large employer. And being able to understand their application process, start to finish and experience as Adam was saying. And as arugula pointed it out.

The experience from the applicant's point of view. That allows us to be able to render assistance to job seekers. So we've done a couple now of targeted application assistants events for GSA where we're seeing in the primarily young adult applicants. Um. Come in, we provide the computers and the Internet access CSA comes, but we're in the room assisting. And folks are getting really 1 on 1 attention for online application assistance. I realize that that is not really. Doable at a large scale, but for us, it's absolutely been away.

To get in and be able to help folks get through that front door. So that they can then address the rest of the process. And I'll talk a little bit more about that later. Thank you Heather, or you can actually talk about it right now I'm really interested in kind of what are some of the strategies port jobs have used, or are using in particular? You know, what you're doing with the GSA to kind of navigate online hiring application processes. Sure, and I want to thank the researchers that upturn. I think you're doing a huge service because. This is a problem that's only gotten worse. During the pandemic, right? And, um, we've talked in other Casey about, um, digital, the digital divide and what we're all doing to address it, but.

Um, I, I, I think that. For our work with the Transportation Security Administration. Not only breaking down the process so that our staff understand it and are able to render 1 on 1 assistance to applicants. But. Getting to talk to folks at T essay.

Who are in a position to respond regarding criminal background checks? And whether applicants should even bother applying if they have a criminal record and so I just want to share that in our experience that airport jobs we actually had. A direct employee of ours and we have a very, we're a small nonprofit. Also. There are about 10 of us on a good day. Um, we had an employee who. Successfully was hired at, even though she had a felony on her record and so in our recent meetings with GSA, I brought that up and said, you know, it's. Especially critical now that so many of us are working with.

People re, entering the community from the justice system that we be transparent. We don't want to waste job seekers time. If the answer is just no. But I know that it's possible for people to get hired, even with a felony and their response was yes.

Honesty right out of the gate is what we're looking for. So, the worst thing you can do is hope that we won't see that you have a criminal record, because we will but if you come in. And explain your story, and you can get in the front door. And it's possible for you to get all the way through the process. So I just highlight that. I know we have in Washington state, some additional laws that protect job applicants from.

The employer looking at criminal background until they're fairly far along in the process. Obviously, it is a special circumstance and the airport is the especially secure environment, but I think it's important that we who are in positions where we are able to talk with. Employer management at a higher level, have those conversations. On behalf of the applicants, who can't be. Thank you Heather kind of the same the question to you, Adam, what strategies or tactics are you guys using or have used to navigate these systems? Yeah, so, I mean, these, these systems are some new for us up in northeast Ohio it's sort of in the complexity that they're being rolled out, but I can tell you that, you know, our 1st strategy is to circumvent them. Right? Well, the number 1 thing we try to do is build a relationship with with those managers and recruiters on the ground level who have similar goals to us. Right. 1 of the things that we've noticed is that there's.

Sometimes a misalignment between those recruiters who are looking to fill these jobs and those that are sort of at the higher level, who've made the decision to capital to make a capital investment in this kind of technology because they've got their reasons that list. And I'm sure that tens of hundreds right? And recruiting managers often, have open positions that remain open. So they come to us and they say, what do you guys need from us right? In order to make this relationship work, and we just say, hey, listen, your process is really complicated. Is there any way that we can get you in front of a group of our young people and we can circumvent some of this so that maybe they go right into the interview process right? And again, that's where reduces the, the amount of individuals will get derailed by this process. Now unfortunately, that's not always possible. So, when we are up against this process, typically, we are trying to be really honest with our candidates that are going through our program. We are trying to be really honest about the we're going to do these they're going to be powerful.

There's gonna be a lot of these things that we do and the isn't going to be great so, you know, tempering expectations. I think the other thing that Heather mentioned is sitting side by side with individuals, if only to help explain, sort of what questions actually mean, which I think is kind of difficult for our staff. Right? I think our staff sometimes question the motivations of these kinds of questions, and they can be a little ambiguous. So I think it's a particularly difficult situation. I don't know that there's a great answer for it at this point. But I know that we're looking at our training and thinking, maybe the traditional types of training that we do, aren't enough anymore. Right? Maybe we need to start thinking about this, that 1st store opening that 1st store as a larger amount of, of the kinds of training that we do on a day to day basis. So, Adam, I'm kind of follow up question. So similar to heather's example with working, came to her.

