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Facebook Is Testing the ‘Rooney Rule’ Approach to Hiring

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Written By:  DEEPA SEETHARAMAN  17/06/15

Facebook is testing an approach to hiring that resembles the National Football League’s “Rooney Rule” as part of the social network’s efforts to diversify its employee ranks.

The Rooney Rule, introduced by the NFL in 2003, requires teams to interview minorities during searches for new head coaches and general managers.

Facebook is piloting what it calls a “diverse slate approach” in certain departments, a person familiar with the matter said. The idea is to prompt hiring managers to interview candidates they may not have otherwise considered.

Facebook spokeswoman Genevieve Grdina confirmed that Facebook is testing the approach, but declined to comment further.

Facebook’s top brass, including Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, have repeatedly said that the company needs a more diverse workforce to build better products for the more than 1.4 billion people who visit Facebook every month. The company has appointed teams to recruit minorities, but Zuckerberg said at a town hall last month that there remain too few women and ethnic minorities graduating with the engineering degrees coveted by Facebook’s recruiting arm.

Last week, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook would publish a report on gender and racial diversity among employees toward the end of the month. The numbers have improved, she said, but not as much as the company wanted.

Last year, Facebook said women accounted for 31% of its world-wide employees, but filled only 15% of its tech jobs. Only 2.7% of its U.S. workforce is black and 4% is Hispanic, while 57% of employees are white and about a third are Asian.

Source:  WS.J http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/06/17/facebook-testing-rooney-rule-approach-to-hiring/

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