Biases in recruitment

Until the recent recruiting season, I was in denial of the racial/ language preferences employers have. While I was aware of all these facts, I was simply in denial until I saw Roland Berger wanting the Germans and Chinese and McKinsey wanting Brazilians and Africans. Some companies have regional biases and want to recruit only locals (especially heavy industries and consulting companies that work with these industries).

Earlier this week, during a conversation with my mentor about a career in the automotive industry, I began to unravel the rationale behind these preferences. I know that the automotive industry primarily hires highly skilled and experienced workforce and not so much the well travelled, culturally aware and theoretically qualified MBAs. Skilled workforces thrive in relationships, trust, labour unions, etc and there’s no room for outsiders here. Hence, most automotive companies, including the “global” names (except for Ford I learnt) tend to hold racial/ regional/ linguistic biases. So combining both these biases and the non-existent need for MBAs in the automotive industry creates a huge entry barrier for people like me to get back into the industry if I weren’t a German or Japanese speaker.

While I was wallowing in this pessimism, I found this interesting TED talk that might be encouraging for automotive companies to be a bit more foresighted than they currently are today dealing with diversity in their workforce. So, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Ferrari and Maserati – this one’s for you!

P.S – The statistics in the video also explain why India is less than encouraging to let me come back. 🙂


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