Because they were having issues with their hiring process, but in that communication is somewhat opened the a 2 way conversation for the staff at Port jobs to give some. Nudges or some advice to an employer, for how applicants are receiving, are experiencing the process or have you done any work, or are doing any work with employers around this topic? But creating more accessible pathways to. Employment sure. So, you know. We have worked with T. J. Max in the past who've worked with target in the past. We've worked with tar or Walmart more recently and Amazon more recently, right? And specifically some of these employers have. Come to us seeking advice on sort of how to build some of these pathways out right and thinking about deployment. They don't really have a great sense of the communities that they're in, and they use the workforce development agencies to help them get a better center, a better bearing right? On some of those things.

But when when it comes to being a little bit more agile, when it comes to these, these technologies being deployed, some are more. Flexible and others, some, you know, their protocols or their protocols and this is the process. Others I think are really. Great about listening to the conversation that are happening at the community level and saying, hey, we want to create alternative pathways for people to get into these types of positions. Right so Aaron, I have a question for you to kind of. So, in hearing some of these strategies that Heather and Adam are employing with their organizations, do you have kind of any additional advice? I know there's a question in the question box, but there's kind of any tips or tricks for navigating are there any additional pitfalls? I know some of them have been already pointed out. Yeah, no, that's good. I just want to start by echoing something that Adam said, which is, I think now is a great time to try to circumvent this all together. Right?

I mean, we're in a moment in time where the dynamics of the labor market are such that there's lots of employers that are doing on the spot hiring right show up, give us your basic information you can start today. And so, I think, like, the iron is hot for I'm just trying to sidestep the online application portal as a 1st, step for many young people and having Pre existing relationships with employers are getting them to the job sites as a kind of a 1st exposure is probably now is a great time to do that. I think that, for those of you, that have sustained relationships with large employers, I think now is a really good time to just push them to think about a more open hiring model. Right? I mean, I think that no, 1 wants there to be barriers in front of the employees they need at this moment in time. And so I think it's a really good opportunity to just try not to have to do it at all. If he can, that's the threshold answer, I think, you know, tips and tricks. Right? I think the short answer is, no, there's, there's no real secret tip here, except for if you are going through the online application process. I think the simplest installation is you just seem to be really careful not to trip up kind of an automatic screen now. Right? Don't underestimate your availability.

Don't overestimate your required pay right? Make sure that you I know that the personality test questions can be tricky. But again, as Mila said, the bottom line is be grateful. Cheerful willing to work. Hard. That's your character. When you're going through the online application process, just getting people that kind of basic preparation, and I think just the context for, you know, you're kind of efficient in a big barrel with these online application processes and don't let that discourage. Right? I wish I had something better to say than that, but I think that's the basic thing is just watch out for the trip buyers that could lead to automatic rejection. And I think now is a great time whenever possible to just build out those direct relationships. And try to build, I think the example in the traditional, direct hiring. Great Thank you very helpful. I'm shifting gears a little bit.

Um, you know, we've heard a lot about what you kind of. Are doing, and hopefully being successful at and wanted to bring up a little bit more kind of what are some of the challenges you have face when working with people and employer with working with young people and players around online hiring processes? Are there things in the space that you want to be doing, or influencing it have yet to do? So. Or things that you or collectively as a workforce training providers could be doing better. This is for Adam and Heather, I can jump in and take this 1.

so, you know, I think that 1 of the things that Aaron had mentioned earlier, and the research had mentioned earlier was just the idea that the salary and the scheduling, and the way that this presents itself in a lot of the process isn't necessarily genuine. Right? So, a lot of our young people go through this process and they ask us for advice. Hey, what should I be putting on this schedule? What should I be saying around salary? I don't want to get screened out. So it's all about getting through the front door. I find a lot of recruitment issues are actually retention issues. And so what that sets itself up for later is for our young people to say, hey, this job really isn't sustainable for me. Even though on my application I put on.

