LPT: When completing an online job application, select the "decline to answer" choice for all demographic questions.
By - hxgmmgxh
Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!
Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.
If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.
This info is usually included in the giant wall of text before you check these boxes but let’s be real, no one reads that they just scroll to the bottom as fast as they can
[People spend between 1,5 and 2 seconds reading the terms and conditions](https://youtu.be/9Hb2oMlRI0I)
Not always. One HUGE online employment related company was passing around my inputs as an unencrypted attachment to emails passed between recruiters. I filed a complaint with my state, but nothing ever came of it.
This is flat out wrong. Your demographics aren't even attached to your application. Stop spreading false information.
You cannot make a statement this general. Some companies explicitly state that among equal qualifications women will be preferred.
The fact is, every piece of data may be used, even if not by the interviewer.
Just because your company doesnt attach the data (which i dont believe for a second) does not mean no company in the whole world (especially in the usa which have very different "perspective" on data and privacy) would ever do it.
What part of this tip is false?
Everything. Demographic questions are for federal statistics and have nothing to do with the job, they are not even included with the application.
Not supposed to be included*
You can’t guarantee anything.
Most of the time this information is anonymity and not shared with anyone in recruitment process at the time.
Sometimes actually good companies ask about disability so they can make reasonable adjustments to the interview process. While always a risk of discrimination, if you dont declare you dont get the support the law allows you.
As a disabled person who was massively discriminated against at a previous company, part of me wonders whether I'd want to 'get through' if they're that discriminatory. If they're a discriminatory company I dont want to be discriminated when I work there... obviously they absolutely shouldn't discriminate but enduring that every day is horrendous. I would never choose to be in that situation and its absolutely their loss. Obviously better if they get caught or have a big lesson and reform.
For some jobs I've applied for online there isn't even a choice to decline to answer. I always have a little worry in the back of my mind discrimination could occur.
It’s anonymous and used for federal purposes to ensure companies are not excluding certain races
I wish that was an option in South Africa
I suspect you're not alone. The "data" that they collect (and I use that term very loosely) has got to be considered with skepticism.
Should be treated with skepticism, but instead is treated as gospel. I work in equity and diversity, and no one questions the stats. I’ve also worked in collecting the stats, and it’s an absolute GIGO situation.
Check whichever box you want then claim you "Identify" as that. Literally nothing they can do about it *and* they can check their boxes for hiring you as a minority. I'm not goofing either, it's real.
It's worse in some cases. We have minority quotas in public university here in Brazil that are super hard to get into. People (that were not the intended audience of affirmative actions) went through the trouble of sueing the state using DNA forensic evidences that they have a long ancestral of African origin just so can get an easier way into college. It's pointless, helps society in zero ways and makes it so profiling *keeps* happening - guess what happened to that person once he got into. "Look at the fake black dude"
What a fucking weird thing to write
Equity vs Equality
Not arguing against you but can you point to any active laws that are codified against races other then whites? Me and my friends had a discussion about this the other day and I had no examples of such laws to give.
Because laws saying you can't do this or must do that based on skin colour don't exist anymore.
That was my understanding, obviously had some in the past that affected wealth distribution which now comes with its own issues but I was certain structural racism didn’t exist in wester countries anymore.
That's assuming a lot. My ancestors came here after ww1. So tell me again how my ancestors held slaves in America several decades after slavery wasn't a thing.
Unfettered access is a lie. What sort of unfettered access do I have to get wealth? Is my $18/hr job creating millions of dollars in my bank account? Or can I walk into a bank and take whatever I want and they'll just say "well he's white so let him go". Where are these magic resources I have all this access to? Do I have some pile or uranium or coal or gold waiting for me to come pick it up?
Show me laws that call out race specifically. I see nothing about denying access to anyone based on skin colour. Show me one law that says "poc can't do this, or must do that, aren't allowed here or there". I'll be waiting a long time. This is where you say "laws impact poc differently". Yeah. Almost all laws impact everyone's lives differently.
For Canadian Federal government job postings, you should add this information! They are actively recruiting folks who are underrepresented and this is the only way to get that info. I get it why people would be hesitant, but suggest in this particular case that it is very useful.
I am pretty sure it’s illegal for a potential employer to ask those types of questions in the US. They can’t even ask what type of discharge someone got from the military. I am not a lawyer though.
Edit: not sure why people are negging me, OP asked about these questions being used as interview or application questions which is illegal.
Company’s can ask these questions *after you have already been hired* for EEOC compliance as other posters have pointed out.
I would think it's used for data collection in terms of diversity compliance according to federal law.
Not trying to be a dick, but I did not know the federal government has diversity compliance laws. If a small business owner only hires white people the feds can’t step in and force him to hire more minorities. Maybe I am missing something here.
Diversity compliance only applies after a business grows to a certain level. For example, all 30 employees of the business i work at are white, but that is easily due to local demographics and so diversity and affermative action only apply after 50, i think, employees
Federal law prohibits discriminating against job seekers because of race or gender, so being asked to volunteer such information in a job application may seem odd. However, companies ask the questions to collect data for the government showing they are attempting to interview and hire diverse candidates.
If a company’s data-collection system is designed correctly, these details go into a database used to track sources of diversity and not to recruiters, says Mark Mehler, co-founder of CareerXroads, a Kendall Park, N.J., staffing-strategy consulting firm. Since recruiters aren’t supposed to receive this information, it shouldn’t affect your interview chances, he says.
They’re optional to answer
This is the case. The LPT is to always opt-out.
Every job application I've filled out in the last 5 years has had those questions.
Pretty sure in the UK you aren't allowed to ask those questions. In particular, if they are asked at the interview level, just asking them can be used as grounds of discriminatory conduct.
An old boss if mine once flatly asked a candidate their age in an interview I was part of and I had to flag it to HR afterwards.
OP might be misunderstanding what those questions are. They aren't asked as part of the interview. They are collected as demographic data at the level of the whole company. The people making the hiring decision don't (at least _shouldn't_, but there are plenty of people out there breaking rules every day) even see the information. As others have said, they are required to ask by the federal government. Now if you come in for an interview, people are still going to be able to at least guess your race, but that's a separate issue.
Edit: I _think_. I'm not an HR person.
They can't ask in interview but it is part of a lot of applications online. The difference is that the data is held anonymously and not released to interviewers.
I've answered those questions in most applications I remember which have an online section. Either in initial online application or in onboarding process.
They arent talking about being asked in an interview in this post - its just about the questionnaires, which we also have in the UK
The US government collects that info. The employer isn't supposed to see it.