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  • Chris O. @LRDG

Equal Opportunities: Turn racial bias on it’s head and get the job you deserve

Pressure makes diamonds

To get ahead in the workforce, one has to be very diligent in making the proverbial “lemonade out of lemons”.

There are ways to get around the flaws in the hiring process. (photo: AdobeStock)

It may not be easy, but as we will continue to see, there are ways to get around the flaws in the hiring process. This is to encourage you not to give up, if you face multiple rejections and frustrations in your job search. There is an equal resilience that can be applied creatively to the myriad of challenges racial minorities face in the job market, to still lay claim to job opportunities that fit their skill level and salary expectations in spite of the bias. By continuing to unpack the common mistakes applicants make, as well as incorporating these best practices, you will ultimately stand out as a star applicant and get the job you deserve.

How To Get Hired In Today’s Competitive Climate if you are a minority

To get a job, you have to constantly think outside the box to find ways to differentiate yourself. (photo: freepik)

For every job posting, there are typically hundreds of applicants. In today’s competitive climate, you have to constantly think outside the box to find ways to differentiate yourself. Here are some helpful tips to aid your job search strategy:

Informational Interviews

This proactive step is not spoken about enough, but is one that remains very effective in terms of networking your way into the positions you want. Rather than waiting for the call back or interview to come to you, you can reach out to people in positions within organizations of interest to you and request to have a coffee with them (in Covid-19 times, you can opt for a video call instead).

Reach out to people in positions within organizations of interest to you and request to have a coffee with them. (photo: freepik)

An article on LiveCareer describes it as a “rapid fire internship”, and the information you glean from these sessions could be highly instrumental in getting you the job you want. Some of the best practices for this strategy include highlighting that you’re a fresh graduate seeking career advice, making the conversation about them, what they love about where they work, the top skills that are required for the job, and what they’ve done to best position themselves for success within the organization. You should inform them of your interests, passions and career goals, but focus more on listening and taking note of what they have to say. By going to them to learn in this way, they are likely to have a lot to share with you and provide you useful information that can help you in your job search. As a plus, should you need someone to put in a good word for you, you can eventually ask them for this favor.

Skill-based Job Platforms

By ditching the traditional systems that encourage hiring bias, you are in essence levelling the playing field for yourself.

Using Skill-based Job Platforms is levelling the playing field for yourself. (photo: freepik)

Using a platform like Geekbidz, you will be assessed by companies and potentially hired solely on the basis of your skills and qualifications, and not on the multitude of other unimportant factors that can come into play with traditional hiring processes.

Be Confident In Your Abilities

Although not a strategy in itself, it is something that you should bring to the forefront and be aware of, as it could very well make the difference between fair, mutually beneficial work, and unfair labor.

Be confident in your abilities and skills, companies might unintentionally push some of the best candidates away. (photo: freepik)

Today’s recruitment process for many companies now includes additional hurdles to surmount in the form of multiple pre-employment tests and long wait times. An article on Forbes highlights that by piling on these hurdles, companies are in fact pushing some of the best candidates away. However, as a racial minority and a fresh graduate, one might feel that desperation to grab on to any offer that comes. In the long run though, it’s even riskier to accept less than ideal circumstances for your work. A person of your talents shouldn’t need to grovel or whiten your resume, or be made to wait for months on end before getting a call back. You should want to give the best of your efforts to companies that will truly value your efforts and reward you accordingly. This comes in part from being confident in your knowledge and skills, and not accepting any less than you deserve.

Do some researches to know what your skills are worth. (photo: freepik)

You should know what your skills are worth using research resources like Glassdoor & LinkedIn to figure out average pay ranges for your position, and negotiate accordingly when you receive offers. This will ensure you’re not a victim of salary bias.