Whenever I thought I would be available and in sort of the ideal situation, or when I felt like, I could do walking in the door in terms of salary. This isn't actually sustainable for me. And so I think that's really particularly tough. When thinking about these applications, and then producing sort of a non genuine response from our candidates. Additionally, these personality tests that they often do feels like an indictment of who they are. Right? So, when they don't get a response, or it's not something that they, they don't get the job, they come back to us and there's definitely a lot of social emotional learning that needs to occur in that in that space.

Because a lot of them again, feel like it's an indictment of who they are and so even hearing Aaron talk a little bit about saying. This is the, this is the view that you need to take into this into this application process in a time and space. Where we are celebrating people's individuality and who they are sometimes that can create a little bit of conflicting message. Right? And especially in our workforce programs now, add this, whenever we talk to employers about why they've deployed this kind of process, and they're using this technology, we typically get things like it removes bias or they justify it based off of increased wages were looking for the best people who are going to fit this profile, because we're increasing wages and these things that reduce our risk and are more cost effective for us. And I think 1 of the challenges that we have is, I think we need to do a better job pushing back in the moment when we hear these things we need to be able to push back in those meetings. And to do that. I think it takes us, it takes a little bit different of an approach. I think a lot of practitioners in this space, come from a human service background and educate, engage employers on sort of that business case in that business central approach isn't necessarily the most comfortable thing in the world. Right?

So maybe some professional development there that gives us some more tools and ammunition in that kind of conversation and to be honest, the research that's in front of us now, helps us do that right? It helps us get to the root of the issue, and sort of tackle some of those assumptions that they're making on their end. That may not be appropriate. I'll just add, um, both.

Aaron, and Adam have mentioned that these are very specific times. We're living in. With respect to demand and unemployment being. Back down to a relatively, very low level.

And players are getting desperate and employers at our airport and I think all airports are extremely desperate because they can't fly planes and surf passengers if they don't get staff. And that's the situation they're in right now. So. It is an unusually good time. To push employers on practices that were aware of in some cases.

Practices that job seekers are helping us. See, in some cases. And also I don't want to. Miss the opportunity to talk again. About the digital divide as an equity issue, because. All of this online application it happen.

If someone doesn't have access to a computer and Internet. And we continue to find that many of our young job seekers. Don't have adequate access, so. We are trying to not forget the lessons we learned in the pandemic. And we're trying to increase. Our computer giving away capacity, which Casey has helped us with through generation.

And also have folks come into our office and use our Internet and our public computers. In job application processes and that both. Provides digital access for those who might not have it at home. And also provides an opportunity for our staff to deliver 1 on 1 assistants. And again, these are very basic things. But I think we learned a lot during the pandemic that I'm hoping we. Carry forward in earnest, um, when it comes to online job applications, people need to be able to get online. Thank you Heather, so we are kind of now moving into the Q and a portion with our audience of the of the webinar. So please, if you have any questions, please chat those either into the chat box or the Q and a box.

But before I get to some of the audience questions, I do have a question for Aaron, kind of building off of what you said earlier. Around policy, specifically kind of policy lovers. I know you, you uptrend to a lot of work around federal policy. Most of our folks may not engage with federal federal policy makers, but they do may work some advocacy work with local and state policies. So wondering. What are some of the policy solutions for this work outside of just practice solutions? Yeah, and I'll be I'll be pretty brief here, so we can get to questions and answers, but I think 1 take home point. Some of the good news I want to give is that. Given all the automation and capacity to automate so many steps to this process. Employers actually do have the ability to give applicants more feedback. Right? When you think about, like, the credit context, if you, if a bank rejects you for a loan or something, they have to give you an adverse action, notice kind of explain roughly why that happened right? I think it would be very, very reasonable at the state level, or the federal level to have employers that use these kinds of automated technologies to have a requirement to give applicants feedback about why they were automatically screened out. I gotta be helpful to the applicant.

