New York,United States – March 19, 2022 —
The Rooney Rule is a well-meant attempt to address racial inequality in the National Football League (NFL) that is now a part of diversity and inclusion efforts for many recruiters. However, the Rooney Rule has flaws. One, the rule overlooks the fact that a single underrepresented minority candidate isn’t enough. Two, it attempts to manufacture diversity rather than acquiring it organically.
The Rooney Rule is well-intentioned, but it’s incomplete. Only one team (the Detroit Lions) has ever received a fine for violating the rule, and questions linger about its fairness in real-world application.
One red flag for recruiters is that the Rooney Rule doesn’t address the negligible impact that a single diverse candidate has on the hiring process. If a single minority or female candidate is one of four finalists, they theoretically have a one-in-four chance of getting an offer. Statistically, however, they have next to no chance of getting an offer because, in the human mind, a single minority candidate becomes an outlier.
“Why does being the only woman in a pool of finalists matter? For one thing, it highlights how different she is from the norm,” reports the Harvard Business Review. “And deviating from the norm can be risky for decision-makers, as people tend to ostracize people who are different from the group.”
According to Harvard Business Review research, there’s statistically zero chance a woman will get the offer when the finalist pool is three men and one woman. However, the chance goes up to 50% when there are two women and 67% when there are three. According to the Harvard Business Review, those statistics hold true for the NFL and ethnic-minority coaches.
A second red flag for recruiters is that the Rooney Rule requires them to tinker with their candidate pool, which isn’t something they need to do if they’ve got a large enough pool. Detractors of the rule question whether hiring teams are sacrificing quality to ‘manufacture’ diverse candidate pools. Supporters and detractors alike struggle with asking hiring teams to purposefully source minority candidates.
Datapeople’s researchers have found that large numbers of applicants will naturally yield more diversity in a candidate pool. In other words, more candidates from underrepresented groups at the top of the funnel net more qualified candidates from underrepresented groups at the bottom.
Release ID: 89071403