Minorities Are Turned Off by Being the Token Hire
New research indicates EEO language may dissuade applicants
The language is such a familiar part of job applications that for many of us, it almost goes unnoticed: “Company X is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, color, age or any other protected characteristics.”
The phrase, or some variation of it, is required in the U.S. for jobs advertised by federal agencies and by some states, and it’s often used voluntarily by private employers to signal they welcome minority applicants.
But new research indicates it may have the opposite effect. In an experiment conducted by a pair of economists, job listings with equal employment opportunity (EEO) language draw fewer minority candidates—in some cases, 50 percent fewer—than ads without the phrase, due, at least in part, to fears about being token hires.
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