And as a 2nd, order benefit, I think employers would be perhaps less eager to use some of these fuzzy, problematic personality tests. And so I think there's a lot of room, even if you stop short of civil rights anti discrimination style laws, I think transparency can take us a long way. The last thing I want to say is that there's a lot of states right now that are passing bills that are really focused on, like a. Artificial intelligence and hiring technologies, and I think that the, the sort of model legislation we're working on an upturn really kind of just sticks with the language of hiring selection procedures. So I think the short answer, and we are happy to share more details than anyone that wants it or model build understand when that 1 set, I think, transparency back to applicants about why they rejected is really important.

And then, I think, just requirements to have to use assessment instruments that are actually related to sexual a central job functions. Right? And I think these are all very reasonable things that could pay a lot of dividends for applicants. So going to an audience members question, so this is a building off of, I think Adam's response to some of the kind of challenges you faced with working with employers. The question is, what are some lovers that workforce or economic development systems might use to influence employer hiring practices? Are there any pathways to scale or influencing mainstream behavior? So, I think that, you know, it's been mentioned before, sort of, we're in this unique time right? And you've got a lot of employers, and a lot of government officials that are concerned with employers taking their business elsewhere, right taking the jobs elsewhere.

And so, you know, I think that creates a lot of pressure at the government level and that pressure trying to trickles down into the contracts that we have in workforce development to, to serve individuals. And, you know. I think like it's been stated before now is the time, right where we need to have these conversations and employers are actually going to listen as long as they can. As long as we're, we're delivering them individuals that are trained and are capable on the job. I don't think that right now they care really how that happens and so being able to understand the economic, the economics of the moment, and being able to use those, that pressure to help support, sort of your effort to navigate or circumvent some of these barriers. I think is, is the best bet. Is monitoring the questions coming in.

Um, I think we would be remiss if we didn't at least mention. Um, the monopoly that some large tech companies appear to have. And I know that there's important work going on. To try to do something about that, but I also think it's relevant to this conversation.

So more break up of the tech monopolies might help in this process. Thank you Heather, so 1 of you do have another question. I think you guys have spoken a lot about. How the pressures related to the labor shortages, we are currently experiencing may kind of motivate employers to kind of shift their thoughts on how these hiring technologies are experience was wondering if you guys have come across.

That if and players are shifting their thoughts about these platforms, more from an equity and inclusion perspective. Or is it purely now? Just more around the labor shortage. It's been my experience, that sort of money is the 1st hurdle right? And so, where there's a shortage in labor, or if there's a restriction to growth, right? That's where the conversation start. And where it can go is sort of having an equity conversation as long as that makes sense to some of their future goals and growth. That doesn't mean that there aren't employers out there where this is a central value or tenant, and they say, absolutely this is what we want to do, but the sustainability of these kinds of that kind of direction really does still depend on the bottom line or at least, that's been my experience and the conversations we've had here.

Yeah, Ditto and we certainly have some. Really great employers, including some that would fit probably into your large employer definition. But again, the folks that we work with on the ground to are headquartered at C tech airport. Are we're able to form relationships with have meaningful conversations with. We recently were able to engage some employers with.

A wonderful local non profit that's working to. And human trafficking, businesses, ending slavery and trafficking best and we had several employers. Who were very willing to engage deeply and quickly. With this organization and in a meaningful way. So I see this as being a time. That's really right for opportunity both to. Um, work on the bad actors. But also to engage those who aren't bad actors who just have never really, um.

Add to bend their processes very much. Yeah, let me just had 2 things in the 1st thing is. I hate to say this, but sometimes people's kind of hype about technology and gives us a 2nd, bite at the Apple cause. Even though we're not talking about stuff. That's fundamentally new.

If you talk about, like, have you thought about bias and algorithms suddenly everyone wakes up and listens to you for a moment. And so I think that sometimes that frame can be helpful to re, engage. I also think that I agree with everything that's said about money is the 1st thing, something that Adam said, that stuck with me that I think has some potential is, when you think about things like these personality tests to say, like, we're in a moment where we're not trying, we're trying to celebrate differences. We're trying to celebrate diversity and part of that is, when you ask these questions, this is the uncertainty and damage side and flex. And so I think there's some, some progress that I haven't yet seen yet. That just pushes on a respectful hiring process and inclusive hiring process and I don't mean that in a compliance way, like are you, having adverse impact that's a separate important conversation.

