|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Hiring Decisions: The Mother Penalty, The Father Bonus
But it was the mother, father discussion that caught my eye, particularly given the way the study was done:
[The sociologists] created resumes and human-resource department memos for candidates for an executive-level marketing job in a communications startup. The resumes contained effectively identical qualifications. Correll and Benard then added features to distinguish the candidates. On some resumes, they indicated that the candidate served in a parent-teacher association. On others, they said he (or she) served in a neighborhood association. The HR memos also included notations on whether a candidate was a parent or married. Correll and Benard used names to flag candidates' gender. Some were given typically male names while others received typically female ones.
The scholars hired college students to act as screeners, telling them that the hiring company marketed to young people and thus wanted their input in its hiring decisions. They gave each student a pair of resumes -- two women or two men; one a parent, the other not -- and instructed them to rank the candidates and even propose starting salaries. They also asked them to suggest how many late arrivals at work a candidate should be allowed before being penalized.Other research data in their paper indicates that in prior research college undergraduates' ratings of candidates tended to mirror that of professionals. If that is true, not sure how employers guard against this type of decision making intruding into their own hiring process, but knowledge might be a start.
A hat tip to Heath Row at Fast Company for the link.