The entire post on barriers to diverse recruitment (over on Go Make Me A Sandwich) is quite good. It’s a thoughtful look at the overt and subtle ways that tech and gaming companies fail to encourage diverse hires, and also what a completely crock it is to throw up our collective hands, and say, well, we haven’t hired any women for this project, must be because no women wanted to work here.
I’ve written about the expectation of free labour, particularly proving one’s worth as an unpaid intern for a publication in hopes of landing a job afterwards, and how that influences the hiring pool by eliminating everyone without the personal resources required to intern. This post really points out how hiring practices designed to weed out inexperienced and frivolous applicants can also affect diverse hires.
(And, yeah, we all have other responsibilities, but if a task that is substantially easier for one subset is part of the application process, we can’t then be surprised when the majority of the applicants are part of that subset.)
Ability to do free labor
If you require applicants to complete a particular writing prompt, or to read a particular game or other written work, or to perform any other activity that represents a non-trivial time investment, you are restricting your pool of applicants to people who can afford to perform free labor in pursuit of a POTENTIAL position that – quite honestly – pays like shit and most likely won’t be paid at all promptly, if at all. (Pay-on-publication is still a quite common model for paying freelancers, which is something I intend to write about later, as it is complete and utter bullshit.)
And – again – the wage gap and 2nd shift labor are going to be factors that skew your applicant pool (again) toward white, male, and cisgender.
I don’t mind payment-on-publication, personally. Receiving my check with my contributor’s copy is no problem for me, and it beats pay-after-angry-letters-to-the-publisher or payment in exposure, but the gap between completing the work and receiving payment can be another hurdle.
Anyway, the whole post’s really good, and includes some practical suggestions for more diverse hiring practices.