But I think there could be, I think some movement and pressure about having an inclusive hiring process 1 that's simple. 1, that respects the applicant. I haven't seen a lot of conversation about that kind of, on the national level. At least I think that. And there's a question from the audience that maybe you'll be able to answer. They're wondering are there kind of getting maybe large employers who either speak out against these technologies are, or who are not using them? Like, is there like an influencing tactic? Maybe not calling out a company by name, but if you also speak with companies, kind of how they.

Are there companies who just do not use these sort of technologies and the reasons behind it? Yeah, I think so, I don't have any off the top of my head if you go back for those of you that want to go back and look at the actual long report, we didn't see everyone using personality tests. Right? And so you can see among the 50 larger employer. So we survey, who you, as, to what kinds of questions who use personality tests and who didn't right? And so happily personality tests are common, but they're not universal. And so I think there may be some movement away from that. I also there also are some pretty serious movements around open hiring, like, no background check. No, Pre, no experience necessary. And I think that, like, especially as we're in this moment, and employers are experimenting with more open hiring now is a good moment to seize upon employers that are doing that and celebrate that. So, but I would say, go back and look on the report for what we know I think about. At least the DC imports today Thank you, Aaron. So I know we are almost at time, and before I close out, I would love to give the floor to either Heather Adam or Aaron.

If you have any closing thoughts, you'd like to share. Um, you know, just something Aaron just said again, that resonated with me, you know, a lot of times what we're talking about is helping employers understand what their competitive advantages and, you know, we do a lot of matchmaking. So, you know, we try to give them metrics on individuals and their engagement levels, and the projects that they've done and the completion as an alternative to sort of this.

System that is outside of their control, right? Or out of outside of our control. And on the other side, you know, we've had a lot of success with employers, bringing them in and saying, hey, you know, I know you think that you're putting forth a competitive offer here. But our candidates have a range of offers that are far more competitive. And I think those conversations really turn the tables and you start moving away from barriers things like these processes in this technology and you start getting employer selling themselves as to why they should be sort of that premiere destination. And they're looking for competitive advantage. And for a lot of our employers in talent, is that competitive advantage for them?

And so just to echo again for the time, I think, but now is really a moment for us to have those conversations and to see movement in those conversations. The trick is going to be how sustainable those conversations can be in the future. Absolutely, and then again, just coming back to the relationship building. And it last, of course, as long as that manager is on site. But, um, we had just this past week. Accompany Swiss court fueling that puts most of the fuel in the airplanes at C TAC airport. They are desperate for fuel, or they can't keep the airplanes full of fuel and so they have an event. It was very targeted. We reached out specifically to community based partners who were serving young adults that we knew were looking for jobs.

And 3 people. Out of the 4 who came to this little event. Were young adults of color from 1, particularly community based organization. That we have set up a relationship with. At the same time that we were setting up the relationship with the employer on site managers. So I think those.

Personal relationship, building, trust, building. And taking advantage of how desperate the employers are right now. Is a winning combination, and my last word is just that for anyone who's on this webinar if you ever need some researchers or computer nerds or policy advice in your corner, don't hesitate to give us a call. We love.

We love working with folks. If you ever find yourself talking to a large employer, or like, state legislature, especially and want to come back to, like, what can they do specifically? I'm happy to chat more about that. So, thanks for including. Great, well, thank you, and thank you for that offer Aaron to our grand cheese on the call. So I want to thank everyone for joining the webinar today, and the special thank you to the speakers. We hope that you found this conversation useful. If you have any questions, please feel reached out to me. I will put my information in the chat, or, as Aaron has offered to reach out to him. Also you can find a copy of up turns report a central work analyzing and hiring technologies and large hourly employers on their website that upturn dot org. So, thank you again and have a great. Rest of your day.

2021-07-19 14:12

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