Quotas: The Messy Truth

As a recruiter, you’ve more than likely run into a hiring situation that involved a quota.

Whether you support the idea of hiring quotas or not — they are a lightening rod issue. The problem they try to solve is legit: the representation of minorities, and in some cases, women, pale in comparison to the population at large in a given community. The way in which hiring quotas attempt to solve the problem is one of the more debatable practices in the hiring world.

In Rochester, NY, they are smack in the middle of a quota dilemma: As a result of a 1975 settlement, the city was given a court order that mandates “at least one in four police hires be minorities and allows police to modify their hiring practices to increase diversity“. In the last five hiring classes (totaling 186 hires) 21 were non-white. That’s just a hair above 1 in 10 hires.

Here’s the rub: Rochester’s population consists of 52% non-white citizens.

So, to examine this:

1. Do you believe that a city (or company) located in an area with such a high percentage of minorities has a problem when only a small percentage of it’s hires are minorities? Is this an indicator of errors in a company’s hiring practices?

2. If you do believe it’s a problem, how does a city or company go about solving it?

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