This actually came up as a statement and not so much a question in one of my team calls over the last month. Our sourcing team has somehow inadvertently become the bias police. We source and review based on clear cut skills and experience, pushing forward the candidates for a second round of review to confirm that everyone meets the baseline before we start contacting them.
I almost never notice pictures on profiles. The only time I pay attention is when I’m getting LinkedIn invites. Then I like to click and drag into Google Image search the pictures of people used by spammers to find out who the people really are…that’s when I’m bored or having a “no way is his name Jared”. But when I’m searching for candidates? Really don’t care. If it really bothered me, I’d hide the pictures when I’m on LinkedIn…you can do that you know…log in to LinkedIn, Click on Account Settings and then Click on Account in the lower left of your screen:
If a client wants to really concentrate on diversity sourcing, we can do that. There are a number of ways to leverage keywords to locate candidates by diversity. Whether you look at school’s they’ve attended, groups they’ve belonged to, find affinity groups, etc. But I will not source like this, because there are too many unique and nebulous names out there. What?! I’m going to not look at you because you’re name isn’t Candice…but maybe Ryan? And I suppose at this point, pictures could become integral to your sourcing technique if you are focused on diversity and want to have a moment of confirmation. But diverse or not, I am always, like Rainman, going to circle back to “do they have the required skills and experience?”
If you know your ‘net, you know from the recent Pew Internet: Social Networking report that because I’m focused in sourcing online, that I’m already hitting the female demographic much of the time. That ‘net sourcing is rich with people of color.
So bias police? Not intentionally. Skills and Experience police? All the time.