PC Culture

Hiring People Based on Merit Deemed Problematic

Job seekers at TechFair in Los Angeles, Calif., March 2018. (Monica Almeida/Reuters)
Suggesting that people from minority groups couldn’t get hired based on their talents alone is what’s racist.

According to the Office of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas-Austin, hiring people based on merit is problematic because it harms minority groups.

According to an article in The College Fix, the office was launched last month to deal with “the income inequality gap for overlooked communities.”

“The problem is that in the past companies have advocated for a meritocratic way of hiring,” states the “About” page for the office. “The major issue with this approach is that if you limit your scope to a certain segment of the population and claim that is all the talent you can find, of course, you are going to remain blind to highly talented diverse candidates who often graduate from non-ivy league, (sic) non-traditional institutions.”

Of course, the idea that companies should not be hiring candidates based on their ability to perform the job is not only insane, it’s also incredibly bad for business. If a company wants to succeed — which I’m pretty sure most companies do — then it’s going to want to hire the people who are going to make it the most likely that success will happen. Hiring people based on their merits isn’t racist; it’s called “not being a self-sabotaging idiot.”

In fact, oddly enough, I think that what is racist is the idea that hiring based on meritocracy and hiring a diverse group of candidates are mutually exclusive. Think about it: This kind of talk seems to suggest that people from minority groups couldn’t get hired based on their talents alone, that they need some sort of special system in order to find work. I don’t believe that this is the case. Yes — I believe that there are many people in minority groups who have the talents and abilities to succeed in their careers when being judged on those talents and abilities alone. I don’t think this is racist; I think it’s the opposite.

To be fair, I do think that valuing diversity in a company is not only admirable, but also beneficial. After all, hiring people who come from diverse backgrounds is a great way to enrich any company with diverse perspectives and ideas. I’d also agree with the office’s suggestion to branch out from Ivy League schools when doing hiring. Ivy League schools can be very expensive, and there are plenty of very smart people who could have attended these sorts of schools based on their intelligence who were unable to solely because of their economic status. Hiring these sorts of people isn’t just kind or altruistic, it is also smart and good for business. But the thing is, whether or not something is “good for business” should always be the standard when making business decisions. It’s good to look at diverse groups of people when selecting candidates, but the standard on which those candidates are judged should always be on their merit. That’s what’s most fair — and what gives any business the greatest chance of becoming a prosperous one.

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More
U.S.

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More
Film & TV

It’s the Deep Breath before the Plunge

Warning. SPOILERS are ahead. If you don’t want to know anything about episode two of the final season of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Now. One of my favorite moments in Peter Jackson's outstanding adaptation of Lord of the Rings happened in the final movie, The Return of the King. On the eve of Mordor's ... Read More